A professor at Fresno State tweeted that she was “happy the witch” Barbara Bush was dead, just an hour after the announcement of the former first lady’s passing.
Randa Jarrar, an English professor, went on a tirade about Bush Tuesday night — adding that Bush was a “racist” who “raised a war criminal.” Jarrar’s account has since been set to private, but screenshots of the tweets were obtained by the Daily Mail.
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” one of the tweets stated. “F*** outta here with your nice words.”
She also tweeted:
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. byyyeeeeeeee. [(sic) throughout]
As she began to receive criticism, Jarrar’s tweetstorm continued. According to the Daily Mail, she even tagged the school’s president in a post where she explained that she couldn’t be fired because she had tenure.
Fresno State president Joseph Castro has since released a statement about Jarrar’s comments.
“We share the deep concerns expressed by others over the personal comments made today by Professor Randa Jarrar,” Castro wrote. “Her statements were made as a private citizen, not as a representative of Fresno State.”
“Professor Jarrar’s expressed personal views and commentary are obviously contrary to the core values of our University, which include respect and empathy for individuals with divergent points of view, and a sincere commitment to mutual understanding and progress,” the statement continued.
Castro also offered his “deepest condolences to the Bush family on the loss.”
Now, I’ll be the first to say that I have always vehemently disagreed with President George W. Bush’s foreign policy. The war in Iraq was a huge mistake, and one that caused the loss of many innocent human lives. You will never hear me say otherwise, but what Jarrar tweeted here was absolutely disgusting, pathetic, and inexcusable. Not only did she revel in the death of another human being just an hour after she died, but Jarrar also said that she cannot wait for the deaths of others in the Bush family. Call me crazy — but I really do feel like wishing death on people who are grieving might not be the classiest move you can make.
Barbara Bush was a noted philanthropist who spent her life devoted to causes such as fighting childhood leukemia, the disease that took the life of her own three-year-old daughter. She visited AIDS hospitals in Harlem, held babies who were born with AIDS in West Palm Beach at the height of the AIDS crisis in the early 1990s, and made comments that worked to counter the kind of misconceptions about the disease that were so rampant during that time.
“It’s important to know that you can love and hug and change these babies and be spit upon and you can’t get AIDS,” she said during a visit to Connor’s Nursery in West Palm Beach in 1990.
As for Bush being a “racist”? As Time magazine put it:
In the late 1950s, she battled segregationist innkeepers who refused to let the family’s black baby-sitter stay with them in the same hotel. She was instrumental in the appointment of the only black in Bush’s Cabinet, Dr. Louis Sullivan, whom she came to know from her work at [Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine].
The bottom line: Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman who did lots of remarkable things. Shame on Randa Jarrar for her cruel and hateful commentary.