The President of Oberlin College is defending a professor who has been posting anti-Semitic, 9/11 conspiracy rants on social media. College president Marvin Krislov released a letter saying that associate professor Joy Karega is exercising her freedom of speech after there was a "social media uproar" over Karega's postings.
In a letter to the Oberlin community in which President Marvin Krislov expounds on the mission of liberal arts education, Krislov does not name Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, but it is clear in the writing he is responding to online news sources that have published screenshots from Karega’s personal Facebook page and vilified her in blog posts, comments and tweets directed at Oberlin College.
Karega has since changed the privacy settings on her social media accounts to restrict access to her posts.
“Since the initial blog post, I have heard from many people,” Krislov wrote. “Their messages range from demands for the professor’s immediate dismissal to demands that her right to free expression be defended at all costs.”
Kirslov, an orthodox Jew, said the posting affected him very personally.
“I am a practicing Jew, grandson of an Orthodox rabbi. Members of our family were murdered in the Holocaust,” he wrote. “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.”
Krislov went on to say, “I am also the son of a tenured faculty member at a large research university. My father instilled in me a strong belief in academic freedom,” he wrote. “I believe, as the American Association of University Professors says, that academic freedom is ‘the indispensable quality of institutions of higher education’ because it encourages free inquiry, promotes the expansion of knowledge, and creates an environment in which learning and research can flourish.”
The New York Post reports:
Karega, who has worked at Oberlin only since last year, wrote on numerous Facebook posts that she believes Israel was the mastermind behind numerous terrorist attacks around the world including 9/11 and the Charlie Hebdo slaughter in Paris.
Last January, she posted a graphic of an ISIS militant pulling off a mask of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face with the text, “France wants to Free Palestine? Time for a false flag…”
“This ain’t even hard. They unleashed Mossad on France and it’s clear why,” Karega wrote in a now-private post, referencing Israel’s intelligence agency.
In another post, she claimed that ISIS was created by the CIA and Mossad so that “Israeli and Zionist Jews” could carry out the 9/11 terror attacks.
Karga was one of the professors named as deserving tenure in a list of demands to the college administration from the Black Lives Matter movement.