At the age of 92, former First Lady Barbara Bush died at home on Tuesday. Barbara had recently decided to trade medical treatment for comfort care. According to Jim McGrath, a spokesperson for the family, Bush was suffering from lung disease and congestive heart failure. Rather than spend her remaining time hospitalized, Bush chose to be comfortable in her final hours. She returned to Houston. At that time, McGrath made the following statement.
“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others.”
Upon her return home, Barbara Bush received an outpouring of support. She was surrounded by the love and kindness of others. Social media users ran to their computers to give “thoughts and prayers” to the former first lady. One Twitter user had the following to say.
“It is with humility and honor that I send my prayers and condolences to the Bush Family. Mrs. Bush was a grand example of a wife, a grand example of ‘Our First Lady’ and an individual who showed respect to all. God bless each of you.”
When spokesperson Jim McGrath announced that Bush had passed away, the tone of comments on Twitter changed and conflict arose.
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 17, 2018
Shortly after the death of Barbara Bush was announced, Fresno State English professor Randa Jarrar sparked outrage as she rejoiced over the death of the former first lady. Within one hour of Barbara’s passing, Jarrar took to Twitter to celebrate.
The tweets, which drew thousands of negative replies, sparked outrage on social media, with people condemning the professor’s tweets and some calling for her firing. Randa Jarrar didn’t stop there.
The negative comments being made on her Twitter account only fanned her flame. According to Fox News, Jarrar told several people that she could not be fired and even tagged the president of the university in her tweets.
“I’m glad the witch is dead. I can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million Iraquis have.”
Professor Jarrar backpedaled slightly, stating that her statements are not the shared opinion of the university. According to her Twitter profile description, she is currently on leave from the university. Although Jarrar’s comments were controversial, many Twitter users picked up where she left off, attempting to desecrate Bush’s memory.
Former Worst Lady –er, I mean first lady Barbara Bush has passed away. Well, I was taught that when speaking of the dead one should only say good. Okay, then. Barbara Bush has died.
— ProfessorBlackTruth (@ProfBlacktruth) April 18, 2018
Not gunna lie, I was wondering if everyone was going to ignore the stunningly racist comments Barbara Bush made during Katrina. That said, death makes us all into saints, for a time. I can only hope everyone will delicately, posthumously ignore all the a-hole things I said & did.
— Traci Arbios (@traciAWESOME) April 18, 2018
While there are certainly those individuals who will continue on with a like mind against the life and death of Barbara Bush, there are some who stand up for her legacy.
As a parent of a student who attends @Fresno_State I am appalled by the comments made by @randajarrar and her numerous follow up tweets regarding the death of former 1st Lady Barbara Bush. I strongly encourage CSUF President @josephlcastro to take swift & appropriate action! https://t.co/1s5KycoIs7
— Vince Maiocco (@VinceMaiocco) April 18, 2018
Determined to honor his close friend, JJ Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, took to Twitter to say his heartfelt goodbyes and pay tribute to the life of Barbara Bush.
Rest In Peace Mrs. Barbara Bush.
You were a beautiful light in this world and I am forever thankful for your friendship. pic.twitter.com/yuZvQ7o8aH
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 17, 2018
Before ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, President Trump described the former first lady as “an advocate for the American family.”
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have given their “deepest sympathies” entitling Barbara as a “woman of unique strength and grace whose devotion to her family was an inspiration to every American.”