Education

Fresno State Might Lose Serious Money Over Prof’s Anti-Barbara Bush Tweets

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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The California professor who said she was “happy the witch” former first lady Barbara Bush “is dead” has her school scrambling to keep its donors, according to a Friday report.

California State University, Fresno President Joseph Castro reported discussing English professor Randa Jarrar‘s remarks with donors, reported Fox News.

“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F*** outta here with your nice words,” Jarrar tweeted Tuesday. “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.”

Fresno State donor Ed Dunkel Jr. suggested to the Fresno Bee that he would wait for the conclusion of the school’s investigation into Jarrar before deciding whether or not to keep donating.

“I admire and have a lot of respect for President (Joseph) Castro and huge affection for Fresno State,” Dunkel said. “But I have huge concerns. This represents such an embarrassment to the university and the community. It’s hard to believe this is an isolated thing that just happened. I have to imagine people previously knew of this person’s character and what she’s about.”

The donor said he had friends who also donated to the school and are discussing withdrawing their financial support, as well as questioning whether they will send their children to Fresno State.

“[Donors are] outraged, and I’m outraged as well,” Castro said. “This is behavior that is unacceptable as a university that models the development of leaders. We just cannot tolerate it.”

But groups supporting free speech have rallied behind Jarrar, alleging that Fresno State’s investigation of the professor does not align with the First Amendment.

“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,” Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) senior program officer Adam Steinbaugh told Fox News. The free speech nonprofit has allied with the ACLU in supporting the professor.

The English professor is not the first Fresno State faculty member to have made headlines for tweets. History lecturer Lars Maischak tweeted “to save American democracy, Trump must hang” and “Justice = the execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant” in spring 2017. Maischak also condemned the school for not supporting Jarrar.

“In a social media age, the online network of character- and career-assassins functions for Trump, as the brown-shirted thugs did for Hitler,” he wrote in the Fresno Bee. “They are the boots on the ground, and on the neck of the dissidents.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Fresno State for additional comment but received none in time for press.

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