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Free Speech for Barbara Bush-Bashing Fresno State Prof?

Free Speech for Barbara Bush-Bashing Fresno State Prof?

“Professor Jarrar’s expressed personal views and commentary are obviously contrary to the core values of our University”

A Fresno State professor named Randa Jarrar commented on Twitter following the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. [expletive] outta here with your nice words.”

Jarrar then followed up with this tweet:

Fresno State University President Joseph I. Castro issued a statement which the school shared on Twitter, claiming that Jarrar made the statement as an individual and not as a school representative:

Fresno State appears to be taking the situation seriously, and even the school’s chief academic officer issued a statement. Here’s a video report from the local ABC News affiliate:

Many people are justifiably angry about Jarrar’s comments with some calling for her firing.

Not so fast, says Robby Soave of Reason:

Fresno State Shouldn’t Fire a Professor for Saying She’s Glad Barbara Bush Died

In response to death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, a professor of English at Fresno State University tweeted, “I’m happy the witch is dead.” Now a whole lot of people—including some occasional critics of political-correctness-run-amok on campus—think the university should fire her.

The professor, Randa Jarrar, made the comments shortly after Bush’s death at the age of 92. “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” wrote Jarrar. “Fuck outta here with your nice words.” She later said she was “happy” Bush had died and couldn’t wait for the rest of her family to “fall to their demise the way 1.5 million Iraqis have.”

Obviously, that’s a loathsome thing to say. You can express opposition to the Iraq war without literally celebrating somebody’s death.

Nevertheless, Jarrar’s comments are constitutionally protected speech. Fresno State is a public university, and its professors enjoy broad free speech protections.

Adam Steinbaugh of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) concurs:

Fresno State University won’t — and cannot — punish professor for Barbara Bush tweets

Fresno State correctly acknowledges that Jarrar’s tweets were made as a private citizen. As such, and because they touched upon a matter of public concern, Jarrar’s tweets are unquestionably protected speech under the First Amendment and Fresno State has no power to censor, punish, or terminate Jarrar for them.

It’s often said that the First Amendment doesn’t protect a speaker from the consequences of his words. That’s true to a certain extent. One who says something that offends others will often face consequences of some sort, whether it’s caustic criticism from people he offended, loss of private sector job opportunities, loss of membership in voluntary associations, and so on. But the First Amendment places limits on what consequences a government actor may impose in response to speech.

As we’ve explained in response to another professor terminated for her public commentary, public universities are government actors bound by the First Amendment:

The law is well-established that employees of government institutions like [a public university] retain a First Amendment right to speak as private citizens on matters of public concern and may not be disciplined or retaliated against for their constitutionally protected expression unless the government employer demonstrates that the expression hindered “the effective and efficient fulfillment of its responsibilities to the public.” Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 150 (1983); Pickering v. Bd. of Ed., 391 U.S. 563 (1968).

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Here’s the problem with the path of the high minded ideal. Only one side plays by that ideal. The *other* side is willing to go scorched earth and fire everyone not of the body.

Things won’t change unless this work both ways. Or you can keep complaining about how higher education is intolerant of conservative views. I mean, that’s what this is about.

    Tom Servo in reply to Vancomycin. | April 19, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Imagine what would have happened if, for example, a professor at Fresno had tweeted that the protester who was killed in the fracas at Charlotte last year deserved to die.

    Can you imagine even a single person on the left saying “hey, free speech!!!”

      Vancomycin in reply to Tom Servo. | April 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Of course not, and *that’s* the problem that the idealists don’t want to face.

      If your opponent is playing for blood, and you’re not…you’re going to lose.

      The left is playing for blood and *some* on the right are finally waking up to it…but you still have a bunch of people claiming we need to play by the old rules.

      MarkSmith in reply to Tom Servo. | April 19, 2018 at 11:20 am

      magine what would have happened if, for example, a professor at Fresno had tweeted MAGA!?

      Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | April 19, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      It doesn’t matter what people would say. What matters is what the courts would say, and they would indeed say that the person could not be fired.

      This is settled law. Even if a government employee expresses the wish that the president be assassinated, she cannot be fired for it.

        You’re wrong.

        From the Supreme Court case:

        “(b) Petitioners have not met their burden of demonstrating a state interest justifying respondent’s discharge that outweighs her First Amendment rights, given the functions of the Constable’s office, respondent’s position therein, and the nature of her statement. Although that statement was made at the workplace, there is no evidence that it interfered with the efficient functioning of the office. Nor was there any danger that respondent had discredited the office by making the statement in public. Her discharge was not based on any assessment that her remark demonstrated a character trait that made her unfit to perform her work, which involved no confidential or policymaking role. Furthermore, there was no danger that the statement would have a detrimental impact on her working relationship with the Constable, since their employment-related interaction was apparently negligible. Pp. 388-392.d”

        Fat-tat can be fired.

    Vicky060 in reply to Vancomycin. | April 21, 2018 at 11:37 am

    The hardest part for me to understand after I hear comments like this is how the university can allow themselves to be identified with this kind of moron. For the woman’s part, I can understand how you can be so negative. It’s awful to go through life fat, ugly and stupid.

      She’s not ‘moron.’ But she is warped.

      Don’t underestimate these people, or you’ll find yourself being ruled (literally) by one of them. (Btw, obama was ‘one of them,’ but fortunately for us, among the dumber ones. If a smarter one comes along, it could be the end for us.)

      We must take back our educational system and run people like Fat-Tat our of it.

      carolmcl in reply to Vicky060. | April 23, 2018 at 10:33 pm

      Vicky060 “…how the university can allow themselves to be identified with this kind of moron…” This is exactly the kind of person the university chooses to identify with. They don’t hire by talent, they hire by checking boxes: female, ethnic minority, Muslim (haven’t heard for sure that she is), foreign-born (I hear she is, I hear she isn’t?), writings that are anti U.S., etc. EXACTLY what the universities want.

She’s a teaching professor? I thought she was a member of Meal Team 6.

Randa Jarrar…is that the new way to spell “trash”?

Classy. I imagine the only reason the University is upset is because she dared say what they typically think, which is fine IN the classroom, but not in the light of day.

The Left is so predictable it’s boring.

That’s some pretty hardcore hatefulness on display there, sweetness. Sort of ironic how she wishes death upon others while her super-sized sack of flesh looks like a self imposed heart attack just waiting to happen. Go figure.

I understand the legality of not firing her for inflammatory words.

But is she culpable for listing a phone number of a mental health clinic as her own in a tweet, resulting in that clinic receiving many calls, and perhaps preventing them from being available for true calls?

This is not to the level of “swatting”, but should she receive professional scrutiny for this prank?

    5under3 in reply to mochajava76. | April 19, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Great point. This is where she really crossed the line and where I would think free speech and tenure would not protect her. Now I guess we’ll have to see if the powers that be at Fresno State actually want to fire her.

    She also linked a tweet to the university president (urging her opponents to go ahead and tweet him). In doing so, did she not involve the university? I would imagine this, along with the one you mentioned, could lead to her departure from that institution.
    See her tweet here where she tagged her university/ president:

    JOHN B in reply to mochajava76. | April 20, 2018 at 8:18 am

    But we all know that if another professor dared to write an article criticizing her, the school would immediately find reasons to fire the offending professor. And free speech will suddenly not be available as any protection.

    If a student says anything other than love and admiration for this horrible person, that student’s college career (and maybe his entire life’s career) is over.

    johnnycab23513 in reply to mochajava76. | April 20, 2018 at 10:38 am

    What ever happened to the concept that you are free to say what you want to say, and are responsible for the consequences arising from your saying it?

    She CAN be fired.

    See post above.

Having a extreme leftist celebrate the death of Barbara Bush was as inevitable as night following day. I suspect that Jarrar did not expect the nationwide, negative attention as she started her Twitter tirade. A more stable person would be grateful that her employer didn’t fire her, though I do find it interesting that she is taking a leave of absence.

Perhaps she is using the time to locate her soul?

The real consequence of importance here is that parents can opt out of having their kids apply to Fresno State, and students (hopefully) can opt out of taking her class. I know a few parents taking their kids on college tours…I can’t imagine this inspires a stop at Fresno State, except by those with morbid curiosity.

    I suspect her English class is a freshman requirement and the students must pass it in order get any degree. As for firing her for spouting off, sure it is protected, but I suspect she has been doing this kind of thing for a long time. This time she just happened to pick the wrong person to bash. There will be a lot of public blasklash to where she has to resign As in the journalism prof from Mizzu had to.

      Anonamom in reply to Stan25. | April 19, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      The Fresno Bee interviewed a Fresno State English major who was angry that her school and department was exposed to this type of press. According to the student interviewed, this professor does not represent the majority view and said that she was able to avoid this professor (and others of the professor’s ilk) during her time in the department. She just avoided all of the professors who were into gender studies. So, apparently no, she’s not teaching required classes.

    “Perhaps she is using the time to locate her soul?”

    No, one cannot locate something that does not exist.

    “Perhaps she is using the time to locate her soul?…”

    It could be lost somewhere under her fat-folds.

Anyone who is as morbidly obese as this cretin will soon pass on. When that happens Jarrar won’t be joining Barbara Bush in Heaven.

Again, a typical lib projecting

Racist Jarrar wrote an opinion piece called “Why I Can’t Stand White Belly-Dancers”,

Does anyone think it is about time we hold our public schools and Universities accountable to teach what is important and value add like life skills instead of how to suck the life out of everyone else.

They hired her and gave her tenure. Are we to believe this is an unexpected behavior?

If you can speak all she wants. The law does not force us to pay her to do so, although the left will say that it does.

UnCivilServant | April 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

Two separate comments.

First, I’ve always held that tenure is a bad idea. The theory that it protects academic freedom is not so well borne out by the fact that it protects the nonproductive. Once they reach that goal they dig in like ticks and drive off the people who you want working for the institution.

Second, she has every right to be offensive as she wants to be. She should also be prepared for the backlash from other people exercising their freedoms of speech too.

@oldgoat36. You got it.

Fatty looks like she’s one gravy serving away from a massive coronary. So, we can give her a proper Twitter send-off when she checks out.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to aka Hoss. | April 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Better to start her send off now, that way she will be down while waiting for her last gasp.

    davod in reply to aka Hoss. | April 19, 2018 at 11:00 am

    “Fatty looks like she’s one gravy serving away from a massive coronary.”

    Correction: Fatty looks like she’s one gravy serving away from being a much better belly dancer.

mister naturel | April 19, 2018 at 10:21 am

More like Jabba the Hutt

I dont think the private person comments argument holds water. She made these in a public forum, mentioned her employment herself. This is also not the standard held to k-12 teachers. Second, they really shouldn’t start talking about adherence to constitutional rights.

WTF is wrong with California??

This line from the right about ‘mah principles’ to defend this professor’s 1st amendment right as a private citizen is HORSECRAP.

Fresno State is a public university funded by tax $$$. The citizens of that POS state and others in the USA have a reasonable expection that their employees are not virulent bigots who vomit adolescent tirades in public, then flip us off.

One cannot demand immunity for such hateful rhetoric under tenure, then claim it was a private citizen thang protected by the 1st amendment. You cannot have it both ways.

Finally, let’s abolish this charade of tenure as a cocoon for ‘academic freedom,’ and simply call it what it truly is: immunity for being a execrable tool with a post-gradute degree while drawing a paycheck.

Good grief. SNAP OUT OF IT, people!

    “WTF is wrong with California??…”

    It’s the whole country. It begs the question how we let people like Fat-Tat take over our schools. The answer is in the politicians we have tolerated in the GOP.

    The Crying Boehners/McCains/McConnells/Ryans/Grahams etc. $old our nation long ago, whether for position, money or good coverage in the democrat media (think McCain being called “the Maverick.”) We need more Donald Trumps, or we’re doomed.

This woman is NOT protected by any law or court case, including Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 150 (1983); Pickering v. Bd. of Ed., 391 U.S. 563 (1968). Courts have continually ruled that even if a public employee is speaking as a private individual, if that is, or becomes, identified with a public institution, that institution can then has a vested interest in the public statements of that employee. Any public statements or positions, which may prove to be detrimental to the institution can be used as justification for disciplinary action. In this case, the statements of this woman go far beyond thoughtless and inappropriate. They were calculatingly harmful to the family and friends of Barbara Bush. And, it was readily apparent that this woman was employed by the university, as she mentioned her profession.

The only question is, should she be disciplined for her speech? This is a philosophical debate which has been going on since thwe founding of this country. The courts have come down on both sides of the issue, stating that such speech is protected and that fallacious speech designed to harm another is not protected. Then, we have the imposition of “community standards on speech. So, the debate goes on.

    Stan25 in reply to Mac45. | April 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

    This is precisely what happened to Ward Churchill. After years of denigrateing conservatives and spewing hate speech in classes, he was finally fired. This occurred after the pressure was brought to bear by the public finally sick of it.

      ugottabekiddinme in reply to Stan25. | April 19, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Yeah, but with Churchill, IIRC it took a couple of years to establish he had engaged in plagiarizing various sources for his so-called “academic” publications, on which “scholarship” had been based his receiving tenure in the first place. Once the institutional process discredited his work, it could ignore his tenure as having been illegitimately granted,and terminate him. It was for plagiarism, more than for his hate-filled tirades.

Well, American higher education has long since convinced itself that it’s unable to do anything about bigoted, self-indulgent and errant students. And it’s convinced itself that it can’t do anything about bigoted, self-indulgent and errant staff, either.

On the bright side, in her communist utopia she would probably lose a lot of weight. And, in this utopia, until she did she would be viewed as a potential source of much needed protein.

I have no problem with this toad claiming free speech but she as well as many others have to remember that there are reactions to any free speech and they are not covered by the Constitution. Remember the Dixie Chicks? They enjoyed free speech in London by bashing GWB. When they returned home their fan base was gone. They whined and complained about their right to free speech but never quite understood the consequences of that free speech. We can only hope that this idiotic woman is fired for her free speech and never be allowed to even think about teaching again!

CaliforniaJimbo | April 19, 2018 at 11:23 am

I’m not going to go there on her weight. It’s too easy sometimes.
I think her free speech issues end with the government. The university as her employer can expect that a tenured educator, she would represent the university in the best possible light. This example brings bad publicity on the college. Tenure is not a license to do whatever you want with zero repercussions.

    Being you’re weighing in on her weight, let’s get to the fat of the matter: there’s a reason she’s obese, and it gives heft to the argument that a porcine, uncontrolled over-eater like this cow should not be teaching children: on the face of it, she has personal problems and discipline problems: tons of them.

    This argument should be given the heft it deserves, and this corpulent lump of un-rendered grease should be recycled into a WalMart cashier.

I think we should send her a box of chocolates. That should take care of the problem.

    RodFC in reply to MarkSmith. | April 19, 2018 at 11:56 am

    For the more vicious minded buy her a box of the best chocolates around. Then sprinkle them with powdered sugar and send them to her.

    Just think how crazy she will go thinking that she has had to give them to the FBI for testing.

    Kind of like that ballancing a bit of bacon on a dogs nose trick.

    Firewatch in reply to MarkSmith. | April 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    From Gibsons?

Let her “sitteth in the seat of the scournful” IMO

OleDirtyBarrister | April 19, 2018 at 11:44 am

Jarrar The Hutt is of some arab blood and identifies as a “Palestinian”. The Israelis and Americans with sense know who the real war mongers and criminals are.

It is not clear whether she is a practicing muslim. But if the school fires her, it will then turn into an issue of gender, ethnicity, and religion.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | April 19, 2018 at 11:46 am

    What is arab and not is someone amorphous, because an arab is one who speaks arabic as the native language. It is not a traditional, ethnic description, and because it is language rather than genetics and provenance, it includes a lot of disparate racial and ethnic groups.

Does Fresno state not think that publishing a phone number not hers, knowing that it would result in a lot of nasty calls to a mental health institution.

I hope some James O’Keefe acolyte starts recording her lectures so he can capture her in a fireable tirade.

    Valerie in reply to RodFC. | April 19, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Although I respect James O’Keefe and greatly appreciate his work, I don’t think we need him for this job. All of the students in her classes are capable of capturing her tirades. Some of them are even clever enough to do it without letting anybody else know what they are doing.

i wonder how soon before the next liberal lecture on hate speech

One set of rules for all. As long as the left would deny us free speech, they should not expect it for themselves.

I would guess Adipose Annie is all about “Hate speech is not free speech”.

The university should fire her. Not because she expressed her most horrible opinions publicly, but because the sentiments she expressed clearly show she is too biased and vindictive to treat her students fairly.

No teacher or professor with such prejudicial views should be educating the young. There is such thing as a morality clause and it should be included in every university tenure contract.

    healthguyfsu in reply to rokiloki. | April 19, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    As a conservative prof I disagree with your assertion because you would create a slip n’s slide of a slope.

>> From Gibsons? <<

I fear the irony would be lost on her.

This is exactly what you can expect to happen when cowardly administrators decide to take the blindfolds off Lady Justice and and cut down the protective hedge of centuries of academic freedom that have buffered the university against state control in order skew the scales in favor on their political cause du jour – the result being the rise of the mob and the reintroduction of might makes right into academic institutions.

It gets increasingly hard to persuade the other side to continue to slavishly following the rules as one side uses its present advantage to violate the rules to their advantage. At some point, the jousting must turn into a suicide pact on the part of the “other side” or untrammeled carnage as the rules-based system dissolves.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” works both ways…

    Valerie in reply to civil truth. | April 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    It has been a very long time since there were only 10 institutions of higher learning in this country. The need to protect academic free speech may have beeb reduced by the sheer numbers now, of academics.

    On the other hand, we now have an academic class that is remarkably homogeneous politically, and given to bullying. Protecting the abuse of power seems to be counterproductive.

Turns out the pile of ugly fat and nastiness tops off her list of negatives with being a muslim.

problem is posting a number to a mental health clinic then other dumbasses deciding to flood though lines trying to speak to her.

    MajorWood in reply to dmacleo. | April 20, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    As a former crisis hotline worker, if that number she posted was part of a .gov emergency network, she is in a shit load of trouble.

Does that surprise you?

None of her comments hurt Barbara Bush at all, they dimish the speaker instead. Letting the nutters speak is better than silencing them. She’s the reason Trump will be re-elected.

    inspectorudy in reply to floridaman. | April 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    You are correct but free speech has consequences and I think this toad is about to discover that.

    tlcomm2 in reply to floridaman. | April 19, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I agree but still want her fired to ensure her stupidity doesn’t damage her students – though by that standard we would be replacing a whole lot of teachers at all levels.

“PSA: either you are against these pieces of (blank) and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem. that’s actually how simple this is.”

Couldn’t agree more, which is why I supported a comprehensive Muslim ban as opposed the limited travel ban that Trump tried to implement.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | April 19, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I need to clarify; I have always gone to great pains to distinguish between Islam the ideology as opposed to Muslims the individual human beings. And I still do. But the problem is that our government refuses to make any such distinction between individual human beings that have rights under the law, and ideologies that do not have any claim to rights.

    As long as the government refuses to screen out people who want to immigrate to the US to subvert it, to demand second class status for women, death for apostates and adulterers, and a superior position for the adherents of their religion over those of other religions or no religion at all to distinguish them from people who simply want to come hear and live and work in peace, then we can’t let any Muslim in.

    I really do hate to say that. Not all Muslims are Arab/Sharia supremacists. But the failure of the government to recognize the danger of the Tsarnaev family when it was *&(%ing spoon fed to them shows it’s really our government decision-makers who can’t be trusted.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | April 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    If the leftists want to import this %*$@ here, don’t blame me for taking advantage of the opportunity for target practice.

    Most critics of police shootings don’t even suspect let alone take into account the difficulty of hitting your target when everything and everybody is moving. At best the critics have been to a target range where you stand in one spot and the piece of paper is anchored at another spot. And they think that’s something like real life.

    “The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101 which allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.”

    Suspected jihadis. Doing the work Americans just won’t do, like giving me a realistic target.

I don’t know about the exercise of free speech here, but she looks like she indulged a lot of free food and didn’t exercise anything.


Fresno State Professor Who Bragged She Couldn’t Be Fired Gets Reality Check

Looks like she might be on permanent leave of absence with no classes to teach.

But is anyone actually surprised this lowlife got tenure in a tax-subsidized cow college English department? I’m not. Her statement is tame compared to the filth spewed in MLA conferences. And looking at her objectively, what else besides tax parasitism could this poor wretch do to pay for her 7000 calories a day?

English faculties are no less toxic to civilization than their brethren lower down the evolutionary scale in Sociology, Grievance Studies, and Education.

The one thing this beast could be useful for, is in the event of a school shooting: stuff her in the doorway – no shooter could get past her without a crowbar, and she would be useful in absorbing any shots.

If the issue here is free speech, I suppose it is her right to be as foul and disgusting as she wants to be. It’s not like she’s yelling “fire” at a crowded buffet…

Judging from her photo, what’s the most dangerous thing you can do when you’re around Randa Jarrar?

Get between her and a box of Krispy Kremes.

I notice FIRE and Reason both nobly support her right to free expression yet they are curiously silent about the same institutions severely restricting the speech and thought of the paying clientele. This nasty wretch should be bound by the rules applicable to the most leftism-resistant student on that or any other campus. And screw her for misusing tenure this way.

Has this fat ugly bitch said anything about George HW Bush’s hospitalization?