An award-winning novelist and English professor at California State University, Fresno, has reportedly called on fellow writers to demand that white editors immediately resign from positions of power.
Randa Jarrar, who kept her job in April despite sparking a national backlash for cheering the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, wrote a tweet Tuesday in response to The Nation publishing an allegedly racist poem, Campus Reform reported.
“At some point, all of us in the literary community must DEMAND that white editors resign,” Ms. Jarrar wrote in tweets published by Campus Reform, obtained from her private Twitter account. “It’s time to STEP DOWN and hand over the positions of power. We don’t have to wait for them to [expletive] up. The fact that they hold these positions is [expletive] up enough.”
Ms. Jarrar’s was reportedly responding to the controversy surrounding a poem, “How-To” by Anders Carlson-Wee, published in The Nation that was later deemed culturally insensitive and “ableist.”
The magazine’s poetry editors, Carmen Gimenez Smith and Stephanie Burt, have since apologized, saying they made a “serious mistake” in publishing the poem, but Ms. Jarrar is calling on them to resign.
The “Him, Me, Muhammad Ali” author is still facing blowback from her April tweet smearing the late Barbara Bush as an “amazing racist” who “raised a war criminal.”
“I’m happy the witch is dead,” she wrote, sparking an ongoing petition that fetched nearly 90,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
Joseph Castro, the president of the public university, said at the time that Ms. Jarrar’s tweets were an embarrassment, but protected speech under the First Amendment.
In this case, a spokesperson for Fresno State told Campus Reform that Ms. Jarrar’s comments did “not reflect those of the University.”
Ms. Jarrar did not respond to the publication’s request for comment.
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