Roseanne Barr and Whataboutism
The big news of last week was Roseanne Barr’s popular sitcom being shut down because she tweeted something seriously racist.
For those unaware of what she tweeted, I’m going to show you. This is in reference to Valerie Jarrett, who is black:
It’s important to understand that comparing people of color (specifically black people) to apes is not just kind of racist. It is part of a long history of dehumanizing black people.
So what she said wasn’t just a “misstatement,” it was racist as fuck.
Barr has made racist statements in the past and has been publicly supportive of Donald Trump (as is her right), who is also a racist. And a sexual predator. We shouldn’t forget that Trump is a sexual predator.
This one, however, got her fired. And that doesn’t piss me off because free speech is not consequence free speech.
It does piss me off that a whole lot of other people are out of work because of what Barr said. Now, that’s the way this shit goes sometimes. They all knew Barr had a tendency to say outrageous things and they took that risk. The likely assumed the fact the show was enjoying high ratings might protect them from all but the most egregious things their star might say online.
Bad news: She said the most egregious thing.
Still, in the midst of liberal dance jams celebrating the fall of Roseanne, remember that our racist in chief is going to give Roseanne a golden parachute of some kind because he has shown the unending capacity to reward those who show him loyalty. Like Dinesh D’Souza.
So while Barr will carry on supported by the most nepotistic President in history, the rest of her cast and crew is out of work. They will find other work. But let’s remember that when Barr took herself off the air, she got a shit ton of other people fired in the process and they are not as likely to enjoy the love of the right Roseanne will enjoy.
Of course, a side effect of Trumpism is what John Oliver calls Whataboutism (he didn’t originate it but I heard it from him so I’m giving him credit).
Since Roseanne Barr got in trouble for being a racist, the right has immediately started looking for left leaning celebrities to punish. While this is fallacious reasoning, they don’t care. They can’t blame Barr for being racist so instead they want to find someone they can point to as a liberal who didn’t get punished for doing the same thing Barr did.
This allows them to remain the victimized underdog despite the fact they control all three branches of the Federal government, most governor mansions, and most state legislatures.
So what they came up with was Whoopi Goldberg and a shirt she was “wearing.”
I put “wearing” in quotes for a reason. The reason, of course, is that this image is a complete fucking fake. You can actually tell it is doctored if you know anything about doctoring images.
But that really doesn’t matter. What matters is to switch the conversation from Barr being a racist to Goldberg wearing a horrible shirt about Trump killing himself.
And let’s be clear – while I believe all of us (especially people of color) would be a lot better off if Trump was not our President – I don’t want him to shoot himself. I wouldn’t wish that on his family any more than I would wish all of the people working on “Roseanne” would lose their jobs because their star is a racist shitbag.
When you point out this photo is doctored to conservatives, their response is basically “yeah but she probably wore something that offensive at one point and besides whatever you used to find the proof it’s fake has a liberal bias because we conservatives are persecuted and that’s why we control all three branches of the federal government, and most governor’s mansions and state legislatures.”
They don’t care. Even though the most un biased proof in the world is just looking at the picture. It’s doctored! Holy shit! Are you willfully blind or actually blind?
Later in the week, conservatives shifted their attention from the fake picture of Whoopi Goldberg to a real thing Samantha Bee said on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”
In talking about immigration, Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt.” She has since apologized because it was a poor choice. It wasn’t very funny. And when you are a comedian, being funny is top priority.
Barr should realize that as well.
Cries have gone up for Bee to be fired because, you know, double standard liberal bias blah blah blah. I mean, Barr apologized, right? And she got fired. But Bee didn’t. Yet. LIBERAL BIAS!
Now let’s understand the difference between racism and calling the President’s daughter a bad name.
One is racism. Full stop.
What Bee said was pretty stupid. Her and her writers had opportunities to make a different choice. They probably thought they were being edgy. But they were just calling Ivanka Trump a name. A really horrible name. A name that really didn’t do anything useful.
And look – I’m completely against tone policing. You want to use the c-word to describe someone, that’s your call. But you’d better have a really good fucking reason for doing so and if your reason is “it’s a punchline,” it needs to be the best fucking punchline you’ve ever uttered. The odds are just saying “cunt” is not going to be the best punchline you’ve ever uttered.
The right suggests that Bee’s apology is disingenuous because she had to know what she was doing when she said the word.
And yeah, she did. I’m a comedian. I’ve performed in some really offensive shows and when I’ve said offensive stuff. I knew what I was doing every time.
I’ve also crossed the line and been called on crossing the line. And I apologized.
Not because I didn’t know what I was doing. But because I got it wrong. I thought what I was doing was clever and funny and it was just stupid and wrong. When you screw up, you apologize and that apology can be sincere even if you thought you knew what you were doing at the time. Samantha Bee got it wrong and her apology is basically saying she got it wrong.
Should her show be cancelled? Probably not. Because getting it wrong is different from being a fucking racist.
In the end, though, none of us are talking about racism. And if we can really get to the heart of what pisses me off about all of this, it is that last bit.
What Barr said was racist. Comparing a black woman to an ape is racist and demeaning.
Barr has been racist for a long time. The people supporting her (specifically Trump) are also racist. They don’t like it when people point that out because being racist is bad. And it should be.
Doctoring a picture of a black celebrity to counter what Barr said doesn’t solve the fact that what Barr said was racist.
Tone policing what Bee did just takes attention away from Barr being a racist.
So what we aren’t doing is talking about racism. Barr had the number two show in the country and she’s been racist for a long time. This time she crossed a line and couldn’t walk back to the other side.
But she’s going to be rewarded for that racism because the most powerful man in the country is a racist.
People should lose their jobs for being openly racist. Trump should never have been hired in the first place because he is openly racist.
So please, let’s forget about the fact that Samantha Bee made a bad joke at the expense of the President’s wealthy, powerful, and attractive (to the President) daughter. Because Ivanka Trump can take it.
I mean seriously, stop worrying about Bee’s language choices for a moment to recognize that at the end of all of this, Ivanka Trump is doing just fine. You want to be offended on behalf of anyone in this entire endeavor, how about being offended for Whoopi Goldberg because she’s the only person who didn’t do what people are accusing her of doing. She’s also the only person of color.
You know who isn’t doing just fine? People of color in America. Because our President is a racist and he’s going to give Roseanne Barr a job while all those other people who worked with Barr, most of whom are not racist, won’t get a call from the white house.
Barr, Bee, Ivanka and yes, even Whoopi Goldberg are all sideshows to that basic fact. The racists are winning. Trump even said it himself this week (he said “we are winning” and may have meant “conservative jackasses like me are winning” but “racists” is just as likely). If you want to be pissed off about anything, be pissed off about that.
White People Are Calling the Police on Black People All Over the Place
Since I missed last week’s column (I was on a trip for my anniversary and we had a lovely time thank you), I didn’t get to write about the white woman who called the cops on a black student who fell asleep at college or the white woman who called the cops on a black family barbecuing. I was also going to write about the two Native American students who were on a campus tour but detained when a white woman called campus security on them.
I was going to write about all three happening in the same week. But then I didn’t write a post last week.
Then this week a Hobby Lobby manager called the police when a black man with proper receipt tried to return something to their store. Shockingly, the manager was a white woman! A white woman also called the police on a black man who was inspecting a property he was planning to buy.
In every one of these cases, the people had done nothing wrong. I mean aside from not being white. In most cases, the individuals reported were at least inconvenienced by the situation. But in all cases, the police acknowledged they had, basically, done nothing wrong.
I suppose all of these people of color should be relieved that they hadn’t raised the concern of a white male because he probably would have shot them and claimed self defense.
I know, not all white women call the cops on people of color. And not all white dudes shoot black people. It seems silly that I have to point out that I’m using hyperbole to make a point but I fear I will bruise fragile white egos if I don’t point out to the white people reading this column that I’m not talking about them specifically.
But then let me as a white dude say this – yes I am.
Because this is our problem. When you put a racist in the White House and you argue that we need to understand both sides of the argument, you are forgetting that sometimes one side is right and the other side is wrong. When a black man can’t return something to a store without the manager calling the cops, the problem isn’t the black man’s behavior.
One one side you have a guy just trying to get on with his day and on the other, you have a racist.
So maybe you aren’t specifically calling the cops on black people. Or shooting black people. Next time it happens, though, maybe you should stop trying to see the “other side” because if you are white, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to know someone might call the cops on you for existing.
The White House Correspondents dinner was this weekend. It is an event in which a comedian is hired to roast the President and the White House Press Corps. For the second year in a row, Donald Trump opted not to attend.
Because he’s a coward who isn’t capable of listening to a single negative thing said about him. That alone should piss you off. Donald Trump is a coward. Doesn’t matter the awful things that may or may not have been said. He couldn’t take the softest of softball jokes about him.
At least he knows it, I guess. So he holds a campaign event where everyone loves him and then tweets about an event he didn’t attend like some kind of smug asshole. Which is the role he was born to play.
Michelle Wolf spoke truth to power and she didn’t pull punches. The predictable result was conservative politicians upset because she made jokes about Trump’s pussy grabbing (he said it you magnanimous fucks) and Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ lies (not her appearance – watch the actual video).
In the end, she called out the press and that is probably why they turned against her. She pointed out that whether or not the press corps likes Trump, they made him. They profit from him and even as Trump takes unending potshots at them, they are secretly happy to have him around.
She then pointed out that Flint still doesn’t have clean water.
You can complain that she wasn’t telling a joke when she said that. You can even argue that her comedy routine wasn’t funny (I laughed but comedy is subjective). But the fact is her final message – that all of this is bullshit because the people of Flint should be able to drink water and none of us give a fuck about that any more – got lost amidst reporters falling all over themselves to feel sorry for Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Post racist America is alive and well in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
14-year-old Brennan Walker (yes – you read that right – he’s fourteen) missed his bus and he got lost. Sounds pretty scary, right? Not compared to what happened next.
Next, he rang a doorbell to ask directions. The woman who answered the door freaked out and said he was trying to rob them. Because most robbers ring the doorbell.
Her husband grabbed a gun and that’s when Brennan ran. As he was running away, the dude shot at him. Fortunately, he missed or Brennan would be a statistic and his murderers would be claiming they were in fear for their lives to avoid going to jail.
And they probably were.
Because they are racist fucks who freaked out when a black kid came to their door. The guy who shot at Brennan (who was convinced he was a “good guy with a gun”) is facing charges but we all know he’s probably going to get away with it. Because a fourteen year old kid asking for directions was a credible threat.
What’s sad is Brennan’s mom told him this could happen. She warned him that people would be afraid of him because he’s young and black. The warning probably saved his life because he ran away from the murdering racists before they could murder him.
Isn’t it great, though, that the mothers of black young men need to prepare them for situations like this? Because they actually happen?
Jones is a holocaust denier, white supremacist and unapologetic asshole. He’s such a fascist doucebag, his own party has been campaigning against him. They had to because he was unopposed.
He’s running in a heavily Democratic district represented by an anti-abortion Democrat who narrowly won a primary against a far more liberal opponent. He isn’t going to win.
But how the hell did he end up on the ballot? I mean, how is it that nobody noticed this fuck stick needed to have some opposition that was, at least, not quite so publicly racist?
I realize there are congressional districts that are not typically in play but here’s the horror scenario: say the current Democratic nominee turns out to be a sexual predator. You know, like our President.
Since he’s a Democrat, this would mean he could face a considerably tougher campaign and if the decides to stay in the race, suddenly his Republican opponent – a fucking Nazi – could pull an upset. Now, I’m assuming the Republicans would try to field an independent candidate or figure out some other way to keep this yahoo from being elected (that is currently what they are looking to do in the general election).
Still, he’s on the ballot in the R column. Which gives some measure of credibility to his point of view.
And the issues of the Republicans failing to keep this guy off of their ticket aside, twenty thousand people voted for him. He should have gotten one vote. He claims he’d get a vote from his wife but I’m guessing he probably doesn’t think she should have the right to vote.
Maybe a lot of those people didn’t know he was a Nazi. They just voted for the dude with the R next to his name.
So what’s worse, that some of those twenty thousand actually knew what kind of person they were voting for, or some of them would vote for any Republican and don’t even care if he is a Nazi?
I’m not pissed about teens running for Governor. I think it’s hilarious that someone finally noticed there is no age restriction to be Governor in Kansas and while I’m pretty sure no teenager is equipped to do the job competently, being seventy hasn’t helped our current President any so what the hell?
Given the current law doesn’t even require a candidate to be human, the legislature is working on a fix but it won’t be in place before the fall elections so Kansas might elect someone who isn’t even old enough to be drafted.
Here’s what pisses me off – every single teenager running to be governor of Kansas is a white male. Some are Republicans. Some are Democrats. A few are members of other parties. But they are all a bunch of white males.
In Fact, the crowded field includes only one woman. She’s a Democrat and this is Kansas so she probably won’t win.
So the real question we should ask here is: why is it that no seventeen year old girl decided to run? I mean, it is clear the law makes that possible given that a dog could run for governor so long as it could file the proper papers.
It seems that, at least in Kansas, young women are learning early that they should not speak up. They are being shown by the young men around them that politics is not a game for women of any age. That the boys know what they are doing.
Who am I kidding? It isn’t just Kansas.
Although the demographics show that more women will be running for office than ever before this year, this one state proves we have a long way to go.
And no, boys, I don’t want you out of politics. I want more women in politics. Read More…