Fired Oberlin College Prof. Joy Karega, who spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, sues for discrimination
“an unrelenting and pervasive conspiracy to terminate the employment of Plaintiff”
Joy Karega is the former Oberlin College professor of social justice writing who caused enormous controversy when her anti-Semitic conspiracy theories she spread on Facebook were revealed.
We covered the story initially, on March 1, 2016, Oberlin anti-Semitic rant Prof hosting BDS event this week:
Last week The Tower magazine broke the story of a “social justice writing” professor at Oberlin, Joy Karega, who engaged in some bizarre anti-Semitic and anti-Israel commentary on Facebook.
The short version is that Karega, at least based on what she posts on Facbeook, sees Zionist and Jewish conspiracies almost everywhere, including claiming Israel was behind 9/11, and that the Charlie Hebdo attack and downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 were Mossad false flag operations. She also circulated and posted about the Rothschild family controlling the media and seeking global domination, so no mere anti-Zionist loon here….
Karega, by the way, was one of the faculty the Black Student Union demanded be granted tenure in its 14-page list of demands. In that same list of demands was the boycott of Israel.
This controversy takes place just weeks after hundreds of alumni signed an Open Letter to Oberlin decrying the anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Semitic atmosphere on campus driven by the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Not surprisingly, Karenga is hosting a pro-BDS event on campus this week sponsored by Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine and featuring Prof. Robin Kelley.
Here are some examples of her postings:
Here are some of our posts as events unfolded:
- Oberlin Trustees condemn Prof’s “anti-Semitic and abhorrent” Facebook posts
- Oberlin’s BDS-loving Jewish-conspiracy-spouting Prof. Joy Karega removed from teaching
- Oberlin Prof. who posted antisemitic memes says she’s a victim of racism
This all culminated in her termination, Oberlin College fires Prof. Joy Karega after antisemitic Facebook posts.
Yesterday Karega was fired effective immediately. The following statement was issued by Oberlin on November 15:
The Oberlin College Board of Trustees, after extensive consideration and a comprehensive review of recommendations from multiple faculty committees and Oberlin President Marvin Krislov, has voted to dismiss Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Joy D. Karega for failing to meet the academic standards that Oberlin requires of its faculty and failing to demonstrate intellectual honesty.
The dismissal is effective Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
As a Board, we agree with President Krislov and every faculty committee reviewing this matter that the central issues are Dr. Karega’s professional integrity and fitness. We affirm Oberlin’s historic and ongoing commitment to academic freedom.
During this process, which began with Dr. Karega’s posting of anti-Semitic writings on social media, Dr. Karega received numerous procedural protections: she was represented by counsel; she presented witness testimony, documents, and statements to support her position; and she had the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses testifying against her.
The faculty review process examined whether Dr. Karega had violated the fundamental responsibilities of Oberlin faculty members – namely, adherence to the “Statement of Professional Ethics” of the American Association of University Professors, which requires faculty members to “accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending and transmitting knowledge” and to “practice intellectual honesty.”
Contrary to this obligation, Dr. Karega attacked her colleagues when they challenged inconsistencies in her description of the connection between her postings and her scholarship. She disclaimed all responsibility for her misconduct. And she continues to blame Oberlin and its faculty committees for undertaking a shared governance review process.
For these reasons, the faculty review committees and President Krislov agreed on the seriousness of Dr. Karega’s misconduct. Indeed, the majority of the General Faculty Council, the executive body of Oberlin’s faculty, concluded that Dr. Karega’s postings could not be justified as part of her scholarship and had “irreparably impaired (her) ability to perform her duties as a scholar, a teacher, and a member of the community.”
In the face of Dr. Karega’s repeated refusal to acknowledge and remedy her misconduct, her continued presence undermines the mission and values of Oberlin’s academic community. Thus, any sanction short of dismissal is insufficient and the Board of Trustees is compelled to take this most serious action.
I noted in that post that in a Facebook post Karega threatened litigation:
I know the news is coming in. Trust me, this is not a surprise. I’ve been dealing with the persecution, incompetent leadership, and discrimination from Oberlin College since March. No surprise here.
I will be issuing an official statement soon. I could easily release a “Kiss My Ass” statement. I would be MORE than justified in doing so. But that is not my style. I choose my weapons CAREFULLY and STRATEGICALLY. And trust, I have done that. There will be a challenge and defense of my rights, using ALL the avenues I have available to me — litigation, public, etc. The pathway for that has already been laid….
A former Oberlin College professor fired after her anti-Semitic online posts drew international criticism sued the liberal-arts college Friday, alleging that officials there discriminated against her and concocted a plot to oust her from her job.
Joilynn Karega-Mason, who worked as an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition from December 2013 to November 2016, says in her lawsuit that Oberlin officials “engaged in an unrelenting and pervasive conspiracy to terminate the employment of Plaintiff.” ….
In her lawsuit, Karega-Mason wrote that she filed unlawful discrimination complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in August 2016. The suit also says she filed a second charge of unlawful discriminatory retaliation in January 2017.
Karega-Mason says the university’s discrimination included filing false charges of professional misconduct, soliciting student complaints, trying to eliminate black people from having the authority to make decisions for the college and ignoring racist language and discrimination committed by men and white women.
The lawsuit also says officials solicited “professionals” from throughout the U.S. “in an effort to generate and manipulate adverse opinion(s)” against her….
[Former Oberlin President Marvin] Krislov, then-arts and sciences Dean Timothy Elgren and then-Board of Trustees chair Clyde McGregor are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Karega-Mason brings claims of breach of contract and employment discrimination, among others, and is seeking more than $885,000 in damages.
Oberlin spokesman Scott Wargo said the college does not comment on pending litigation. Karega-Mason’s attorney Gary Benjamin did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
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