A California college professor is getting heated reaction for an insensitive tweet about Barbara Bush, calling the former first lady a “racist” and saying that she’s glad she’s dead, the New York Post is reporting.
Randa Jarrar is a professor at Fresno State University in California. And on Wednesday, the English professor let loose with a tweet about the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush.
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F*** outta here with your nice words.”
She was no-doubt referring to Barbara Bush’s son, George W. Bush, whose invasion of Iraq has been seen by some as having been based on false pretenses.
As the Fresno Bee reports, Jarrar’s tweet was met with harsh criticism, with over 2,000 replies. That is, before she made her Twitter account “Private” — which is to say, only those whom she approves can see her tweets.
However, before making her account private, Jarrar doubled down on her tweet.
First, she bragged to those who suggested that she should be fired that she was unfireable, claiming that she was a tenured professor who made $100,000 per year.
“I will never be fired.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 18, 2018
She then dared those calling for her firing to reach out to Fresno State University President Joseph Castro himself.
“LOL! Let me help you. You should tag my president, @josephlcastro What I love about being an American professor is my right to free speech, and what I love about Fresno State is that I always feel protected and at home here. GO BULLDOGS!”
In fact, Castro did, indeed, have something to say about the tweet, however obliquely. In a lengthy statement, Castro extended his condolences to the Bush family for Mrs. Bush’s death and then acknowledged that there are “deep concerns” over Jarrar’s tweets.
“On behalf of Fresno State, I extend my deepest condolences to the Bush family on the loss of our former First Lady, Barbara Bush. We share the deep concerns expressed by others over the personal comments made today by Professor Randa Jarrar, a professor in the English Department at Fresno State. Her statements were made as a private citizen, not as a representative of Fresno State. Professor Jarrar’s expressed personal views and commentary are obviously contrary to the core values of our University, which include respect and empathy for individuals with divergent points of view, and a sincere commitment to mutual understanding and progress.”
Jarra, meanwhile, continued to defend herself.
“If you’d like to know what it’s like to be an Arab American Muslim American woman with some clout online expressing an opinion, look at the racists going crazy in my mentions right now.”
She then set her account to Private. She also changed her Twitter bio, removing the titles of her books and replacing her resume with two sentences.
“Currently on leave from Fresno State. This is my private account and represents my opinions.”
In fact, according to a statement from the university, she is on-leave from Fresno State, as she has been all semester. That being the case, her employment status at the university does not appear to be related to Wednesday’s tweets.
Nevertheless, spokeswoman Patti Waid confirmed that the university is “looking into” Jararr’s tweets.
According to her biography on the Fresno State University website, Jarrar is “an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator.” Further, her bio says she grew up in Egypt and Kuwait before moving to the U.S. after the first Gulf War.