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Academic Watchdog Backs Oberlin’s Censure of Professor’s Anti-Semitic Posts

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni on Wednesday backed Oberlin College’s Board of Trustees for condemning Professor Joy Karega’s anti-Semitic social media posts. Oberlin’s trustees denounced Karega’s posts, which were first reported by The Tower two weeks ago, as “anti-semitic and abhorrent” on Saturday.

“Oberlin’s trustees are right,” wrote the academic watchdog group on Twitter. “While respecting academic freedom and due process, they must oppose anti-semitism.”

Oberlin Board of Trustees chair Clyde McGregor said in a statement that the trustees discussed the offensive posts during their quarterly meeting, and concluded that “They have no place at Oberlin.”

“These grave issues must be considered expeditiously,” McGregor noted. “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.”

Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov’s initial response to Karega’s posts was to simply disassociate them from those of the school. In a longer statement last week, Krislov, who is Jewish, acknowledged that Karega’s views caused “pain,” but did not explicitly denounce the professor.

An email sent to Oberlin students earlier this week by a man who blamed the 9/11 terror attacks on Israel and Zionist Jews was quickly condemned by the college as “anti-Semitic and deeply offensive.” In one of her postings, Karega endorsed Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s charge that 9/11 had been the work of “Israeli and Zionist Jews.”

Karega posted on her Facebook page on Saturday afternoon that on advice of legal counsel, she “will no longer be making any statements concerning my situation at Oberlin,” but remains “firm in my convictions and resolve.”

[Photo: stu_spivack / Flickr ]