Just because a tenured professor at Fresno State University went on a hate-filled rant on Barbara Bush minutes after she passed away doesn’t mean she should be fired.
Except for the most callow liberals in America, everyone with a conscience rejects anyone who responds to the death of a woman truly respected and beloved on all political sides by tweeting, “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.”
“PSA: either you are against these pieces of s--- and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem. That’s actually how simple this is. 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.”
This was the message from Randa Jarrar, a Chicago-born author and alleged English professor at Fresno State.
She continued to taunt outraged readers, declaring, “I work as a tenured professor. I make 100K a year doing that. I will never be fired. I will always have people wanting to hear what I have to say.”
Fresno State is a publicly funded university and, as such, many conservatives are calling for her to be fired and demanding that President Trump withhold all federal funding from the school.
Because she is so sadly filled with hate that she spews verbal poison onto Twitter?
It is our Constitution, and Barbara Bush’s husband defense of the Constitution as president, that protects her and Fresno State from federal retribution. With her angry comments, Jarrar hurts only herself and, potentially, Fresno State.
Should students or their tuition-paying parents become so disgusted with her that they choose not to enroll in her class, she would be deemed a liability to the school.
Given the nature of today’s college liberalism, especially West Coast liberalism, that would be highly unlikely.
There is, thankfully, no U.S. law declaring evil thought sans actus reus a primary offense.
As for Jarrar, tenure does not really protect her or any other employee for behavior that may reflect badly upon the university.
For example, the Fresno State Handbook states on page 10, “The university has the authority to impose discipline on employees which may include suspension, demotion or dismissal. The university encourages progressive corrective action be taken prior to the imposition of discipline. In accordance with Section 89535 of the Education Code, a permanent, probationary or temporary employee may be disciplined for any of the following reasons ...”
Among those reasons: “Unprofessional conduct.”
If the university should decide publicly that spitting on the grave of Barbara Bush is “unprofessional,” then Jarrar has a problem.
Should the university decide publicly that a professor spitting on the grave of Barbara Bush and spewing profanity is “unprofessional,” then Jarrar has two problems.
Neither of these would have anything to do with constitutional “free speech.” That concept is reserved for protection from the government, not one’s employer.
So far, it seems Fresno State President Joseph Castro isn’t too upset by Jarrar.
“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,” Castro wrote last week. “Her statements were made as a private citizen, not as a representative of Fresno State.”
She obviously represents Fresno State, while Castro’s language carefully leaves open the possibility of dismissal. This is lovely weasel-wording that gives Castro rationale to either fire her or not.
There’s really no reason to fire her unless Castro believes Fresno’s reputation has been damaged, just as Melissa Click had soiled the journalism credentials of the University of Missouri.
Perhaps Castro will also recognize Jarrar’s illiterate rantings are demonstrably inferior to the published literacy of beloved First Lady Barbara Bush.
Rick Jensen is an annoying, award-winning Delaware talk show host and equally annoying national columnist. Email Rick@DBCMedia.com.