Oberlin prof punished for anti-Semitic posts blames racism
An Oberlin College professor previously suspended over her anti-Semitic Facebook posts is now claiming that the disciplinary action taken against her was based on racism.
Professor of Composition and Rhetoric Joy Karega was suspended in August, six-months after her anti-Semitic comments became public, and
Karega claimed on her Facebook page that Israel was responsible for the rise of ISIS and the Charlie Hebdo attacks, stating, “[ISIS is] a CIA and Mossad operation, and there’s too much information out here for the general public not to know this.”
“This ain’t even hard,” another post read. "They unleashed Mossad on France and it’s clear why.”
While Oberlin initially claimed that her comments were protected speech, the school soon began an investigation after receiving a request from the Board of Trustees, which declared in a statement that her posts were “anti-Semitic” and “abhorrent.”
Oberlin suspended Karega, pending an investigation into her “professional fitness in light of these postings,” but did not indicate how long the process would take to play out.
“Until that process is complete, Dr. Karega has been placed on paid leave and will not teach at Oberlin,” the school explained in its statement, adding that “in recognition of the sensitivity of this review process and the privacy of the individuals involved, we will have no other comment until the conclusion of the process.”
On Wednesday night, Karega broke her own silence, insisting during a meeting in Afrikan Heritage House that she has been the victim of political machinations by an alumni group, according to The Oberlin Review.
During the meeting, Karega claimed that the Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) chapter at Oberlin, which contacted the Board of Trustees to urge the investigation of her comments, had purposely targeted her in an effort to push its own agenda, which she described as going beyond the legitimate concerns of Jewish students on campus.
According to Karega, an internal faculty review process had declined to recommend dismissal or suspension in June, but was overruled by the Board of Trustees following the ACF’s letter.
“The review process has stalled because many within and beyond the Oberlin community will not be satisfied with anything less than disciplinary action against me that involves my dismissal,” she told The Review. “Since March, I have been subjected to things that have made it clear to me that I am not a valued and respected member of Oberlin’s faculty. And that’s unfortunate.”
She apparently went even further during the meeting, asserting that her treatment has been motivated not only by the anti-Israel content of her posts, but also by the fact that she is African American.
“I cannot accept being subjected to arbitrary standards and differential treatment. I cannot accept the way that I have been treated as a Black woman on Oberlin’s faculty,” Karega said during the meeting. “That is another reason why the review process has stalled. I am objecting to the way that I have been treated through the avenues that I have available to me...You can disagree with the posts and still think I’m being treated this way because I am a Black woman.”
Campus Reform reached out to both Oberlin College and Professor Karega for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AutumnDawnPrice
H/T: Legal Insurrection