This amazing departure from the flood of hagiography on the late Barbara Bush has evoked the wrath of decent people and Internet trolls all over America. Their belief in the First Amendment is apparently not as important in their belief in Emily Post, not to mention their belief a wrathful Old Testament God.
It is deemed improper to speak ill of the dead no matter how awful they may have been in life. And when an awfully important and powerful person dies, it is especially incumbent upon all good nonthinking Americans to pretend that they were living saints, regardless of whether you "agreed" with them or not. Death is a magical thing to magical-thinking people. It bestows upon the corpse, especially the still-warm corpse, a glow of righteousness for the mere fact that it no longer breathes. Speak ill of the dead, and you risk the dead person striking you dead, whether it be from their exalted perch in heaven and from the lowest circle of Hell. Even the most enlightened and liberal Americans can harbor an atavistic belief in ghosts and divine retribution.
And even if you don't believe in ghosts, and you have not joined in lockstep awe of Barbara Bush, you should feel ashamed of yourself for dissing her while her loved ones are still grieving. This is despite the fact that her loved ones are not so grief-stricken themselves that they canceled their previously scheduled plutocratic confab in Dallas. (see my previous post.) Just like a multi-day wake, it will end on the very day of Barbara's funeral in a Christian church.
Even though some of America's richest people are now gathered together at Dubya's presidential shrine to talk about money and power and influence instead of gathering to pray for the Matriarch, Professor Randa Jarrar and all of you heretics should at least feel ashamed of yourselves for not being in lockstep with our beloved awesome liberal ex-presidents, who are falling all over themselves in awe of Barbara Bush.
The Washington Post leads its own smear piece on the comparatively powerless Professor Jarrar by juxtaposing her irreverent tweet with the bland words of two of the most powerful men in the country:
The Post then goes on to compare these calm and reasonable words with the "rants" of Jarrar against the Twitter backlash.In the hours after Barbara Bush died Tuesday, even those who didn’t share the former first lady’s political views expressed their condolences and recounted warm memories of the Bush family matriarch.
School officials also said they were reviewing the tenured professor’s position.The Post quotes the college's president as saying that Jarrar's "taunting" remarks (including her snarkily referring Twitter critics to a suicide prevention hotline) "were beyond free speech. This was disrespectful. A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish. We are all held accountable for our actions."
More than 2,000 people had replied to Jarrar before she made her Twitter account private, the Sacramento Bee reported.Some were upset at what they viewed as her incivility about a woman widely regarded as genteel.For others, the sin was more basic: She had spoken ill of the dead.Jarrar pointed to the comments as an example of “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,” she tweeted.
Well, not so much if you started an illegal war and "tortured some folks" as did the honored and rehabilitated George W. Bush, or if you destroyed the entire global economy, as did the Wall Street bankers. This is, after all, Exceptional America. In any event, Jarrar has apparently so threatened Fresno State that officials have now put "extra security" in place in order to safeguard the safe-thinking population who harbor nothing but kind words and thoughts about Mrs. Bush. And for further protection, in appeasement to the wrathful etiquette gods, the campus flags were lowered to half staff, and College Republicans have scheduled a memorial service in her honor.
In case that isn't enough paranoia and superstition, the public shaming and virtual stoning of the free-thinking Professor Jarrar has even migrated to the Kingdom of Amazon where trolls have posted hundreds of harsh reviews on her books (which they haven't read) and thus lowered her ratings.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, who owns both the Washington Post and Amazon, will deliver a sold-out speech at George W. Bush's shrine on Saturday. This appearance has nothing whatsoever to do with honoring Barbara Bush, and everything to do with burnishing his image and instilling hope in Dallas that he will pick that Texas city as his second US headquarters, at much taxpayer expense.
Cash-strapped municipalities are in a virtual bidding war to become part of the Bezos Empire. In exchange for his promise to create an estimated 50,000 new low-paying jobs for the winning city, the winning city will be expected to foot the bill for the infrastructure to ensure the smooth and ceaseless flow of profits to the richest man in America as well the smooth and ceaseless flow of goods to America's good-thinking citizen-consumers.
Only in America could this oligarch, whose employees are so poorly paid that they qualify for food stamps and Medicaid, enjoy the respect and a greater right to free speech than a professor whose talent and specialty is creative writing.
She not only thinks independently, she's in the business of teaching young people to think independently and then to convey those thoughts to others via the power of the written word. Randa Jarrar is therefore deemed to be a clear and present danger.
If you still had any doubts that the USA is a full-blown fascist state with repressive religious undertones, you might as well disabuse yourself of them right now.
Sinclair Lewis was right. Fascism arrived cloaked in the American flag, emblazoned with a cross, as evidenced most recently on the campus of Fresno State.