On Tuesday evening, writer and English professor Randa Jarrar learned that Fresno State University would take no disciplinary action against her many vitriolic statements, including celebrating the death of Barbara Bush and the suffering of the former First Lady’s family, repeatedly making racist comments, and seemingly promoting violence. Just a few hours before the announcement, The Cut published a glowing piece on Jarrar in which the professor said she proudly stood by her celebration of Bush’s death and blamed the backlash against her on racism and sexism.
“I felt compelled to speak up because I want people to remember history. I want people to know that our country’s actions don’t just disappear; they have real, negative consequences,” Jarrar told The Cut in an email. “If we want a better future, we have to confront our past.”
“The Bush family — including Barbara Bush — supported policies that harmed and destroyed the lives of millions,” she said.
When The Cut asked her if her ethnic background (The Cut notes that she’s part Egyptian, Greek and Palestinian) had something to do with the backlash against her, Jarrar said women of color like her often get such treatment.
“I am not the only person who has stated the belief that Barbara Bush was a racist,” she said. “But women of color routinely have their tone policed, their justified anger painted as hatred, and their criticism of injustice framed as racism toward white people.”
As for her boasting about her tenure and salary, she played the sexism card there, too. “Some may characterize those tweets as gloating. I would say that when a woman states any facts about her employment, she is usually met with charges of arrogance,” she said.
Though the university said they were investigating her statements, she told The Cut that she has “not received any official emails from the university or any details about a so-called investigation.”
“Our First Amendment rights must be protected, now, more than ever,” she said. “The university must remain a space for critical inquiry, even if it challenges what we believe.”
Aside from Jarrar’s declaration that Barbara Bush was an “amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F*** outta here with your nice words,” The Cut does not mention any of the other controversial statements by Jarrar in the past, including seemingly promoting acts of domestic terrorism and her many racist comments, like “I can’t wait for the old white guard of literary writers and ‘critics’ to die. Their time is f**king up, too” and her smears of a “bunch of f**king white women.” The Cut also failed to note that Jarrar tweeted out Arizona State’s emergency hotline number as her contact number, a potential violation of school policy.