Randa Jarrar, a tenured professor at California State University, Fresno, made national headlines last week with a series of obscene Twitter posts about the late former first lady Barbara Bush.
From Conservative Tribune:
During the rant, Jarrar bragged that she was safely ensconced in her cushy, well-paid academic job because she couldn’t be fired, but she now has more than 20,000 reasons to wonder how true that really is.
Amid national outrage of Jarrar’s tasteless remarks about the widely admired Barbara Bush and her death, a petition calling on Fresno State to fire Jarrar had gained more than 23,00 signatures by Tuesday morning on the website Change.org.
“The behavior is uncalled for and disrespectful no matter your political affiliation!” one signer wrote. “She is clearly no leader/teacher but instead ignorant and a follower & supporter of hate speech. SAD.”
The late first lady’s body was barely cold before Jarrar was on Twitter, insulting Barbara Bush as an “amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F*** outta here with your nice words.”
The prospect of unhappy Fresno State donors possibly witholding their money, combined with a petition that was gaining signatures every minute after its posting, could well be enough to at least start the process of introducing Professor Jarrar to the unemployment line.
In the days immediately after Jarrar’s rant started, Fresno State President Joseph Castro issued a statement saying he was “shocked and horrified” by Jarrar’s comments.
“We’re obviously going to take this very seriously, this wasn’t just a free speech issue,” Castro said, according to KFSN. “This is an issue of common decency and respect.”
It’s also an issue of just how far American universities will tolerate professors who are letting their own blind political hatreds drive their public statements … and how far any organization can tolerate employees boasting in public about being invulnerable to losing their jobs.
As of Tuesday morning, the petition to fire Professor Jarrar had almost reached its goal of 25,000 signatures, and the number was rising fast. That had to be the last news Jarrar wanted to hear at this point.
At this point, the University can’t keep ignoring the petition – and if donors get involved, you absolutely know that they will fire her – tenure be damned. What do you think? Should she be allowed to speak her mind, or were the comments crass and uncalled for?