Prof accuses Jewish academic of backing Nazi-style eugenics
A recent discussion event at University of Arizona attempted to smear the Koch Institute and its operations while accusing a Jewish professor of defending Nazi-style eugenics.
The “Kochs off Campus!” panel featured several academics and focused on examining the Koch Institute and its funding of the university’s Freedom Center. The panel was moderated by Dr. David Gibbs, a history professor at UA, who has been an outspoken critic of the center and its scholarship.
"I'm Jewish, and the idea that you would smear me as somehow defending Nazism is so disgusting and is so taken out of context."
The organizers of the April 3 event also distributed handouts referring to the Koch Institute as a “Kochtopus,” and providing a graphic to illustrate “the reach of the Koch network.”
“The tentacles of the Kochtopus now reach into almost every university, legislature, government agency, and court system in the United States,” the handout reads. “The Koch network’s goal is to move this country to the right, and they have succeeded. Now is the time to reverse the trend.”
Another lengthy handout at the event featured the research of Dr. Jonathan Anomaly, a Freedom Center scholar who examines topics that relate to the intersection of ethics, economics, and biology.
“Jonathan (‘Jonny’) Anomaly is the first hire in the new ‘Department of Moral Science’ created by the Department of Philosophy at the instigation of UA’s Koch-founded ‘Freedom Center,’” the document reads. “As such, Anomaly can reasonably be viewed as a harbinger of what is to come from the new department and the Freedom Center, which is now housed in that department.”
The pamphlet goes on criticize the the academic’s research and beliefs, and specifically references his work regarding eugenics and racism.
During the panel discussion, Gibbs also brought up Anomaly’s “Defending Eugenics” research paper, implying that the scholar approves of Nazi-style eugenics against certain populations.
Gibbs went on to quote from the paper, underscoring Anomaly’s observation that “Nazi policies had dysgenic effects” and that “Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Ashkenazi Jews—arguably among the most intelligent and productive people of the twentieth century—was not only morally outrageous, but contrary to what any reasonable eugenics program would hope to achieve.”
“So that's the problem with the Holocaust, is that they killed maybe the wrong set of people I guess, and that maybe high IQ people should not be killed off,” Gibbs remarked. “Jonny Anomaly would likely not be here if not for the big money.”
Anomaly, who was present at the event, challenged Gibbs’ interpretation of his work, stressing that his paper was taken out of context.
“The paper on eugenics is defending liberal eugenics, which means that when we have the technology to select embryos we ought to allow parents to do that as individuals,” he said. “I'm Jewish, and the idea that you would smear me as somehow defending Nazism is so disgusting and is so taken out of context.”
“That was a jibe at people who are racist eugenicists,” Anomaly subsequently remarked. “That was a little aside as a jab at the people on the alt-right who want to exterminate us.”
In a statement to Campus Reform, Anomaly further blasted Gibbs for mischaracterizing his work, labeling his remarks as “absurd.”
“The idea that I'm a Nazi sympathizer, which Gibbs implied, is especially absurd not only because I'm Jewish, but because I wrote this harsh critique of the anti-Semitism of some people on the ‘alt right’ last month, and this follow-up,” he explained. “These articles have been heavily promoted by people on the right and left, such as Steven Pinker and Jordan Peterson.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @shannadnelson