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October 5, 2016 2:14 pm

Oberlin Prof Suspended for Antisemitic Posts Accuses College of Scapegoating Her for Being a ‘Black Woman’

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Oberlin assistant professor Joy Karega. Photo: Facebook.

Oberlin assistant professor Joy Karega. Photo: Facebook.

An academic under investigation for antisemitic social media postings claimed she is being scapegoated due to her color and gender, the student newspaper The Oberlin Review reported late last week.  

Breaking nearly two months of silence, Oberlin assistant professor Joy Karega — who was placed on paid leave in August following an outcry from the Oberlin chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) — said at a campus gathering, “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, a teacher of composition and rhetoric, accused Oberlin ACF of pushing its own agenda and singling her out for scrutiny.

“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. “I am objecting to the way that I have been treated through the avenues that I have available to me.”

Karega told the Review it is “unfortunate” that she has been subject to investigation for her social media postings. These — which included claims that Israel and Jews were behind the 9/11 terror attacks — were discovered in March and condemned by Oberlin’s Board of Trustees as “antisemitic” and “abhorrent.” 

The college, said Karega, has “made it clear to me that I am not a valued and respected member of Oberlin’s faculty.”

Responding to Karega’s claims, Melissa Landa, president of Oberlin ACF, told the Review that the posts “speak for themselves,” and that any professional repercussions Karega experiences will be due to decisions made by Oberlin, not its alumni.

As reported by The Algemeiner in August, Oberlin ACF — part of a national network engaged in combating antisemitism and anti-Israel bias on campus — sent a letter to the Board of Trustees asking for clarification on Karega’s continued employment and the school’s drawn-out investigation into her behavior.

The alumni group’s move came five months after it was revealed by The Tower in March, and also reported on by The Algemeiner, that Karega’s Facebook page was riddled with years’ worth of posts — all of which have subsequently been deleted — invoking traditional antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories found in the notorious hoax, The Protocols of the Elder of Zion.

In March 2015, for example, she accused Israelis and Jews of being behind ISIS, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — and of controlling the world.

Two days after The Algemeiner’s reporting on the outrage surrounding Karega’s continued employment, Oberlin announced it had placed the assistant professor on paid leave until further notice.

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