OPINION | Barry Richard: Fire Fresno State Professor for Bashing the Late Barbara Bush
Should a Barbara Bush-bashing college professor be fired for her rude and crude remarks?
The Washington Post reports that Randa Jarrar, who teaches creative writing at California State University in Fresno, did the Twitter thing shortly after it was announced on Tuesday evening that former First Lady Barbara Bush had passed away following a long illness:
“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.”
Jarrar's tweetfest didn't end there:
“I’m happy the witch is dead. can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million Iraqis have. byyyeeeeeee.”
Jarrar, a tenured professor, was obviously seeking a reaction--and she got one. Even those who do not support Bush family politics responded negatively to Jarrar's tweet. Some called for her firing. Jarrar insists that her tenure protects her, and that she will "never be fired."
One can certainly argue that Jarrar has a right to express her opinion under the First Amendment. It does not mean, however, that Fresno State has to employ her. As a matter of fact, the school's president Joseph Castro wants her fired:
“A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish." Castro tells The Fresno Bee, adding Jarrar's comments were "disrespectful" and "beyond free speech."
You have a right to express your views, but that doesn't mean that your actions will have no consequences.
Fresno State should fire this woman. Her statements were in no way intended to be instructional, and reflect poorly on the university. She is no longer an asset to the school.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.