Personal views

Oberlin has placed Joy Karega on administrative leave while it investigates her anti-Semitic postings.

In February, the news site The Tower published the posts made by Dr. Karega, an assistant professor who teaches rhetoric and composition, most dated back to early 2015. The private liberal arts school in Ohio at first defended its faculty members’ rights to express personal views, but in March, Clyde S. McGregor, the board chairman, wrote in a statement on behalf of the college’s board of trustees that “these grave issues must be considered expeditiously.”

That statement also described the posts Dr. Karega made as “anti-Semitic and abhorrent.” In her posts, Dr. Karega suggested that the Islamic State was funded by the C.I.A. and the Mossad organization, the Israeli intelligence service, and that Mossad was behind the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris.

But what about academic freedom? But then again what about basic intellectual values?

On Facebook, Dr. Karega seemed to respond: “Equitable?” she wrote on Wednesday, before adding that she had no comment and was on vacation with her daughter.

On Wednesday evening, Dr. Karega shared a statement written on her behalf by Chui Karega, an attorney based in Detroit. The statement accused Oberlin of “pandering to the dictates of a handful of vocal and wealthy religious zealots.”

The statement continued: “It is truly regrettable that an institution such as Oberlin College, with a historical legacy of activism and social justice, particularly in terms of African Americans, is being used as a personal tool of religious extremism by a small number of people.”

It’s also regrettable that an institution such as Oberlin College should employ academics who peddle tin-hat conspiracy theories.

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