Petition to oust professor who attacked Barbara Bush after her death gets over 45,000 signatures

A petition calling for the “immediate termination” of a California State University, Fresno professor because of her comments about Barbara Bush shortly after the former first lady died has gathered more than 45,000 signatures.

The Change.org petition, which has a goal of 50,000 signatures, says that English professor Randa Jarrar’s “racism and inflammatory comments” about Bush merit she be terminated.

A few hours after Bush's death last week at the age of 92, Jarred referred to the former first lady in a tweet as a “generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.”

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She also wrote on Twitter that she was glad “George W. Bush is probably really sad right now.”

In response to Twitter users calling for her termination, she pointed out that she has tenure and “will never be fired.”

Jarrar has since made her Twitter account private.

California State University, Fresno President Joseph Castro said Jarrar’s comments were “horrible” and “disrespectful.” He also noted that, even though Jarrar has tenure, there are still consequences to what she says.

“A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish,” he said on Wednesday. “We are all held accountable for our actions.”

The university is currently investigating Jarrar. Provost Lynnette Zelezny told the Visalia Times Delta that there are situations where tenured faculty can be fired.

Jarrar stood by her comments on Tuesday, telling The Cut that she "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,” she said. “If we want a better future, we have to confront our past.”