Officials at Fresno State University are investigating an incident in which a professor is said to have “attacked” former first lady Barbara Bush after her death via a Twitter post. University President Joseph Castro is calling the incident “horrible” and “disrespectful”. The tweet, posted by English professor Randa Jarrar, is harsh and expletive-filled.
However, one would argue against whether it needs an investigation and wonder at the motivation of Castro for doing so.
“A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish,” he said on Wednesday. “We are all held accountable for our actions.”
The tweets were sent just hours after the death of Barbara Bush in the wake of the outpouring of condolences across all media spectrums. Jarrar called Bush a “generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.”
“F–k outta here with your nice words, she wrote in a tweet.
Fresno State investigating professor who attacked Barbara Bush after her death https://t.co/midQY2iBsT
Jarrar has since made her Twitter account private.
Castro declined to comment to The Fresno Bee about the specifics of the investigation but said they were reviewing the facts and the facultys collective bargaining agreement.
“This was beyond free speech. This was disrespectful,” Castro said.
In an age in which social media rants and tangents are par for the course, it is more than curious that a California state school would engage in an investigation of a so-called attack on a dead woman. The year 2018 has been one filled with wild revelations and petulant presidential decrees. One where conservative ideology is defended by liberals, and in which claims of victimization from the right seem to be nearing a crescendo.
ESPN’s Jemele Hill was at the center of controversy earlier this year when she took to social media to admonish the Republican White House that is filled with alleged white supremacists. Though free speech should have protected her, she was eventually suspended.
Both Jarrar and Hill were telling their truths as they saw them. However, Jarrar did add a particularly high amount of venom to her diatribe. For that, she may pay dearly. In this day and age, minorities, women and gays who are too demonstrative in this criticism of the system are immediately targeted.