A despicable racist apparently. Credit -Stand-Up Sucks, LLC

Readers will be familiar with Roseanne Barr’s disastrous tweet yesterday:

muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj

“vj” means Valerie Jarrett, a Machiavelli figure in Barack Obama’s inner circle, who is Iranian-born, and this could explain a few things about Obama policy. But not born to primates. She is African-American, and we are not supposed to make such a crude comparison.

Roseanne also is the star of a television show, the reincarnation of the Roseanne series, which portrays a supporter of Donald Trump sympathetically, on ABC-TV no less, and that is notable.

But in keeping with our modern society, where the key is Zero Tolerance because it shows how tough and stern we are, the punishment for a disparaging remark (if the referent is nonwhite or playing pretend or in the country illegally) is immediate shunning and a letter electronically tattooed on your forehead. ABC has immediately cancelled Roseanne and issued a press release about how it does not want to be associated with … something, perhaps the notion that African-Americans are simians, of which Roseanne’s tweet convinced no one anywhere. Hulu, Paramount, TV Land, and CMT will not air reruns of Roseanne, and the star’s agency, ICM Partners, has dropped her, as a person who holds values different from us (that an Obama aide is a daughter of apes? Really?) is a person we cannot be seen with:

What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her.

In fact, Jarrett does not look ape-like in the least. She does not even have a larger-than-Caucasian jawbone. Whereas Roseanne is fat and gross, and many people have said so, including traditionalists annoyed at her screeching of the US National Anthem before a baseball game in 1990 (ending by grabbing her crotch as some baseball players do), and including lefties annoyed that she would make support for Trump seem reasonable. Roseanne has not only moved on from these insults, but has built them into a lasting persona.

Jarrett responded with magnanimity about a Teachable Moment. Roseanne said it was the Ambien tweeting, closed her Twitter account, and apologized to the rest of the crew who lost their jobs (though that was not the fault of the tweet but of the Zero Tolerance). In a civilized society, the score should be settled. (Except that lefties now have a new anecdote to bolster their argument that the Trump phenomenon is essentially racism.)


Zero Tolerance, however, does not extend across the country to the New York City subway. A black woman enters the train with three young children in tow, and no one gives up their seat. Not a Jewish man (advertising his group membership with full regalia) nor an African-American woman nearby, and the latter took issue with the former:

“No, I need to calm down now because I’m schooling your a–,” the woman says. “You guys think you’re so f—king smart, but guess what? I’m gonna teach you a lesson on this f—king train today.”

The man reacted calmly and told the woman she was exhibiting racism. The woman denied it, as Judaism is not a race, and she had not said that Jews are dirty or that they stink.

Outside the Twitter-sphere, this is what is happening in America, and it is happening with impunity. We know the name and place of employment of the Jew who did not give up his seat. Israeli media tracked him down after a video of the episode appeared on the Internet. (“I hadn’t really mentioned anything to anybody because I didn’t want to make a big deal about it.”) No one has published the name of the black woman giving a stranger an obscene and racist harangue in front of children (at least the three who had just entered the train), and no one has suggested that she lose her job (perhaps a stretch of an assumption) or that future employers be able to call up this blotch on her reputation. There is no blotch, though she meant to hurt, while Roseanne at most meant to disparage a political adversary. Zero Tolerance works one way only.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Barr didn’t just have a brainfart. It was a total cranial rupture. Seeing that she was in a hole, she called in the heavy-duty earthmoving equipment to dig DEEP. Tu quoque doesn’t cut it here. She’s indefensible.

    We may lament at the inequitable application of sanctions for hate speech, but anyone expecting life to be fair is in for a very bumpy ride.

    • It is not merely some annoying “inequitable application of sanctions for hate speech,” about which we must just Grow Up, but a flagrant double standard, applied consistently. The Walt Disney Company, parent of the network that cancelled Roseanne, has just re-hired Keith Olbermann as a commentator on its sports network ESPN. He is hardly a sports commentator, and once implied that Trump was “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.” https://townhall.com/columnists/larryelder/2018/05/31/roseanne-is-out-explain-maher-sharpton-and-olbermann-n2485843

      You may feel the need to take a loud position against the current tweet, but “tu quoque” is off the mark. I am not writing an Appeal to Hypocrisy or saying that multiple harms make a right, but gauging the actual harm. Barr has been the continual butt (!) of crude physical humor, especially as she has occupied both extremes of the political spectrum, and we expect her to grin and bear it (which she has), without the immediate firing and lifetime shunning of her detractors. Political discourse is not always dainty — but one side, and certain groups, slam people with total impunity.