Entertainment

Google fails to fire head of diversity over anti-Semitic blog post and instead gives him new job


Google has been blasted after it failed to fire its head of diversity over anti-Semitic blog posts – after the tech giant merely moved him to a different job.  

Kamau Bobb, who is also an ‘Equity in Computing’ don at Georgia Tech, wrote a 2007 blog post, which remains on his website, titled: ‘If I Were A Jew.’

The most offensive section of the blog read, ‘If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself. 

‘Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering of others.’

Google announced on Wednesday that Bobb would be removed from his position as global lead for diversity strategy and research, but would remain with the company in a research role.

Google announced on Wednesday that Bobb would be removed from his position as global lead for diversity strategy and research following his anti-Semitic blog post

Google condemned ‘the past writings by a member of our diversity team that are causing deep offense and pain to members of our Jewish community’ in their statement.

‘These writings are unquestionably hurtful,’ the statement added. ‘The author acknowledges this and has apologized. He will no longer be part of our diversity team going forward and will focus on his STEM work.’

Insider reports that Bobb has not been fired, though. Instead, he has been reassigned to a STEM research role.

Google has not commented on why Bobb ultimately kept a job with the company. 

Google declined to fire Bobb, though, instead reassigning him to a new role

Google declined to fire Bobb, though, instead reassigning him to a new role

Stop Antisemitism, a Jewish group, was among those criticizing Google for not firing Bobb outright. 

‘How is the obscene, antisemitic bigot still employed there?’ the group tweeted. 

In his blog post, Bobb goes on to evoke the memory of Kristallnacht, a Nazi massacre against Jews in 1938, and Holocaust victim Anne Frank to question why Israel lacks ‘compassion’ towards Muslims in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank.

‘My greatest torment would be that I’ve misinterpreted the identity offered by my history and transposed spiritual and human compassion with self righteous impunity,’ the academic wrote. 

Kamau Bobb was Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google and the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech

Kamau Bobb was Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google and the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech

According to his website, Bobb – who grew up in Brooklyn – is the ‘Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google and the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech.’

Prior to this he worked for the US government at the National Science Foundation where he was ‘responsible for $30 million annually of investments targeted on improving computing and STEM [Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education.’  

Critics rounded on Bobb after the blog post was highlighted in an article by the Washington Free Beacon.

Michael Dickson, director of Stand With Us, which educates people to fight anti-Semitism, tweeted: ‘All of this begs the question whether (1) Google did due diligence when selecting Kamau Bobb for the sensitive position of global Google DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) Director and (2) whether he should remain in these positions.’

In another tweet, Dickson wrote that Bobb made ‘revolting, and antisemitic, comparisons between Nazi actions and that of the world’s only Jewish country. He portrays Jews as bloodthirsty.’ 

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, an educational establishment which takes its name from the Jewish Austrian Holocaust survivor, Nazi hunter, and writer, tweeted: ‘Google must fire this #antisemite #KamauBobb.’

DailyMail.com has contacted Bobb and Google for comment. He hadn’t responded to requests for comment from the Free Beacon.

The 14-year-old blog post came as a small group of Google employees recently demanded executives cut ties with Israeli businesses following last month’s bombing campaign against Islamist terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

An internal letter to CEO Sundar Pichai urged a company-wide statement ‘recognizing the violence in Palestine and Israel, which must include direct recognition of the harm done to Palestinians by Israeli military and gang violence.’

It also argued that Google should ‘reject any definition of antisemitism that holds that criticism of Israel or Zionism is antisemitic,’ which is ‘limiting freedom of expression and distracting from real acts of antisemitism.’

The letter had only around 250 signatures as of the middle of May. 

Kamau Bobb previously worked for the US government at the National Science Foundation

Kamau Bobb previously worked for the US government at the National Science Foundation

In his 14-year-old blog post, Bobb wrote: ‘Suffering and oppression typically give rise to sympathy and compassion among the oppressed … I would conclude that my Jewish faith and the history of my people render me closer to human compassion; closer to the instinct to offer healing to hurt, patience to anxiety and understanding to confusion.

‘I don’t know how I would reconcile that identity with the behavior of fundamentalist Jewish extremists or of Israel as a nation …

‘I wouldn’t understand those who suggest that bombing Lebanon, slaughtering Lebanese people and largely destroying Beirut in retaliation for the capture of a few soldiers is justified.

‘I wouldn’t understand the notion of collective punishment, cutting off gas, electricity and water from residents in Gaza because they are attacking Israel who is fighting against them.

‘It would be unconscionable to me to watch Israeli tanks donning the Star of David rumbling through Ramallah destroying buildings and breaking the glass.’ 

The essay concludes with the paragraph: ‘If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself. Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering others. My greatest torment would be that I’ve misinterpreted the identity offered by my history and transposed spiritual and human compassion with self righteous impunity.’

According to the New York Post, Bobb sent an apology to the ‘Jewgler’ Employee Resource Group at Google this week.

‘My blog is a place for my personal reflection on a number of complex issues spanning years. Reading it again and seeing the pain it’s caused, I would like to respond directly and honestly,’ Bobb wrote.

‘Let me first apologize. What I wrote crudely characterized the entire Jewish community. What was intended as a critique of particular military action fed into antisemitic tropes and prejudice. I think we can all agree, there is no easy solution to this situation. But that’s beside the point. The way I expressed my views on that conflict were hurtful,’ he continued.

‘My work here at Google is focused on expanding computing pathways through our interface with educational institutions. The world is leaving us all feeling unsafe and unsettled right now. I certainly don’t want to contribute to that.

‘None of this changes or excuses the words I wrote – but I am deeply sorry for them,’ Bobb concluded. 



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button