If you Google the term “anti-Semitism,” the search engine returns a straightforward definition: “Hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people.” By this definition, it is beyond doubt that the statement “Jews have an insatiable appetite for war and killing” is anti-Semitic; replace “Jews” with any other race or ethnic group and there would be no argument about it.
But while Google offers a clear definition online of anti-Semitism, it is much more confused about the matter among its employees. How else to explain, as Alana Goodman of the Free Beacon first reported, that Kamau Bobb, Google’s head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, continues to be employed at the company after saying in a 2007 blog post that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war” and an “insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.”
The post was published on Bobb’s personal blog, which he used as a platform for his views as recently as April 2021 and on which he identified himself as a Google employee. Those facts suggest he felt certain that there would be no professional risk either at the university where he was working when he wrote the post or later at Google for saying that Jews should feel “tormented” by their support of Israel. He was right. Google either didn’t bother to check his published statements before hiring him, or it didn’t care.
The latter appears to be the case since the sentiments Bobb expressed leave no room for doubt about his anti-Semitism. The post is an exercise in moral preening, with Bobb telling Jews how he thinks they should feel: “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.”
If these statements weren’t clear enough, Bobb noted that he was writing them on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and he drew a comparison between Israel’s defense of itself and the Nazis. Because nothing says “inclusion” like telling Jews that the Holocaust was merely a teachable moment.
Google didn’t see this as a teachable moment for Google, that’s for sure. Bobb was not fired for his remarks, despite the fact that, as head of diversity and the person who helps set inclusion policies for a global technology behemoth, he should be held to a higher standard of behavior than his underlings. He was merely reassigned, and, as the BBC reported, Google issued a boilerplate PR statement: “We unequivocally condemn the past writings by a member of our diversity team that are causing deep offense and pain to members of our Jewish community.”
According to the New York Post, Bobb also sent a private email to Jewish employees at Google apologizing for the hurt he caused, although not for his views about the Middle East, in which he showed he was allergic not only to honest self-evaluation but also to proper capitalization. “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.”
This slap on the wrist and let-the-healing-begin approach by Google is in stark contrast to the one it took with engineer James Damore in 2017. Damore, you will recall, committed the unforgivable sin of participating in an internal company chat about diversity and hiring practices during which he suggested that men and women might have different interests and aptitudes that might lead them to pursue different fields of study and professional careers. He also noted that Google was an ideological echo chamber that nurtured an unhealthy “shaming culture and the possibility of being fired” for anyone expressing divergent views.
How right he was. Damore was fired, and in a letter to staff, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he had been let go because “to suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.” Damore later sued Google (the case was dropped after Damore and Google came to an undisclosed agreement in 2020). But the Damore situation sparked a great deal of mainstream-media coverage and hand-wringing about white male privilege.
Participating in an internal company debate where one raises questions about the overreach and claims of diversity training will get you fired; but publishing slurs about Jews? That merits only reassignment, which shows that Google’s devotion to diversity is predicated on whether or not the person speaking is part of a protected progressive class—and whether or not the perceived target is viewed as deserving of progressive scorn. Perhaps, like the Catholic Church and its pedophile priests, Google deems itself a powerful enough institution that it too can protect its archbishops by reassigning rather than removing them, so long as they are acolytes of the new woke religion. Heretics, on the other hand, will face the fire.
This is consistent with the progressive left’s general approach to diversity and justice questions, and its willingness to treat anti-Semites with benign neglect because Jews are seen as “white-adjacent” or not as high on the victimization totem pole as other groups. It’s not as if companies like Google haven’t been enthusiastic supporters of other diversity initiatives.
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing in 2020, Google issued a lengthy statement outlining its commitments to racial equity in hiring and promotion as well as the money and support it had promised to the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet Google has said nothing about the recent spike in anti-Semitic violence, including brutal beatings of Jews on the streets of American cities, despite the fact that Jews are the targets of hate crimes in the U.S. far more frequently than other racial or religious groups.
Part of that has to do with the fact that Google’s workforce is progressive, particularly on matters related to Israel: According to The Verge, some members of the Jewish group at Google to whom Bobb privately apologized claim that the group itself “was not a safe space to express anti-Zionist beliefs,” and they formed their own anti-Israel splinter group. That group demanded that Pichai make a public statement condemning Israel’s response to the recent Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel that would include “direct recognition of the harm done to Palestinians by Israeli military and gang violence.” Not surprisingly, no pressure was placed on Pichai to condemn Hamas’s terrorism, which directly targeted Israeli civilians. The letter further demanded funding for Palestinian causes and “termination of contracts with institutions that support Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, such as the Israeli Defense Forces.”
Google’s inconsistent application of its own supposed principles of diversity and inclusion should be more widely known, but the mainstream media long ago accepted uncritically the notion that anything labeled an effort at fostering diversity cannot and should not be questioned—unless the diversity is ideological. Thus James Damore, a white man, is fair game for dismissal by Google for criticizing diversity dogma, and his story is widely discussed; Kamau Bobb, a black man, remains protected by his institution for his anti-Semitism, and his behavior is barely mentioned in the press. Which is why, as of this writing, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and most other mainstream-media outlets that avidly covered the Damore case have completely ignored the Kamau Bobb story. They employ their own Kamau Bobbs, and that is sufficient for them to cast a blind eye on the matter.
Although appeals to “diversity” are ubiquitous in corporate America, there is little consensus among Americans about what, exactly, diversity means—and little incentive on the part of woke executives or the mainstream media to find out. As the internal contradictions of intersectionality continue to reveal themselves, perhaps the media could spend less time on self-congratulatory reporting of its own “moral clarity” on race and more actual reporting on the hypocrisies embedded in our culture’s pursuit of those things that Kamau Bobb’s former title claimed he represented: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
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