Published On: Sun, Mar 6th, 2016

BREAKING: Chairman of Oberlin Trustees: Joy Karega’s Posts “Abhorrent, ” Calls for Swift Review

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Responding to mounting criticism, Clyde McGregor, Chair of Oberlin College’s Board of Trustees issued the following statement Saturday with regard to the social media postings of Assistant Professor Joy Karega.

At our quarterly Board meeting yesterday, the Trustees of Oberlin College discussed postings on social media by an Oberlin faculty member.

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.

From its founding, Oberlin College has stood for inclusion, respect, and tolerance. We still do.

McGregor’s statement, which does not cite Karega by name, refers to a series of posts on Facebook and Twitter, first reported by on February 25, in which Karega claims, among other things, that a banker named Rothschild secretly owns most of the world’s central banks, that Israel was behind ISIS and the terror attacks of 9/11 and Paris, and that Hurricane Sandy was deliberately engineered as a form of “weaponized” weather. The revelations have unleashed a firestorm of public condemnation, including calls for the non-tentured professor’s dismissal.

McGregor’s statement comes in sharp contrast to the statement delivered Thursday by the college’s president, Marvin Krislov. While conceding the professor’s opinions constituted “conspiracy theories” that “caused pain, ” and drew a comparison to Holocaust denial, Krislov fell short of issuing a direct condemnation, and also took note of the principle of academic freedom.

On Friday, one of Karega’s colleagues,  Abraham Socher, Associate Professor of Religion and Director of Jewish Studies, also called her postings anti-semitic in an essay published at the Oberlin Review.

Citing the original report of Karega’s post at The Tower, Socher provided the history of anti-semitic conspiracy theories – especially those highlighting the Rothschild family.

The most infamous of these conspiracy theories was The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a bizarre, incoherent transcript of supposed secret meetings by powerful, shadowy Jews plotting to take over the world by manipulating the world economy and fomenting war. It drew on 19th-century French royalist documents and was published by ultra-nationalist Russian anti-Semites in 1903. Henry Ford — and, later, Hitler — promoted it, and it’s still a favorite of cranks worried that a nefarious New World Order is about to take over. As a key anti-Semitic document in the 20th century, The Protocols were instrumental in persecutions, riots and, eventually, genocide. The Protocols conspiracy theory was parallel to — and sometimes combined with — the claim that the Rothschilds, a famous Jewish banking family, were also guilty of planning world domination. A Google search will quickly lead you to claims by neo-Nazis that The Protocols are a “Rothschild handbook, ” often focusing on the 87-year-old English philanthropist Jacob Rothschild.

Which brings us back to Professor Karega-Mason’s Facebook posts. In a screenshot of a December 2014 post, she posted a meme of a reptilian-looking Jacob Rothschild — he looks a little like Mr. Burns on The Simpsons — with the text, “Hello there, my name is Jacob Rothschild. My family is worth 500 trillion dollars. We own nearly every central bank in the world. We financed both sides of every war since Napoleon. We own your news, the media, your oil, and your government.” In her post, Professor Karega-Mason comments, “Yep. This family and several others. Which is why I’m not concerned with or interested in any discussions or plans of action that don’t get at things from the top-down.” One can only hope that Professor Karega-Mason is unaware of the actual history of “plans of action” against the nefarious Jews who control the world.

In her writings Karega has explicitly denied ties between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism, claiming that the latter is a means of silencing the former. Yet, as Socher showed, Karega, in the Rothschild post, embraced a classic and universally recognizable anti-semitic trope.

Mid-day Saturday, Karega posted on her Facebook page that on advice of legal counsel she would no longer post on her “situation at Oberlin.”

I will no longer be making any statements concerning my situation at Oberlin. We have reached a point where it is time for me to defer to my legal counsel. … Again, I remain firm in my convictions and resolve.



[Photo: Oberlin College / YouTube ]


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