The folks at Starbucks must be livid!
After spending millions of dollars on a public relations campaign to revamp its image after two black male entrepreneurs were arrested for sitting in its cafe—in the upscale Philadelphia neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square while black—Roseanne Barr, like a star football player, leapt into the air, caught a wide pass thrown by the quarterback from team Johnson and ran it into the end zone for Team Trump.
Starbucks never saw it coming.
Roseanne Barr, who needs no introduction, has been a polarizing figure making America laugh and cringe since the 1980s, first as a stand-up comedian and then as Roseanne Connor on her hit TV show Roseanne.
Roseanne Barr, who needs no introduction, has been a polarizing figure making America laugh and cringe since the 1980s, first as a stand-up comedian and then as Roseanne Connor on her hit TV show Roseanne. But this week the show reboot was cancelled when she insulted former senior adviser to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett. referring to her as the offspring of “the Muslim Brotherhood and The Planet of the Apes.” In 2014 she hurled a similar insult at President Obama’s national security adviser stating, “ Susan Rice is a man with big swinging ape balls.”
Barr initially refused to apologize claiming that the statement was meant to be a joke. But as I contend here the racist ape trope is no joke.
She soon bowed to public pressure and apologized. She would later blame the sleep-aid Ambien for her racist outburst. Even late night host Jimmy Kimmel believed we should have compassion for her because she has mental illness.
ABC executives, however, weren’t having none of it; they cancelled the successful sitcom and gave Barr the boot. Now she is playing victim while engaging in a racist tweeter meltdown.
But Hollywood should have given Barr the boot years ago. Case in point, in 1990 Barr performed the national anthem before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds at Jack Murphy Stadium. At the conclusion of her unflattering performance, this now unapologetic Trump supporter spit on the ground and grab herself by the pussy.
It was an infamous moment characterized by then President George H. W. Bush as “ a disgrace;” and while she has never lived down the moment, her career suffered little as she continued serving up racist and anti-Semitic insults for popular consumption.
Of course her supporters are crying foul and accusing ABC and others of censorship.
Ironically, Colin Kaepernick who has been black balled by the NFL for kneeling during the anthem in protest of racism, police brutality, and mass incarceration as well as the NFL’s new policy which penalizes players for protesting during the song—you know because black folk should be grateful for all that America has done to them, I mean done for them (just kidding, I mean the former)—once again demonstrates the continued double standard which launders white racism at the expense of black lives.
Finally, Barr has paid a heavy price for her bigotry. But what about Kaepernick who knelt in the name of human rights? When will he be vindicated? I hope it won’t be decades before this true patriot and humanitarian is fully celebrated for the national treasure he is to us all.
Arica L. Coleman, PhD.
Scholar of U.S. history, the author of That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia (a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2014), Delaware Humanities Forum Evaluator, and Time.com/WP.com contributor. Follow @ www.aricalcoleman.com