The funny part is, she seems to think she's winning. No apologies, no I better be more careful about what I say
Karega views letters like Sherizzy’s and others as fodder for her theories: “My Oberlin email, my Facebook message inbox, my office phone voicemail, and my Twitter account are the gifts that keep on giving. Honestly, I’ve been having these moments (very brief moments, haha) where I want to say to those of you who are emailing, calling, and surveilling my social media accounts for malicious, intimidation, and/or silencing purposes: ‘Folks, you all are making my work too easy; handing my research right to me.’”
What research is that? “My second book project, which I have made significant progress on in terms of research, planning, and the drafting of chapter templates, is entitled Conspiratorial Political Literacies: Rhetorical Practice, Contested Knowledge, and Subversive Politics… It’s downright lazy, uncritical, apolitical, homogenizing, and reductionist to frame conspiracy theories — and the rhetors, writers, and theorists who espouse such theories — in the way that much of the general public, governments, and the academy do. (I won’t lay out that argument here. But it’ll be CLEARLY articulated in one of the chapters of the book).”
Karega continues: “(1) How has the term “conspiracy theory” been used (is being used) to control the parameters of inquiry and research in the academy?; (2) How has the uncomplicated tying of conspiracy theories to accusations of anti-Semitism been used (is being used) to control the parameters of inquiry and research in the academy?; (3) What are we dealing with when we’re witnessing accusations of anti-Semitism being directed at scholars and researchers who explore, espouse, and even defend conspiracy theories? Rhetorically, are we looking at silencing techniques, intimidation tactics, etc.?”
The disturbing argument at work behind all the impressive academic verbiage is that a conspiracy theory, and more specifically an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, is a legitimate social discourse that should not be silenced or controlled by “relations of power” that authorize accusations of anti-Semitism. In other words, Karega wants to study how Jews silence anti-Semites.
Here’s Karega again: “Also worth investigating and exploring, I can generate articles for days on what I can describe as ‘anti-Semitism call-out culture’ and some of its accompanying practices. I don’t have to tell some of you that these recent activities in my own professional life have handed me a LARGE body of data (emails, voicemail messages, tweets, Facebook inbox messages, etc.) that will shed light on and provide insight into how and to what extent anti-Blackness rhetorics show up in anti-Semitic call-out culture and practices.”
“Anti-Semitism call-out culture” (which, despite its flaws, other people might think of as “social justice culture” or “human rights culture”) contains “anti-Blackness rhetorics,” according to Karega. So when Jews defend themselves against racism and hate speech they are 1) engaging in a kind of rhetoric based not in morality but in power dynamics, and 2) they are themselves guilty, in an as yet undisclosed manner, of anti-black rhetoric. Elsewhere Karega has argued that it is common “for Black women, who are early in their career on the tenure track as part of the professoriate, to be prime targets for these kinds of activities and practices.”
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.