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Letter: Would you want to study at a university where freedom of speech is an ‘afterthought?’

By: Emily McKay Johnson

Whether she’s a professor, a writer or just a woman existing, Randa Jarrar has every right to say whatever she wants.

The problem is the context of her tweet was forgotten and instead, an outraged populous of tone-deaf Twitter users upholding white supremacist ideology have been calling for her termination en masse; let alone making incendiary comments about her appearance and ethnicity. I don’t care how many AIDS babies Barbara Bush kissed, the Bush dynasty left blemishes on our country and a mess across the world. That is a fact, but I digress.

If you’re one of the many students I’ve heard saying Jarrar needs to be fired, I urge you to ask why? Promptly ask yourself if you really want to go to a college where freedom of speech is an afterthought. If you do, I suggest you take a political science refresher immediately. Better yet, Timothy Buchanan teaches a Media Law class on Tuesday evenings I highly recommend.

To submit to the unfettered demands for Jarrar’s removal from our school is “deeply disturbing”, to quote President Castro, and echoes fascism. Fresno State leadership has a duty to uphold the First Amendment rights of its faculty and students.

Disagreeing with someone’s opinion does not constitute an investigation into their employment. To do so sends the message that our faculty is not valued. I value them, I value their voices.

Emily McKay Johnson studies media, communications and journalism at Fresno State.