Randa Jarrar Is No Martyr For Free Speech
Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar thought it was a good idea last week to publicly celebrate the death of “amazing racist” Barbara Bush.
Naturally, Jarrar’s idiotic tweets prompted a social media firestorm and a few calls for the professor’s dismissal.
Fresno State announced it would launch an investigation into its professor, who, oddly enough, bragged about how her tenure meant she wouldn’t face any consequences for her callous tweets. (RELATED: Fresno State Closes Investigation Into Anti-Bush, Terrorism-Inciting Prof)
This is where the controversy became a free speech battle and revealed how both sides approach such a matter.
Several conservative pundits were appalled that Jarrar may be at risk of losing her job over her views. They argued that her losing tenure for her views would be a disservice to free speech and academic freedom, paving the way for universities to replicate this punishment against conservatives. Some, such as National Review’s David French, were aghast they even had to say that, implying the calls for her firing are grossly offensive.
The argument makes a fair point about defending free speech, but the vociferous defenses struck this author as a case of hyper-signaling to liberals. Internet mobs call for people to be fired all the time, and a professor who directed her critics to a university suicide helpline isn’t exactly the best pick for a free speech martyr.
Nevertheless, this vocal stance didn’t prevent Vox from publishing an article attacking conservatives for wanting Jarrar fired. Vox made out the professor to be the real victim of the story and argued her supposed plight shows the “unique dangers” of a woman of color speaking out on racism.
Vox writer Anna North tried her best to make Jarrar look like a brave woman standing up against racism. North didn’t include Jarrar clogging up a suicide hotline with angry callers and glosses over her celebration of a first lady’s death as just a bold statement against bigotry.
North pretty much ignored conservative pundits not wanting Jarrar fired in favor of a random Twitter user who did. She also took issue with the media coverage of the professor, which she found way too personal and mean.
It’s almost like she’s the first controversial person ever to have invasive coverage!
North concluded her piece with this paragraph that will make your eyes roll straight out of your head. “Jarrar’s experience is a reminder that progressives, not just conservatives, routinely face such consequences, and that they’re often magnified for people from marginalized groups. And for women and especially women of color, speaking out online requires true courage every single day.”
Move over soldiers, the real heroes are professors mocking the deaths of beloved public figures.
It isn’t a surprise that Vox would paint a repulsive character like Jarrar in the best possible light. It isn’t her noxious views or pranking a suicide hotline that made people mad at her — it’s because she’s a Muslim woman of color who bravely spoke out against racism.
That defies comprehension, as does Vox’s contention that the speech of progressives is somehow threatened in this country. Yeah, right.
The more important part of this saga, which many conservatives overlooked, is how Jarrar has tenure in the first place. The professor made numerous anti-white statements and called for violence in pursuit of leftist goals long before she was noticed for her Bush tweet.
Yet, her left-wing extremism didn’t bother her school and her employers thought she was a great person to mold young minds.
The problem is that there are hundreds of Randa Jarrars at campuses all over the country, telling young students how to view the world and spouting off their radicalism whenever they feel like. At the same time, conservative academics have to keep their views hidden or face serious consequences from their colleagues if they speak out.
Take the example of University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Mike Adams, whose colleagues started a petition in 2016 to get him fired over his conservative columns.
Folks like Jarrar are the ones with influence and power on a college campus. They’re the ones who shut down conservative speech and impose their views on the student body. The Fresno State professor isn’t going to lose her job and her “ordeal” won’t persuade any other crazed leftist academic from speaking out.
Left-wing professors know any pushback will only turn them into martyrs for the cause.