The Atlantic

Randa Jarrar, Moral Grandstanding, and Forbearance

Fixating on offensive speech amplifies its harms—often, the best course is simply to ignore it.
Source: Richard Carson / Reuters

Last week, the Fresno State creative writing professor Randa Jarrar sparked the latest round of debate about free speech on college campuses when she reacted to Barbara Bush’s death by speaking ill of the dead on Twitter. “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” she wrote. “Fuck outta here with your nice words.”

In an unintentional echo of President George W. Bush’s “with us or against us” moral logic, she declared, “PSA: either you are against these pieces of shit and their genocidal ways or you're part of the problem. That's actually how simple this is,” adding the sentiment, “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. byyyeeeeeeee.”

If hate speech was not protected by the First Amendment, as some progressives contend, it would be necessary for us to probe whether or not it is of , of , and staffers at the all reached.

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