Fresno, CA – California State University-Fresno English Professor Randa Jarrar caused a crisis line to get flooded with calls after she sent a prank tweet.
Jarrar recently made headlines for her attack on Barbara Bush just hours after her death.
Bush, 92, passed away on Apr. 17.
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” Randa Jarrar said in the post, according to FOX News. “F**k outta here with your nice words.”
“Either you are against these pieces of s**t and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem,” Jarrar went on to write. “I’m happy the witch is dead…Can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise in the way 1.5 million Iraqis have.”
In the backlash that ensued, the arrogant professor noted that she could “never be fired” due to her status as a tenured professor, and that she would “always have people wanting to hear what I have to say,” FOX News reported.
“All the hate I’m getting ALMOST made me forget how happy I am that George W Bush is probably really sad right now,” Jarrar said in a later tweet.
One Twitter user posted Jarrar’s Fresno State work number, which prompted her to respond that the number had not yet been activated, The Arizona Republic reported.
“If you really wanna reach me, here’s my number ok?” Jarrar said in a tweet, followed by the contact number for a 24-hour Arizona State University crisis line, called Empact.
The line was subsequently flooded with calls – 50 to 70 per hour – compared to the five calls per week they typically received, The Arizona Republic reported.
By Tuesday night, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. Eugene Gu issued a tweet, and told Jarrar that her actions had placed other people at risk.
“Your freedom of speech does not entitle you to have all these people spam an actual mental health crisis line. Please stop,” Dr. Gu wrote.
On Apr. 18, Fresno State University President Joseph Castro announced that the university was looking into the incident, The Fresno Bee reported.
“A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish,” Castro said. “We are all held accountable for our actions.”
“This was beyond free speech,” he added. “ This was disrespectful.”
Jarrar seemed unfazed by the backlash – which included a petition with tens thousands of endorsements calling for her ouster – and instead appeared to taunt her critics in yet another tweet, The Fresno Bee reported.
“I’m still fabulous, thanks for checking in. Love to all of you who have sent support,” the professor wrote.
On Tuesday, Jarrar told The Cut that she “absolutely” continued to stand by her comments.
“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 news outlet.
Jarrar, who says that she is of Egyptian, Palestinian, and Greek heritage, claimed that her critics targeted her because of her ethnic background.
“I am not the only person who has stated the belief that Barbara Bush was a racist,” she told The Cut. “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.”
Jarrar said that she had not received any “official emails from the university or any details about a so-called investigation,” The Cut reported.
Craig Bernthal, who is also an English department professor at Fresno State, said that he did not believe the university would be able to fire Jarrar unless she was found to have committed a crime, The Fresno Bee reported.
If investigators determined that Jarrar had caused enough disruption by directing people to call the Arizona State University’s crisis line, a criminal charge could result, Bernthal said.
Outside of that possibility, tenured professors are essentially shielded from being fired.
“It’s easy to be a radical if you’re a tenured professor,” Bernthal added.
The petition calling for Jarrar to be removed from her teaching petition had garnered nearly 40,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.