Prof's Reax to Barbara Bush Death Could Threaten Tenure

Fresno State instructor Randa Jarrar called her 'amazing racist,' 'witch'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2018 8:23 AM CDT
Prof Calls Barbara Bush 'Witch,' Brags She Won't Be Fired
In this Oct. 11, 1984, file photo, Barbara Bush, wife of then-US Vice-President George Bush, is photographed at a debate between Bush and Democrat Geraldine Ferraro.   (AP Photo/File)

While the tributes continue to pour in for Barbara Bush, a Fresno State professor is taking heat for her diatribe against the former first lady. "Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who along with her husband, raised a war criminal," Randa Jarrar wrote to kick off an hours-long tweetstorm Tuesday just after the 92-year-old's death, per the Visalia Times-Delta. In subsequent tweets on her feed, now set to private, Jarrar added she "can't wait for the rest of [Bush's] family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million iraqis have," called Bush a "witch," noted she felt free to speak her mind as a professor at Fresno State, and claimed that her tenure there would protect her from dire consequences for her remarks. "I will never be fired," she wrote in one tweet, adding she made $100,000 a year, per the Washington Post.

Jarrar, an associate English professor on a current leave of absence, may have been too confident about her job status. "A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish," said university President Joseph Castro, who adds the university is reviewing the matter, per the Fresno Bee. In a statement, Castro distanced Fresno State from Jarrar's views, and in a radio interview said he was personally "shocked, upset, [and] appalled" at her "tone, substance, and timing," per the Post. Not everyone is against Jarrar: One Fresno grad says people are going after Jarrar for "stating something valid." Bush had been criticized in the past for saying mostly black Hurricane Katrina evacuees were "underprivileged anyway," so it was "working very well for them" to be holed up in Houston's Astrodome. (Read more Barbara Bush stories.)

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