Marvin Krislov’s statement would be more plausible if the commitment of American colleges and universities to academic freedom and the freedom of speech weren’t so one-sided today. Joy Karega has written “Facebook posts blaming Israel and Jews for everything from 9/11 to the creation of ISIS.” For that, we get reminded that “cultivating academic freedom can be difficult and at times painful for any college community.” All right. But how much difficulty is Mr. Krislov willing to tolerate in pursuit of academic freedom and the freedom of speech? Would he, say, employ a professor who taught that Islam was not, in fact, a religion of peace, but contained doctrines of warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers? I expect that Mr. Krislov and every other college president in the country would drop such a professor in a hot New York minute. But Joy Karega’s paranoid Jew-hatred? Why, that fits right in on campuses today. Professors like Joy Karega are being hired by the pound in colleges and universities all over the country — and when they become too obvious about what they’re doing, we hear for the first and only time from these ugly little totalitarian statelets that they believe in “academic freedom and freedom of speech.” They do — but only if one holds acceptably Leftist points of view.
“Oberlin College president appears to defend controversial professor in letter,” FoxNews.com, March 3, 2016:
The head of a prestigious Ohio school appeared to have defended a professor whose Facebook posts blaming Israel and Jews for everything from 9/11 to the creation of ISIS created an uproar earlier this week.
Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov said in a letter to the college community Wednesday that professor Joy Karega’s posts on social media affected him on a personal level and also challenged his professional beliefs, according to The Chronicle-Telegram.
“I am a practicing Jew, grandson of an Orthodox rabbi. Members of our family were murdered in the Holocaust,” Krislov wrote. “As someone who has studied history, I cannot comprehend how any person could or would question its existence, its horrors and the evil which caused it. I feel the same way about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Regardless of the reason for spreading these materials, they cause pain for many people — members of our community and beyond.”
He didn’t mention Karega’s name in the letter, but said backing the right to freedom of speech was parallel to the college’s mission.
“Cultivating academic freedom can be difficult and at times painful for any college community. The principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech are not just principles to which we turn to face these challenges, but also the very practices that ensure we can develop meaningful responses to prejudice.
“This freedom enables Oberlin’s faculty and students to think deeply about and to engage in frank, open discussion of ideas that some may find deeply offensive. Those discussions — in classrooms, residence halls, libraries, and across our campus and town — take place every day here. They are a vital part of the important work of liberal arts education at Oberlin and in our country,” he added….