Social media is still ablaze about Roseanne Barr, being who she has always been- racist and condescending, comparing former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarett to an ape. The backlash for Roseanne’s comments was swift, and within a matter of hours, ABC canceled Roseanne’s show, she was dropped by her talent agency, and several streaming networks pulled the older episodes of Roseanne from their lineup. Many of us were stunned at the backlash because Roseanne has always been Roseanne. This is not the first time Roseanne has called a Black woman an ape and more than likely, it will not be the last.
This is Roseanne’s idea of humor.
However, in the age of the screenshots, video, and racist comments spreading across the globe in a matter of seconds, many people are beginning to understand just how detrimental to their career and bad for their bank accounts being racist can be. A lifetime of work can be destroyed in 280 characters or less. Which is why I imagine most racists try to quickly put out an apology as if that absolves them from their vile behavior.
We have seen this from corporations like Starbucks to everyday people like New York attorney, Aaron Schlossberg, who was caught on camera mocking a woman for speaking Spanish and threatening to have her deported. Although this was not the first time that Schlossberg was caught on camera threatening to have Americans deported because he is so bright, this time his comments went around the world and Schlossberg issued an apology on his Twitter and LinkedIn account.
Similarly, Roseanne issued a series of apologies less than 24 hours after her racist tweet. Roseanne’s apoligies are as follows:
1. “Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet,” Barr tweeted. “I will be on Joe Rogan’s podcast Friday.”
2. “Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning, and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible [sic]. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please,” she also tweeted.
So let me get this straight it was the Ambien-tweeting and the fact that it was Memorial Day? I know when I take a sleeping aid on a holiday I go from a peace-loving social justice warrior to a woman ranting about Mexicans, Muslims, MS-13, building a wall and hijabs. It all makes sense!
Roseanne’s Ambien excuse reminded me of Rose McGowan posting that being called woman was like being called the n-word.
Believe me, as a Black woman I know any time someone calls me a woman I think, “My goodness that sounds just like I am being called the n-word!” After realizing that was she said was, in fact, stupid, Rose attempted to come back the next day and apologize, stating, that it was not her tweeting, but the weed she smoked.
Who knew?! Weed is the gateway drug to saying stupid shit that some can perceive as racist! And all this time I thought a little weed would just make me hungry.
Truthfully all of these apologies just make me laugh. It’s as if they are all scripted by the same publicist. “Oh, you made a racist comment? Let me go to my, ‘I shouldn’t have said something racist’ file and pull out the standard apology form.
“I am sorry if I offended _________________(Fill in the Blank). I love _____________________ (Fill in the Blank). My very best friend is __________________(Fill in the Blank). I am the least racist person you could ever meet. I voted for Obama once, twice, a third time if I could (circle all that apply). Last year I marched in _____________________(Fill in the Blank) March and even knitted __________ (number) pink pussycat hats. I can also quote Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Audre Lorde (circle all that apply). I am shocked by my behavior, and I am sorry that I let you down. I do not know what came over me. I didn’t have my coffee, tea, water, morning run, rest (circle all that apply). Also, I believe I had too much Ambien, Moscato, Xanax,Gin, Weed (circle all that apply). This will not happen again, as soon as the last time (choose one).
Honestly, why are they apologizing?
For getting caught?
For being who they are?
I am sure you have heard the story about the woman that finds a sick snake, and she takes the snake home to nurse it. Once the snake is all better, it bites her. She asks the snake, “Why did you bite me? I loved you, and I took care of you.” And the snake looks at her and says, “I thought you knew that I was a snake.”
ABC was bitten. Roseanne is going to be who Roseanne always was. For ABC to reboot her show as if she had somehow changed is laughable. ABC gambled on how much racism they could tolerate. Roseanne is no different today than she was a decades ago. Similarly, the lawyer Aaron Schlossberg is no different in the video that went viral than he was in all the other videos he was in being racist.
So stop with the apologies.
Stop apologizing for being racist.
Listen, it is not the KKK or outright White, tiki torch, khaki pants wearing racists that concern me. At the very least, I know where they stand. They do not like me because I am Black. I get it. I do not need to decipher anything about them. They wear their hate on their Abercrombie & Fitch sleeves.
It is the people that I cannot see, that I have to wonder about. The people that hide their racist motivations. That conceal their sheets underneath suits and ties. That use judge robes to hide their racism. That cloak their racism in blue uniforms and declarations of, “I was in fear for my life.” It is the person that is always saying their racist comments are just jokes. It is the teacher that suspends Black students for breathing. It is the waitress that secretly spits in my food in the back of the kitchen because she doesn’t like Black people. It is the neighbor that calls the police on Black people for existing. It’s the friend that never speaks up to defend a Black person. Those are the people that concern me.
Someone being an outright racist doesn’t scare me. I would have more respect for someone like Roseanne if she just said, “I said it and I am standing by it.” Coming online to apologize then tweeting all day long to negate the apology means Roseanne didn’t mean the apology in the first place. You don’t take an Ambien and turn into a racist. You don’t miss out on your mocha latte and start threatening to have people deported. You don’t have too many drinks and start calling everyone the n-word. In Latin there is a phrase, “in vino veritas’ meaning “in wine, truth.” What is in you always comes out. You can only wear a mask for so long, eventually it will always fall off.
These people are not apologizing because they are sorry. They are simply sorry that they got caught and have to face the consequences.
Spare us all the canned apology. I am from the old school. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.