Google is once again showing its true colors, as the company has decided not to fire an anti-Semitic member of its “diversity team.”
After anti-Semitic comments he made in 2007 reemerged, Kamau Bobb wasn’t fired. Instead, Google moved him from his position as the “Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research” to a “STEM research role.”
The comments, which were made on a since-deleted blog post titled “If I Were A Jew,” were absolutely abhorrent. In the post, Bobb claimed that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war and killing,” and that Israel had an “insatiable appetite for vengeful violence.”
He has reportedly apologized for the post, writing in the “Jewgler” internal group at Google.
“My blog is a place for my personal reflection on a number of complex issues spanning years. [R]eading it again and seeing the pain it’s caused, I would like to respond directly and honestly,” Bobb wrote in an email shared by The New York Post.
“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 added.
“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,” Bobb concluded. “None of this changes or excuses the words I wrote — but I am deeply sorry for them.”
In a statement, 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 and our LGBTQ+ community.”
“These writings are unquestionably hurtful,” the statement read. “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.”
In his 2007 blog post, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon, Bobb wrote, “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.”
“If I were a Jew today, my sensibilities would be tormented. I would find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the long cycles of oppression that Jewish people have endured and the insatiable appetite for vengeful violence that Israel, my homeland, has now acquired,” he continued.
The anti-Semite also used the anniversary of Kristallnacht to criticize Jews.
“This reconciliation would be particularly difficult now, in November, 79 years after Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Glass. The anniversary of this dreadfully monumental day in my history would bring me pause. It would force me to reflect on the legacy of extraordinary human suffering. I might wonder how the vicious eruption of cruelty in the mid-twentieth century has influenced the shape of my identity as a Jewish person and our collective identity as Jewish people,” he said.
When the anti-Semitic comments were uncovered, StopAntisemitism.org responded on Twitter, asking “How is the obscene, antisemitic bigot still employed there?”
"If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing“
“I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others."
– Kamau Bobb, head of diversity at @Google
🤯 How is the obscene, antisemitic bigot still employed there? pic.twitter.com/IzXQkAzmv9
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) June 2, 2021