- Professor of English at California State University at Fresno
- Avid supporter of the Hamas-inspired Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement
- Celebrated the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush in 2018
Randa Jarrar was born in 1978 in Chicago but was raised in Kuwait by her Egyptian-Greek mother and Palestinian father. The family moved back to the United States after the Gulf War ended in 1991, and Jarrar went on to earn a BA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas-Austin, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. She subsequently published two books, A Map of Home (2009) and Him, Me, Muhammad Ali (2016). While writing the first of those books, Jarrar was receiving government assistance in the form of welfare and food stamps. She is currently a tenured English professor at California State University at Fresno, where she earns a six-figure salary. She also serves as executive director of The Radius of Arab American Writers, which describes itself as “a national organization that provides mentoring, community, and support for Arab American writers and those with roots in the Arabic speaking world and the diaspora.” Bitch Magazine once described Jarrar as “a queer, Muslim, Palestinian-American and proud fat femme” who “lives the complexities of intersectionality.”
Jarrar is an avid supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that aims to use various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state.
In a January 2017 interview published in the L.A. Review of Books, Jarrar said: “F*** white supremacy. F*** white people who think they can steal from us with impunity.” In that same interview, Jarrar explained that she tries to “make space” in her classroom “for students of color” by “talking openly about white hegemony and supremacy.”
On other occasions, Jarrar has said the following:
- “I’m inspired by several things: usually my hatred for ‘the man’ and my total annoyance with, like, injustice.”
- “I can’t f***ing stand the white hetero-patriarchy, and then sometimes I’m sucking a white dick.”
- “I’m … just tired of the Left being f***ing stupid and [thinking that] we have to be gentle.’ No, don’t be f***ing gentle!”
- “Why is [white nationalist Richard] Spencer’s house still standing? I don’t understand. Like, it needs to be f***ing broken into. People need to f***ing throw grenades into it. I don’t give a f***. Like, that person is a white supremacist, nationalist evil bastard.… I come from a tradition where, like, that’s how Palestinians got any kind of, you know, whatever.”
- “[How] a person hones their writer’s voice is by telling people to shut the f*** up when they annoy them. You know, call them out for their inappropriate and spilling-out masculinity. Make fun of them in public around a bunch of other people that were at an event.”
- “Ha ha, f*** you. Empire, I mean you know. It counts on brown and black bodies to keep going. This is actually my sh**. The reason you have nice stuff is because you stole my stuff. You stole my resources, you stole my land … you raped me.”
- “I can’t wait for the old white guard of literary writers and ‘critics’ to die. Their time is f***ing up, too.”
- “[A] lot of the farmers now are Trump supporters and just f***ing stupid.” (Jarrar said this after Donald Trump was elected U.S. President in 2016.)
Jarrar has lauded the radical “resistance fighters ” of the 1960s and ’70s, noting, with admiration, that “they didn’t kill anyone” but “they scared the sh** out of people.” “You know,” she elaborated, “they would hijack a plane and be like, ‘We’re not going to hurt anyone on this plane, but we are going to f***ing hijack this plane.’”
Jarrar made national headlines in April 2018 as a result of a series of comments she made about former First Lady Barbara Bush, after the latter’s death on April 17. “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” Jarrar wrote on Twitter. “F*** outta here with your nice words.” In another tweet, she said: “PSA: either you are against these pieces of sh** and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem. that’s actually how simple this is. 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.”
In response to the large amount of criticism she received for her remarks about Mrs. Bush, Jarrar tweeted: “All the hate I’m getting ALMOST made me forget how happy I am that George W Bush is probably really sad right now.” Moreover, Jarrar gloated over the fact that she had permanent job security and thus would face no consequences for her remarks about Mrs. Bush: “i work as a tenured professor. I make 100K a year doing that. i will never be fired. i will always have people wanting to hear what i have to say.” Jarrar also stated that she was now “danc[ing] happily on the grave of someone I despise. It’s SO FUN!”
When Jarrar was asked in a December 7, 2016 interview whether she believed that she had a right to be paid “to just to sit around and think about sh**,” she replied: “I say that all the time. That’s why I’m an academic.”
For additional information about Randa Jarrar, click here.
Further Reading & Viewing: “Randa Jarrar: Bigot of Fresno State,” by Lloyd Billingsley (4-23-2018); “Professor Randa Jarrar: The New Public Enemy #1,” by Alex Weldon (4-18-2018); “Taking Down the House: An Interview with Randa Jarrar,” by Los Angeles Review of Books (1-5-2017); “Contagious Exchanges: Randa Jarrar with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha” (Video, 12-7-2016); “Randa Jarrar Visits MJC” (Video, Part Four, 2-15-2017).
The Bitch Magazine quote was cited in the Los Angeles Review of Books (1-5-17). Ben Shapiro explains that: “Intersectionality is a form of identity politics in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to…. By focusing on the places where various victim identities intersect, intersectionality creates a united ‘us’ versus ‘them’ paradigm: righteous victims rising up together to fight the oppressor, those dreaded straight, white men.”