It would be a mistake for conservatives to get Randa Jarrar fired, and Fresno State made the right call in not terminating her employment. This case gives us an opportunity to examine our tactics.
One thing I appreciate about Donald Trump is how he is a counter-puncher. If you attack him, he will hit back. That has had a negative influence on the Republican Party and the conservative movement, but it has been positive too. For too long, conservatives did not fight back when attacked. Even worse, many conservatives even attacked their fellow conservatives for fighting back. Since Trump became the GOP standard-bearer, many more conservatives are following his example in a good way.
One of the favorite sayings of the Trump wing of the GOP is we should “fight fire with fire.”
But just because the Left does something to us does not mean we should do the same thing. It is true that the Left often seeks to purge academia of conservative voices and tries to ruin conservatives professionally for saying even innocuous things – including things that have been boringly normal orthodox Christian doctrine for two thousand years. But we either believe in free speech or we do not. As much as we hate the things some radical Leftist professors say, if we are going to maintain credibility in defending free speech we cannot be advocating that they be fired for what they say or write.
Before I go on, I should address the Washington Post’s headline:
Fresno State says it can’t discipline the professor who called Barbara Bush an ‘amazing racist’
This is what we call “fake news.” Yes, Jarrar called Bush a racist, but that is not what had people angry. What made people angry is that Jarrar said she was glad that Barbara Bush is dead. While the text of the article does mention what Jarrar actually said, the headline sets the tone for the article. It is dishonest to focus on the accusation of racism and not the celebration of Mrs. Bush’s death.
Now, let’s be clear. Randa Jarrar is a deviant pervert. Celebrating the death of Barbara Bush because you do not like her adult son’s policies as President of these United States is disgusting and repulsive. Jarrar should certainly be subject to social sanction for her depravity, and she should be harshly criticized, mocked and ridiculed for what she said. Jarrar herself has no moral authority to complain about uncivil attacks on her, because she is the one who jumped into the sewer in the first place.
But ripping Jarrar to shreds in the court of public opinion is a far cry from having a state institution discipline someone for speech protected by the First Amendment. If we believe in the principles of free speech, then we need to defend it for everyone – even the most repulsive trolls among us.