Randa Jarrar, the California professor who ignited a firestorm by tweeting that she was glad that former first lady Barbara Bush died, and who called her an “amazing racist,” will not be fired from her job, Yahoo News is reporting.
In a statement, Fresno State President Joseph Castro said that Jarrar, when she made her tweets, was acting as a private citizen on her own time. As such, she didn’t violate any university policies.
“Her comments, although disgraceful, are protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Our duty as Americans and educators is to promote a free exchange of diverse views, even if we disagree with them.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the English professor at Fresno State ignited a firestorm of controversy with a series of tweets about Barbara Bush, who had died days earlier. As the country mourned the beloved former first lady, Jarrar said she was glad that the former FLOTUS was dead. What’s more, she called her son, 43rd President George W. Bush, a “war criminal.”
“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.”
When she began getting criticism, Jarrar first doubled-down on her tweet, at one point even daring her critics to contact her boss.
“LOL! Let me help you. You should tag my president, @josephlcastro”
She then bragged about her salary ($100,000 per year), the fact that she has tenure, and that she couldn’t be fired.
She then set her Twitter account to “Private,” meaning that only those whom she approves can read her tweets. As of this writing, her Twitter account is still private.
Speaking to The Cut a few days after the controversy erupted, Jarrar refused to back down and even tried to portray herself as a victim in this controversy.
“But women of color routinely have their tone policed, their justified anger painted as hatred, and their criticism of injustice framed as racism toward white people.”
NOTE: Jarrar is a Muslim of Egyptian, Greek, and Palestinian descent, and the body of literature that she’s written explores themes related to Islam and to Muslim-American relations.
And on the subject of whether or not she would lose her job, Jarrar again invoked her First Amendment rights.
“Our First Amendment rights must be protected, now, more than ever.”
As to when (or if) Jarrar will return to work at Fresno State, that remains unclear. Even before her Twitter controversy erupted, Jarrar had been “on leave” from the university since the previous semester for reasons that have not been made public and indeed, may have been strictly personal or academic. She is still listed as a member of the faculty of Fresno State’s English Department on her university biography.