March 8, 2016; New York Times
The limits of free speech and academic freedom on campus are being tested by the social media postings of an Oberlin professor. Students, faculty, alumni, and the greater community at large have condemned her posts as anti-Semitic. These constituencies have pushed the college’s leadership to discipline her for her words, leaving the school’s leadership struggling to find a balance point that satisfies all interests.
At the center of the controversy is Dr. Joy Karega, a non-tenured assistant professor of rhetoric and composition whose teaching and research interests include Black political and protest literacies, translingual composition, rhetoric and composition historiography, social justice writing, and writing pedagogy.
One provocative post featured a picture of financier Jacob Rothschild and this 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.”
Other posts name Israel as the force behind ISIL and having orchestrated the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the destruction of the World Trade Center.
There is little question that much of her speech is offensive and anti-Semitic. For many, tolerating such spee