Well, this is maddening. It also provokes much debate over issues of protected speech and the continuing downward spiral of civil discourse in this nation.
I’m speaking of the California State University, Fresno professor, Randa Jarrar, and her hateful speech, after the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush.
We’ve discussed the loathsome Jarrar on these pages before. There’s nothing strong enough that any of us could say to adequately express the complete ugliness of who this person is, inside and out.
Jarrar was the heatless, hate-filled ghoul that responded to the news of Mrs. Bush’s death on social media in this way:
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” Jarrar wrote.
Jarrar also commented that she was “happy the witch is dead.”
So uncalled for, on every level.
Enough people were outraged that there were calls for the university to fire her. A Change.org petition gathered around 50,000 signatures, calling for her dismissal.
Jarrar, for her part, had boasted that she couldn’t be touched, due to tenure.
In other words, the way college systems are set up in this nation, tenure allows for professors to behave as reprobates and emotional terrorists.
Was that a strong term?
Not strong enough. Again, there are no words to adequately delve the depths of intolerance, hate, wickedness, and what I can only assume to be deep-rooted personal torment, that would lead somebody to say such a thing.
And, as is being reported today, she was absolutely right that her job is fine.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro, speaking after a review of her statements, pointed out that the comments were part of her personal Twitter account, and as a private citizen, they couldn’t do a thing about it.
“Her comments, although disgraceful, are protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Castro wrote. “Our duty as Americans and educators is to promote a free exchange of diverse views, even if we disagree with them.”
As disgusting as it is, I have to agree with him.
We get bent out of shape whenever a conservative speaker is either forced away from our college campuses, or denied a voice through official edict.
Castro pointed out:
“Professor Jarrar’s conduct was insensitive, inappropriate and an embarrassment to the university,” Castro wrote, adding: “On campus and whenever we are representing the university, I expect all of us to engage in respectful dialogue.”
I’m not going to make any assumptions regarding how Mr. Castro would have reacted, had it been a conservative-leaning professor making the same comments about the death of Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton. For all I know, he’s a stand-up guy and really feels awful about having a creature as despicable as Jarrar attached to his school.
The First Amendment says nothing about protecting us from exposure to obnoxious, ignorant speech. It is, in fact, established to protect the rights of those who have something to say.
Our recourse is to tune out and walk away, or to hold our tongues until the opportunity to give our own opinions may arise.
Jarrar shouldn’t be fired for her hurtful words (and that is painful for me to say). What’s more, there will be many who agree with her, because there’s no shortage of horrible people in this fallen world.
If the school is not holding her accountable (they can’t), it all comes down to how those who oppose her decide to interact.
Hopefully, they choose to walk away, not take her class, dry up the well of impressionable minds she’s given access to, because I have the feeling someone so wretched is beyond civil conversation and the free exchange of ideas.