Google Reassigns Diversity Leader After Antisemitic Blog Post Surfaces (Getty Images)
By Fran Beyer | Thursday, 03 June 2021 05:58 PM
Google has reassigned its diversity and research leader Kamau Bobb after a 14-year-old antisemitic blog post resurfaced, CNBC reported Thursday.
Bobb, who’s headed diversity strategy and research at Google for almost three years, wrote a 2007 blog post about Israel in which he wrote that Jewish people had an “insensitivity” to suffering and stated, “If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself,” the Washington Free Beacon first reported.
He also imagined if he were Jewish, “I don’t know how I would reconcile that identity with the behavior of fundamentalist Jewish extremists or of Israel as a nation.”
The post has been removed, but has been archived.
A Google spokesperson told CNBC Bobb apologized for his remarks and will no longer be part of the diversity team. He will work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at Google.
“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 and our LGBTQ+ community,” the company said in a statement, CNBC reported.
“This has come at at a time where we’ve seen an alarming increase in antisemitic attacks,” the Google spokesperson added. “Antisemitism is a vile prejudice that has given rise to unfathomable acts. It has no place in society and we stand with our Jewish community in condemning it.”
In an email sent to a group of Jewish workers at Google, Bobb also apologized for the 2007 post, saying the ways he expressed his views “were hurtful," explaining that he was trying to critique military action.
“None of this changes or excuses the words i [sic] wrote,” he said, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Michael Dickson, head of the pro-Israel organization Stand With Us, tweeted the blog made "revolting, and anti-Semitic, comparisons between Nazi actions and that of the world's only Jewish country.”
CNBC noted the move comes as the company faces criticism for its commitment to diversity and inclusion — and those who lead it. It also comes as tech companies struggle with how to handle comments made by employees before their employment.