Oberlin anti-Semitic rant Prof hosting BDS event this week
At Oberlin, some offensive speech is more protected than others.
Last week The Tower magazine broke the story of a “social justice writing” professor at Oberlin, Joy Karega, who engaged in some bizarre anti-Semitic and anti-Israel commentary on Facebook.
The short version is that Karega, at least based on what she posts on Facbeook, sees Zionist and Jewish conspiracies almost everywhere, including claiming Israel was behind 9/11, and that the Charlie Hebdo attack and downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 were Mossad false flag operations. She also circulated and posted about the Rothschild family controlling the media and seeking global domination, so no mere anti-Zionist loon here.
Bradley Burston, a leftish harsh critic of Israeli policies who feels “anti-Semite” is overused, thinks the label fits here, Progressive Except for Jew-Hate? Pure anti-Semitism on the Purely anti-Israel Left:
In recent years, one of the few unifying Israel-related experiences on the North American left has been that of sincere critics of Israeli policies being unfairly and often vociferously attacked as anti-Semitic.
What happens, though, when a leftist critic of Israel actually does veer into vile, high-octane, Klan-grade anti-Semitism?
Is the anti-Israel hard left prepared to denounce the real thing – authentic Jew-hatred from a progressive?
The test case is before us. It comes from Oberlin….
Karega, by the way, was one of the faculty the Black Student Union demanded be granted tenure in its 14-page list of demands. In that same list of demands was the boycott of Israel.
This controversy takes place just weeks after hundreds of alumni signed an Open Letter to Oberlin decrying the anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Semitic atmosphere on campus driven by the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Not surprisingly, Karenga is hosting a pro-BDS event on campus this week sponsored by Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine and featuring Prof. Robin Kelley..
Karega, for her part, is unbothered by the controversy, and still promoting the BDS event:
After the understandable uproar, the Oberlin administration issued a short statement defending Karega’s right to hold whatever views she wants,
Oberlin College respects the rights of its faculty, students, staff, and alumni to express their personal views. Acknowledgement of this right does not signal institutional support for, or endorsement of, any specific position. The statements posted on social media by Dr. Joy Karega, assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, are hers alone and do not represent the views of Oberlin College.
The Oberlin position is, at one level. principled. Freedom of thought and speech sometimes requires that even the most vile speech is protected.
But the question arises, particularly in light of recent history of Oberlin, would such offensive speech be protected by the Oberlin administration — without even so much as a condemnation — if the speech were against some group other than Jews.
Indeed, that issue goes to the heart of the complaint by the Oberlin alumni group, that what the college never would tolerate as to other groups gets at most a shrug of the shoulders when directed at Jews.
We don’t have to guess. Longtime readers may recall the events of 2013 at Oberlin, covered extensively here, sparked by racist messages on message boards used by Oberlin students and on some posters and graffiti on campus. While the offensive speech also was directed at gays and Jews, by far the biggest controversy and protest surrounded the anti-black speech.
The Oberlin administration reacted swiftly, including all-campus meetings and cancellation of classes, and a denunciation of the remarks:
It turned out that the racist postings were a “hoax” in the sense that they were perpetrated primarily by a liberal Oberlin student trying to troll the campus and spark a debate about racism, as I wrote in The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013
I wrote to the Oberlin President Marvin Krislov to find out if there would be a similar college administrative reaction to Karega’s anti-Semitic rants. My email read, in pertinent part:
I have read news reports regarding the Facebook postings of Prof. Joy Karega, as well as your brief statement in support of her right to make such statements.
I’m writing to inquire whether any campus events or programming are planned with regard to the Karega statements/controversy, similar to what happened in 2013 after racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic statements were posted on message boards and on campus
If no such events are planned, on what basis does the college distinguish the response to the 2013 events from the current controversy?
I have received no response.
This does, indeed, appear to be a test case for Oberlin. Will anti-Semitic rants be treated the same as anti-black, anti-LGBT speech. Will Oberlin prove, in Bradley Burston’s words, that it is not “PEAS – Progressive Except For Anti-Semitism.”
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Joy Karega–yet another grievance studies “scholar” with delusions of relevance.
The Jacob Rothschild meme image is just insane from top to bottom.
The most obvious and indisputable indicator is that it claims his family “is worth 500 trillion dollars”. That would be a neat trick, since the total worth of EVERYONE ON THE PLANET combined is only 241 trillion dollars (Source: Credit Suisse’s 2013 Global Wealth Databook).
Here’s the response I gave the last time this slanderous image showed up on my Facebook feed:
Wow, what complete paranoid conspiracy bulls***. Doesn’t anyone bother to fact-check the crap they help spread around on the internet? Nah, let’s just whip up more fear and loathing by helping to propagandize like mindless morons.
The family net worth is “$500 trillion”, eh? Jacob Rothschild himself has a worth of about $5 billion (as per reliable financial sources, not breathless Facebook posts), which is an impressive amount (although not nearly as much as say Bill Gates or the current Mayor of New York City), but in order to achieve the ridiculous figure quoted in this image, his “family” would have to consist of 100,000 people just as rich as himself.
Not f***ing likely, especially since Forbes magazine, which has an annual feature tracking the world’s richest people, documents only 1,646 people in the entire world who have a net worth of one billion dollars or more. In fact, the combined wealth of the top 500 richest people in the world is only $6.4 trillion, which makes you wonder where the Rothschild’s alleged “$500 trillion” is supposed to be. Oh yeah, in the crazed imagination of the conspiracy freak who wrote this nonsense.
Own “every central bank” in the world? Horse s***.
Financed “both sides of every war since Napoleon” (i.e. over the past 200 years)? Stupid nonsense.
“We own your news, the media, your oil, and your government?” All of them? Really? Someone’s *way* off their meds. The real mystery however is why anyone is gullible enough to repost transparently nutball ravings like this.
I witnessed an angry mob of hundreds of students at CSULA, encouraged by a few “professors,” harass, intimidate, and shove people waiting to see Ben Shapiro speak, and blocking first the front entrance and then the back.
Why? Because he was giving a talk critical of the diversity-by-skin-color industry’s suppression of diversity of thought on college campuses.
I heard one protester say Ben was a racist and supremacist by virtue of the fact he was an Orthodox Jew.
One of the main troublemakers shouted that Ben’s talk on the diversity scam was the equivalent of him (the troublemaker) going into a synagogue and shouting epithets at Jews.
Cast doubt upon, or question the worth of this new diversity industry—-its costs in monetary terms, including layers of diversity administrators and grievance departments … and the debt that saddles these departments’ graduates with degrees deemed worthless by prospective employers … not to mention the social costs in increased racial polarization and animosity—-and the campus administration will sit idly by as the diversity wolves have at you.
But go even further and pointedly criticize one or more of the favored groups of the campus diversity industry and your academic career, whether it be student or professor, is for all practical purposes over.
Unless, of course, you are talking about Jews. (And Caucasian males.)
You can be an assistant professor, without tenure, peddling in the craziest and most offensive anti-Semitic crap we’ve seen since WWII, … and not only will there not be angry mobs hoping to get a hold of you, like the mob hoping to get a hold of Ben Shapiro, but you’ll keep your job and host guest speaker events. And the administration will defend your free speech rights, no matter how evil and deranged your rantings.
If you are a Jew or a Caucasian male, you are a second-class citizen on today’s university campus—-when the first-class citizens are in a bad mood.
If you are a Jew or a Caucasian male who is openly right of center, on today’s university campus, you are a second-class citizen, period.
The problem is not just that her hate-speech would not be tolerated if directed against almost any other group, her qualifications for her position are undermined by statements that are equivalent to a science professor saying landing men on the moon never happened or a history professor saying there were no concentration camps in Nazi Germany.