The head of diversity strategy at Google has come under fire for making antisemitic comments several years ago against Jewish people, but the company affirmed Thursday he will remain employed by the Big Tech giant, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Kamau Bobb, who previously worked on the computer science education team, will be relocated back to a science and technology team after his remarks. Bobb made headlines for a 2007 blog post of his that resurfaced titled “If I Were A Jew.”
“If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself,” Bobb wrote. “Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] 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.”
Bobb also wrote Jews ought to be “tormented” and that the Holocaust should have given Jews “human compassion.”
On Wednesday, the diversity chief apologized to Jewish employees at Google. A consultant for the company forwarded the Free Beacon the note. While Bobb apologized for his comments, he noted in the email to staff that his blog “is a place for my personal reflection on a number of complex issues spanning years.”
“[T]he world is leaving us all feeling unsafe and unsettled right now. i certainly don’t want to contribute to that,” Bobb wrote. “[N]one of this changes or excuses the words i wrote – but i am deeply sorry for them.”
Jewish groups called out the employee for his remarks.
“.@Google must fire this #antisemite #KamauBobb,” tweeted the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading antisemitism watchdog group.
— SimonWiesenthalCntr (@simonwiesenthal) June 2, 2021
“Did @Google Google [Bobb]? He’s not fit for this post,” wrote Michael Dickson, executive director of the group Stand With Us.
I searched for "antisemitism" and "hypocrisy".
Here's what I found.
Did @Google Google him?
He's not fit for this post.
And there's more:
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) June 2, 2021
Google released the following statement after the Beacon’s reporting.
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. These writings are unquestionably hurtful,” said Google in the statement. “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.
Bobb deleted his comments from his blog, but an archived version remains. Google did not indicate that the employee would face any termination.
Bobb did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.