Oberlin Professor Retained Despite Controversial Facebook Postings

1456789323213We have another case of a professor who was put under scrutiny for her postings on social media. Joy Karega, an assistant professor of “rhetoric and composition” at Oberlin College posted bizarre claims on Facebook blaming Jews and Israel for 9/11 as well as ISIS. The college however has decided that such postings are protected and it is correct in doing so. However, once again, there is a concern over how colleges treat such controversies depending on the views and conclusions of the academics or students.

1456780943903Karega reportedly posted controversial statements after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, including a picture showing an Islamic State terrorist with a Star of David tattoo pulling off a mask, exposing the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She added “This ain’t even hard. They unleashed Mossad on France and it’s clear why.” She explained that the massacre was part of a conspiracy to stop French support for Palestinians. She also posted a statement that Islamic State is not Islamic, but rather “a CIA and Mossad operation” and even frustration that “there’s too much information out here for the general public not to know this.”

Then there is her view that “Israeli and Zionist Jews” orchestrated the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

As wacky and weird these comments may be, they were made by an academic outside of their classes and express her political and historical viewpoint. Nevertheless, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center has called the speech ‘the worst kind of anti-Semitic rhetoric” and insisted that “it is not acceptable for the dean to hide behind academic freedom and claim this is freedom of speech.” She added that Karega “needs to be thrown off campus immediately.”

It is in fact free speech and there are academic protections for unpopular speech. The college is right. However, there is a growing concern over the test being applied to academics based on the content of such speech. The controversy raises again the question of a double standard in controversies at the University of California and Boston University, where there have been criticism of a double standard, even in the face of criminal conduct. Recently, we discussed a case at the University of London involving Bahar Mustafa. We recently saw a student suspended for a joke on Yik Yak that was denounced as racist. Another student was fired for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement.

Oberlin is facing increasing criticism from Jewish groups and students who have objected to the advocacy on campus by the movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction Israel (BDS). Various students organizations support the BDS and the Jewish students have objected that the movement “demonizes the Jewish state” and creates a threatening and unwelcoming environment for them. Such objections miss the point of educational institutions as forums for a wide array of different views and belief systems. Just as the BDS advocates should be free speach, so too are Jewish groups opposing the BDS. What is describes as a “toxic climate” is actually a free speech climate where people are free to speak their minds and answer the opposing views of others.

marvin_mainOberlin College President Marvin Krislov embraced those values in a letter in discussing the necessity of free speech at Oberlin and other academic institutions:

“I am a practicing Jew, grandson of an Orthodox rabbi. Members of our family were murdered in the Holocaust. As someone who has studied history, I cannot comprehend how any person could or would question its existence, its horrors and the evil which caused it. I feel the same way about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Regardless of the reason for spreading these materials, they cause pain for many people — members of our community and beyond. . . . Cultivating academic freedom can be difficult and at times painful for any college community. The principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech are not just principles to which we turn to face these challenges, but also the very practices that ensure we can develop meaningful responses to prejudice . . .

This freedom enables Oberlin’s faculty and students to think deeply about and to engage in frank, open discussion of ideas that some may find deeply offensive. Those discussions — in classrooms, residence halls, libraries, and across our campus and town — take place every day here. They are a vital part of the important work of liberal arts education at Oberlin and in our country.”

As for Karega, she says that the criticism of her has given her material for a new book and is simply part of the “antisemitism call-out culture.” She has further suggested that the criticism is racist”

“… I can generate articles for days on what I can describe as “antisemitism call-out culture” and some of its accompanying practices. I don’t have to tell some of you that these recent activities in my own professional life have handed me a LARGE body of data (emails, voicemail messages, tweets, Facebook inbox messages, etc.) that will shed light on and provide insight into how and to what extent anti-Blackness rhetorics show up in antisemitic call-out culture and practices.”

Once again, Karega’s views are not the issue, but rather her right to hold and speak opposing views. However, the same standard should be applied to professors and students being punished for their views under ill-defined “hate speech” rules.

47 thoughts on “Oberlin Professor Retained Despite Controversial Facebook Postings”

  1. Some concerns about a professor’s bigotry impacting his students is reasonable. For instance, Scalia’s students may have been so impacted:

    http://gawker.com/black-former-law-students-of-antonin-scalia-recall-unfa-1759753655

    Excerpt:

    Scalia was a law professor of mine, and was on the faculty of the U of Chicago the entire three years I attended. The law school is one of the smallest in the country, housed in one building and relatively intimate as graduate schools go. While I was there, Scalia was outed as a blatant racist to the extent that the Black American Law Students Association (BALSA) chapter at the law school brought it to the attention of acting Dean Norval Morris in several meetings. Scalia flunked every black student who took his classes that year. Nobody flunks courses in elite law schools. It’s unheard of. He flunked one brother so badly, it skewered his grade average, and he became the first, last, and only student in the history of the school to repeat first year. That man went on to become a repected [sic] military judge.

  2. L’Observer, can you identify one incorrect, false, or misleading statement that I’ve made in my detailed post? ………… I didn’t think so. And for good reason. Everything that I wrote is documented within my post for the reader’s convenience., so he/she can look up the evidence for themselves. But you don’t seem like the kind of person who cares about facts. That’s okay. Neither does Joy Karega, the creature teacher in this story, and a real dummy. She was probably your teacher.

  3. Plus, this whole anti-semitic thing that Jews run the world is really a slippery slope, because, objectively speaking, there are a whole lot of facts which indicate that they do. Sheeesh, they run the top studios in Hollywood, and like 5 out of the top 6 six newspaper/media conglomerates. That’s the biggest impact on public opinion. The last 3 Fed Prez’s have been Jewish, and Wall Street is lousy with Jews. All of this from like 2% of the population. They are way out of proportion over-represented in leadership positions.

    When candidates (Dems and GOP) start doing the “I’m Israel’s bestest friend!” hora, my cynical view is that’s prompted more by not wanting to p*ss off the media and Hollywood Jews, than it is any sincere love of Israel.

    Now, the “facts” are not necessarily proof of a Jewish Conspiracy to tank us all goys, but you know your average schmuck out there doesn’t do logical thinking very well, and when you start laying out verifiable facts of this over-representation, you can’t really say they are just totally stupid to reach those conclusions.

    Remember, Adolph Hitler did NOT start off life as an anti-semite. Quite the opposite. He became anti-semitic in the post WWI years when he was in Vienna, and started reading a few anti-semitic things and then started making connections to things he was seeing. Sooo, like I said, anti-semitism is a really slippery slope that it don’t take much to start sliding down.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  4. The salient point is whether Ms Karega allows her personal views to affect how she treats Jewish students, or if it reflects her grasp of her subject matter. For instance, it would be concerning if she had such ignorant beliefs and was a Jewish Studies professor. I think the same can be asked of any professor – do Liberals treat conservative students more harshly, for example?

    If she does not allow her personal beliefs to color her judgement in the classroom, then this is just her right to free speech. And the students have the right to proclaim her beliefs completely absurd, as well as to call her out of using her concentration of melanin as a defense against criticism.

    I agree with Professor Turley that one of the most exciting aspects of university life is supposed to be this class of different ideas, cultures, beliefs, traditions, and mores. You are supposed to be confronted with different ideas, debate them, or learn to tolerate differences. If we keep making universities homogenized and follow a “state belief system” of Liberalism, then we are matriculating students that are not equipped to function with tolerance in the world. We’ve known for years, for instance, that conservative topics tend to be penalized in the university classroom. We all knew in school that you had to write like an ultra Liberal to get the grade. I wish all that would be thrown out, and we would return schools to the great melting pot of ideas.

    Ms Karega’s beliefs are actually common among extremists. I have heard her opinions, almost verbatim before, from people raised in the Middle East to believe the Holocaust never happened and all the world’s ills are the Jews’ fault. When you’re raised in a country without good education systems, and your leaders make absurd claims like Muslims discovered America and built a mosque there, then you don’t know any better. And sometimes the ideas of brainwashed people spread to those who should know better. I recall a relative of a good friend of mine was so nice in all ways, except one – he was rabidly anti-semitic. He was raised in Iran. He declared that the Jews caused 9/11, and they all stayed home. He was adamant that not a single Jew died in 9/11. He was adamant that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by the Zionist movie studios in America. I showed him a list of the 9/11 dead, with their religion listed. He didn’t listen. I showed him how many names sounded like they were probably Jewish. All lies he said. I showed him a WWII helmet from my family, with a massive dent in the side, as well as Nazi stuff we captured from the enemy, to prove my family served in the war. I repeated stories we’d heard about the concentration camps. Showed photographs online. My family were certainly no movie moguls. He still didn’t believe me. Sometimes there is just no reasoning with the unreasonable.

    The advantage of an open free speech theater is that you will have to defend your ideas, and perhaps you’ll change your mind or learn something.

  5. BTW

    Oberlin is a very LIBERAL and highly regarded small university.

    Oh dear. Look at what the very liberal university has done – upheld all those free speech protections we all hold so dear – all those protections that we are so sure are under attack by craven liberals.

    I count myself as a liberal. And yet, I wish she could be fired. I hate the idea of a nut job educating our kids – whether it is Oberlin’s nut job or Texas’ State Board of Education nut job:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/schooled/2016/03/02/mary_lou_bruner_extremist_who_thinks_obama_was_a_prostitute_heads_to_runoff.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Vox%20Sentences%203/2/16&utm_term=Vox%20Newsletter%20All

  6. This story only demonstrates what we already know: attacks against Jews, Christians, and Israel are perfectly acceptable. Much of the 911 “Truther” crowd has been hijacked by the CIA disinformation specialists, and one of their favorite angles is to put the blame of Jews and Israel, of course. This diverts attention from the real criminals behind 911. But the fact is that Israel (and many other nations) WARNED the US Government about the pending attacks because their intelligence had identified some of the key players. And as with any crime that needs to be solved, you always apply the cui bono question. Israel did not benefit in the slightest. But the big winners were the military industrial complex players in the Iraq war that generated billions upon billions of dollars, and the Saudis, who became even more powerful as a result of 911. The code name for the 911 plan was called “The BIg Wedding.” Here’s some photos of that unholy alliance: https://www.google.com/search?q=photos+of+bush+kissing+saudi&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=971&tbm=isch&imgil=ZTc26F-jwK3N0M%253A%253Ba2tLPrEfZ5n30M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.tulsaworld.com%25252Fopinion%25252Fbruceplante%25252Fbruce-plante-cartoon-saudi-arabia-and-isis%25252Farticle_2afd9b2c-1747-5f3c-8f1e-5d9c5162787d.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=ZTc26F-jwK3N0M%253A%252Ca2tLPrEfZ5n30M%252C_&usg=__lWE6uI_gv6HEXMNkE0DjC5skdAc%3D&ved=0ahUKEwjcydb4kqXLAhVU-WMKHf6vAkAQyjcIMg&ei=noLYVtyCGdTyjwP-34qABA#imgrc=ZTc26F-jwK3N0M%3A

    And here’s the evidence that the US Government knew all about the 911 attacks in advance and that Israel, if anything, tried to WARN the US Government:

    General Warnings

    1. In late 2000, British investigators teamed up with their counterparts in the Cayman Islands and began a year long probe of three Afghan men who had entered the Cayman Islands illegally. [Miami Herald, 9/20/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01] In June 2001, the Afghan men were overheard discussing hijacking attacks in New York City, and were promptly taken into custody. This information was forwarded to US intelligence [Fox News, 5/17/02]. In late August 2001, shortly before the attacks, an anonymous letter to a Cayman radio station alleged these same men were al-Qaeda agents “organizing a major terrorist act against the US via an airline or airlines.” [Miami Herald, 9/20/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, MSNBC, 9/23/01]

    2. In late July 2001, Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil learned that Osama bin Laden was planning a “huge attack” on targets inside America. The attack was imminent, and would kill thousands, he learned from the leader of the rebel Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which was closely allied with al-Qaeda at the time. Muttawakil sent an emissary to pass this information on to the US Consul General, and another US official, “possibly from the intelligence services.” Sources confirmed that this message was received, but supposedly not taken very seriously, because of “warning fatigue” arising from too many terror warnings. [Independent, 9/7/02, Reuters, 9/7/02]

    3. Also in late July 2001, the US was given a “concrete warning” from Argentina’s Jewish community. “An attack of major proportions” was planned against either the US, Argentina, or France. The information came from an unidentified intelligence agency. [Forward, 5/31/02]

    4. An undercover agent from Morocco successfully penetrated al-Qaeda. He learned that bin Laden was “very disappointed” that the 1993 bombing had not toppled the World Trade Center, and was planning “large scale operations in New York in the summer or fall of 2001.” He provided this information to the US in August 2001. [Agence France Presse, 11/22/01, International Herald Tribune, 5/21/02, London Times, 6/12/02]

    5. Hosni Mubarak, then President of Egypt, maintained that in the beginning of September 2001 Egyptian intelligence warned American officials that al-Qaeda was in the advanced stages of executing a significant operation against an American target, probably within the US. [AP, 12/7/01, New York Times, 6/4/02] He learned this information from an agent working inside al-Qaeda. [ABC News, 6/4/02]

    Many warnings specifically mentioned a threat coming from the air:

    1. In 1999, British intelligence gave a secret report to the US embassy. The report stated that al-Qaeda had plans to use “commercial aircraft” in “unconventional ways,”“possibly as flying bombs.” [Sunday Times, 6/9/02] On July 16, 2001, British intelligence passed a message to the US that al-Qaeda was in “the final stages” of preparing a terrorist attack in Western countries. [London Times, 6/14/02] In early August, the British gave another warning, telling the US to expect multiple airline hijackings from al-Qaeda. This warning was included in Bush’s briefing on August 6, 2001. [Sunday Herald, 5/19/02]

    2. In June 2001, German intelligence warned the US, Britain, and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols which stand out.” Within the American intelligence community, “the warnings were taken seriously and surveillance intensified” but “there was disagreement on how such terrorist attacks could be prevented.” This warning came from Echelon, a spy satellite network that is partly based in Germany. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01, Washington Post, 9/14/01]

    3. In late July 2001, Egyptian intelligence received a report from an undercover agent in Afghanistan that “20 al-Qaeda members had slipped into the US and four of them had received flight training on Cessnas.” To the Egyptians, pilots of small planes didn’t sound terribly alarming, but they passed on the message to the CIA anyway, fully expecting Washington to request information. “The request never came.” [CBS, 10/9/02] Given that there were 19 hijackers and four pilots (who trained on Cessnas) in the 9/11 plot, one might think this would now be a big news item. But in fact, the information has only appeared as an aside in a CBS “60 Minutes” show about a different topic.

    4. In late summer 2001, Jordan intelligence intercepted a message stating that a major attack was being planned inside the US and that aircraft would be used. The code name of the operation was Big Wedding, which did in fact turn out to be the codename of the 9/11 plot. The message was passed to US intelligence through several channels. [International Herald Tribune, 5/21/02, Christian Science Monitor, 5/23/02]

    5. Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly stated that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the US in the summer of 2001 that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01] The Russian newspaper Izvestia claimed that Russian intelligence agents knew the participants in the attacks, and: “More than that, Moscow warned Washington about preparation for these actions a couple of weeks before they happened.” [Izvestia, 9/12/02]

    6. Five days before 9/11, the priest Jean-Marie Benjamin was told by a Muslim at an Italian wedding of a plot to attack the US and Britain using hijacked airplanes as weapons. He wasn’t told time or place specifics. He immediately passed what he knew on to a judge and several politicians in Italy. Presumably this Muslim confided in him because Benjamin has done considerable charity work in Muslim countries and is considered “one of the West’s most knowledgeable experts on the Muslim world.” [Zenit, 9/16/01] Benjamin has not revealed who told him this information, but it could have come from a member of the al-Qaeda cell in Milan, Italy. This cell supplied forged documents for other al-Qaeda operations, and wiretaps show members of the cell were aware of the 9/11 plot. [Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02, Guardian, 5/30/02, Boston Globe, 8/4/02] For instance, in August 2000, one terrorist in Milan was recorded saying to another: “I’m studying airplanes. I hope, God willing, that I can bring you a window or a piece of an airplane the next time we see each other.” The comment was followed by laughter [Washington Post, 5/31/02]. In another case in January 2001, a terrorist asked if certain forged documents were for “the brothers going to the United States,” and was angrily rebuked by another who told him not to talk about that “very, very secret” plan. [Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02] In March 2001, the Italian government gave the US a warning based on these wiretaps. [Fox News, 5/17/02]

    Israel gave the US several specific warnings of the 9/11 attacks.

    1. In the second week of August 2001, two high-ranking agents from the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, came to Washington and warned the CIA and FBI that 50 to 200 al-Qaeda terrorists had slipped into the US and were planning an imminent “major assault on the US” aimed at a “large scale target” [Telegraph, 9/16/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01 Fox News, 5/17/02]. Near the end of August, France also gave a warning that was an “echo” of Israel’s. [Fox News, 5/17/02]

    2. In October 2002, the story broke in Europe and Israel that on August 23, 2001, the Mossad had given the CIA a list of 19 terrorists living in the US. The Mossad had said that the terrorists appeared to be planning to carry out an attack in the near future. It is unknown if these are the same 19 names as the actual hijackers, or if the number is a coincidence. However, the four names on the list that are known are names of the 9/11 hijackers: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, and Mohamed Atta. [Die Zeit, 10/1/02, Der Spiegel, 10/1/02, BBC, 10/2/02, Ha’aretz, 10/3/02] These are also probably the four most important of the hijackers (and two of the pilots). From them, there were many connections to the others. The CIA had already been monitoring three of them overseas the year before, and two, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, were put on a watch list the same day the Mossad gave this warning. [AFP, 9/22/01, Berliner Zeitung, 9/24/01, Observer, 9/30/01, New York Times, 9/21/02]

  7. Here is a very fine speech given by Justice Souter regarding how he views the Constitution. Just thought that all the readers here who are interested in the Constitution may find it thought provoking.

    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/05/text-of-justice-david-souters-speech/

    Here is one very small excerpt that I found so very interesting:

    “Another reason is that the Constitution contains values that may well exist in tension with each other, not in harmony. ”

    In particular, I think Olly, our Federalist, may find much to think about.

  8. In constitutional cases, could “privacy filters” play a major role? In other words was it truly a “public” posting for all to see -or- was it only family and close friends? Did her students actually have access to the postings?

    In constitutional terms that is the difference between offending someone in your own house or preaching from a soap box on a street corner to 100 people or 1000 people. Also if anyone was offended they can opt to “unfriend” that speaker.

  9. WAKE UP AMERICA !
    YOUR GOVERNMENT IS HIJACKED BY ZIONISM
    The Satanic state of Israel, Zionist Jews have hijacked the American media & political system

    Israel & American Traitors did 9/11
    2016 Election Cover-up

    America, stop funding Israel / Zionism. Your money is used in killing & maiming babies and children

    America has surreptitiously been taken over by the Zionist Jews / Israel. Congress is a Zionist Jew puppet agency. Those who can’t be bribed are blackmailed, threatened or prosecuted

    The Zionist Jew U.S. Government / U.S. Media and Israel are America’s Enemies. They are War Criminals, Mass Murderers, Liars and Thieves. They did 9/11. They have blood on their hands

    The Zionist Jew Local and National Media are complicit in the U.S. Government / Israeli crimes by omitting the Truth and telling us lies. We need to realize this now and put them out of power

    Judaism Rejects Zionism and the state of Israel. Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism. Zionism is not Judaism. Many Jews are not Zionists, they reject Zionism and are our brothers in this struggle

    New York City: 10,000+ Jews Against Israel and Zionism
    (U.S. Media Blackout)

  10. Put Joy on “Guess who the Jew is” game show. Rate and rank races for cash prizes too.

  11. Q: How do insane cranks like this get these jobs?

    A: The academy seeks far left political activists to lead the campus political culture and this type of insanity is mainstream among the qualified group.

  12. They made the right decision, but if I were her, I wouldn’t do any writing for a while. 🙂

  13. Joseph Jones – the word Jew was used long before you claim. The Jew of Malta was written by Kit Marlowe in 1589 or 1590. That predates you by almost 2 centuries. Shakespeare used it in The Merchant of Venice where Shylock is a Jew, in 1596.

  14. “As wacky and weird these comments may be”

    Certainly most mainstream US journalists today would say that Ms Karega’s comments are wacky and weird. (The US version of Xi’s demands are alive and well) There are probably more people in the US who agree with Ms Karega’s comments than disagree, but are afraid to say so out loud. False flag events throughout history support the notion that 9-11 was probably facilitated by insiders, considering that those in power had been seeking a reason to attack and destroy oil-rich areas in MENA. The official conspiracy theory is no more believable than other theories. To many people, it’s less believable than other theories.

  15. So you wonder why our kids are coming out of school with no prospects?

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