March 8, 2016

STANDING UP TO BIGOTRY: Oberlin Leaders Denounce Professor’s Remarks as ‘Anti-Semitic.’

Oberlin College’s governing body has denounced as “anti-Semitic and abhorrent” social media posts by a professor that included suggestions Israeli and United States intelligence services were behind terror attacks.
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The board of trustees called on the private liberal arts institution in Ohio to conduct a review and report back to it for possible action in the wake of Facebook posts by Joy Karega, a professor in the rhetoric and composition department.

“These grave issues must be considered expeditiously,” Clyde S. McGregor, the board chairman, said in a statement March 5 after a quarterly meeting. “In consultation with President Marvin Krislov, the board has asked the administration and faculty to challenge the assertion that there is any justification for these repugnant postings and to report back to the Board.”

The board’s statement took a stronger stance than the college’s initial reaction to the posts by Dr. Karega, after The Tower, a media organization that reports on Israel and the rest of the Middle East, published on Feb. 25 screenshots of some of her postings from 2015. In them, she referred to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, as a “C.I.A. and Mossad organization” — a reference to the Israeli intelligence service — and suggested that Mossad had orchestrated the devastating attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

I’m glad to see them standing up to a anti-semitism, which has become quite common on college campuses, especially at so-called “elite” institutions. But I suspect that an untenured faculty member who said something equally offensive about more-protected groups would have received a faster and more vigorous response.

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