Fresno State Says Tenure Won't Protect Professor Who Called Barbara Bush an 'Amazing Racist'

Tenure won't save Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar, who called former first lady Barbara Bush an "amazing racist" on the same day that she died, its university president said.

"A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish," University President Joseph Castro said Wednesday, according to the Fresno Bee. "We are all held accountable for our actions."

The controversy began when Jarrar took to Twitter to criticize the former first lady, who died Tuesday at the age of 92 in Houston.

"Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F-ck outta here with your nice words," Jarrar said in a tweet which is now protected.

Jarrar also wrote disparaging comments regarding former presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, in addition to those giving support to the Bush family.

On Tuesday, Castro denounced the professor's comments and sent his "deepest condolences to the Bush family." The university president also said Jarrar made those comments as a "private citizen."

After critics called out Jarrar's tweet and pushed for her removal, the Fresno professor responded by claiming she would "never be fired."

"If you'd like to know what it's like to be an Arab American Muslim American woman with some clout online expressing an opinion, look at the racists going crazy in my mentions right now," Jarrar tweeted.

Her Twitter account is now private, though it was public at the time. Reports said the professor has received threats.

Statement by @Fresno_State President @JosephICastro regarding tweets made today by a faculty member:

— Fresno State (@Fresno_State) April 18, 2018

Jarrar was supposed to be a headline speaker for Saturday's LitHop 2018 at Fresno City College, the Fresno Bee reported. On Wednesday, organizers said the professor told them that she would not attend, which they supported, citing "safety" as a priority for each individual.

Fresno City College also acknowledged Jarrar's words in a statement, reported by the outlet.

"While we respect the right to free speech, even objectionable speech, Jarrar's statements are her own and do not reflect the values of LitHop or Fresno City College," the release stated. "We acknowledge the severity of her statements and take very seriously the concerns expressed throughout the community."

The university describes the professor as an "award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator" on its webpage. It said that the professor relocated to the United States after the Gulf War from Kuwait and Egypt.