Oberlin College faculty give their voice against “Bigotry” of colleague

The dragging on of the internal investigation into the conduct of an Orberlin College assistant professor accused of posting anti-Semitic material on social media has tested the patience of her colleagues into action.

Now the majority of the faculty of the college have signed a statement condemning the anti-Semitic conduct of Joy Karega.

“Bigotry has no place on the Oberlin campus (or anywhere),” reads the statement, with 174 signatories across the arts and sciences. “It sullies the values of equality and mutual support that are embedded in our institutional DNA as the first coeducational college and the first to admit students of all races as a matter of policy.”

When the posts came to light, reads the statement, “many of us on the Oberlin faculty initially thought it prudent to wait for our administration to come forward with a response grounded in careful deliberation and due process. It has now become clear that these complex discussions are going to take a while longer.”

In light of the timeline, “as well as the profound, ongoing questions and concerns of our students, their families, our alums, prospective students, their families and the many people around the country who look to Oberlin, the time has finally come for us to go on record, and especially to reassure our students.”

This latest development follows on from a strongly worded statement released by the trustees of the college in early March and reported on by AntiSemitismWatch. The trustees said, “These postings are anti-Semitic and abhorrent. We deplore anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry. They have no place at Oberlin.

These grave issues must be considered expeditiously. 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.”

In late February, news broke on the posts Karega had left on Facebook in 2014-15. For example, Karega shared an image of an ISIS fighter taking off a mask of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Another posted image recalled Nazi-era anti-Jewish propaganda, showing Jacob Rothschild, a member of a well-known Jewish banking family, staring down the words, “We own your news, the media, your oil, and your government.”

One of Karega's posts
One of Karega’s posts

On Friday, the deans of Oberlin’s College of Arts and Sciences and conservatory said in a statement that “conversations have begun within the governing bodies and are moving as expeditiously as possible. As this is a confidential personnel matter, we cannot provide further specifics.”

In other words, the investigation continues.

Read more here.

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