- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 3, 2021

Google has reassigned its chief of diversity strategy over a resurfaced blog post that was “unquestionably hurtful” to the Jewish community, the company said Thursday.

In a 2007 blog post about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, first reported this week by the Washington Free Beacon, Kamau 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 [of] others,” Mr. Bobb wrote in his personal blog while he was a research associate in technology at Georgia Tech, the Free Beacon reported.

Mr. Bobb, who posted on the blog as recently as April 21, has deleted the post.

In another now-deleted 2007 post about non-traditional relationships and religion, Mr. Bobb wrote that he “always” bristles when “homosexuals” equate intolerance of their sexual orientation “to intolerance of black skin.” He wrote that he had “realized that within my inner emotional core, not only do I not agree with homosexuality, I still despise it in a way that I would not want there to be any connection between my personal character and it.”

A Google spokesperson said Mr. Bobb had been taken off the diversity team over the posts.

“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 told the New York Post.

“These writings are unquestionably hurtful,” the company told the BBC. “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.

“This has come at a time where we’ve seen an alarming increase in anti-Semitic attacks,” the spokesperson added. “Anti-Semitism … has no place in society and we stand with our Jewish community in condemning it.”

Mr. Bobb did not comment publicly on the matter but reportedly apologized to Google‘s Jewish staff for the writings.

“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,” he wrote in an email obtained by the Post.

“Let me first apologize,” he continued. “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.

“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,” he added. “None of this changes or excuses the words I wrote – but I am deeply sorry for them.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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