zaterdag 2 juni 2018
Roseanne Barr lost her popular show on ABC two days ago after she tweeted a racist and Islamophobic comment about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. The network’s response was fairly instant, and Barr launched into apology mode.
But as many have pointed out, Barr has a long history of hateful speech about Palestinians and Muslims, and of describing supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) aimed at Israel as Nazis. And she did not suffer career-wise for those comments.
This comment from Barr, about putting Palestinians in ovens, is particularly repugnant.
WATCH! In 2011 @ABC @Nightline asked @TheRealRoseanne about her photo shoot dressed as Hitler putting cookies shaped like Jews in an oven. Roseanne responds: "No it was not Jews it was Palestinians" https://archive.org/details/WJLA_20110107_043500_Nightline …
05:54 - 31 mei 2018
Barr was referring to a photo shoot in which she played Hitler, for Heeb magazine in 2009. Richard Silverstein capsulizes:
Roseanne volunteered for an inexplicably offensive photo shoot/article for Heeb Magazine titled, That Oven Feelin’, which featured her dressed as Adolf Hitler with moustache and Nazi armband. Pictures from the session show her eating burned “Jew cookies” fresh from the oven. Though both she and the magazine initially defended the tasteless stunt, the article no longer appears on the Heeb site.
She also called financier George Soros,a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, a Nazi collaborator.
Many leftwingers on twitter got angry tongue-lashings from Barr. Glenn Greenwald described the exception for hate speech against Arabs on Democracy Now!
I had a very vitriolic exchange, in fact several of them, with Roseanne, several years ago about Israel. She has become a very fanatical defender of Israel. And in the course of defending Israel, she often spewed some of the most grotesque and overt naked racism against Arabs and Palestinians that you’ll hear from any public figure this side of, say, David Duke. She deleted a lot of those tweets but I do remember them because some of the exchanges are still online, in which she was talking about Arabs and Palestinians being inferior, being prone to violence, deserving to be slaughtered and killed.She had previously said similar things about Susan Rice that she said about Valerie Jarrett. So obviously her comments yesterday received a lot of attention because she now has a show and they were so grotesque—just viscerally grotesque and racist to any person with a conscience–that ABC had no choice. But it wasn’t like this was something new for Roseanne. This is stuff that she has been saying about lots of different groups, including African Americans, but especially Arabs and Palestinians, for a long time. It’s just that Arabs and Palestinians, racism towards them tends to be more acceptable.
Barr had an anti-Zionist phase. Silverstein on Barr’s previous statements about Israel:
In 2009, the Jerusalem Post quoted Barr as calling Israel a “Nazi state.” On Kathleen Wells’ radio show in 2011, she called Israel a “brutal and undemocratic theocracy…which has the world’s fourth largest army.” In the same interview, she decried the 2009 Israeli invasion, Operation Cast Lead, as “terrible crimes against humanity” that made her “weep and sweat at night.”…She praised the courage of Rachel Corrie, who died defending Palestinian homes in Gaza, and she hailed the Gaza flotilla that broke the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave.
Then Barr converted to right wing Zionism in 2013. She said Barack Obama was anti-Israel, attacked the Labor Zionist leader Isaac Herzog as a puppet of Obama, started calling supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Nazis. She also posted many Islamophobic comments, including a graphic likening Islam to Nazism. Silverstein:
Perhaps her most infamous and outrageous public statement came after the UC Davis student government voted to endorse BDS. She posted to her social media account, “I hope all the jews leave UC Davis & it then it gets nuked.” After deleting that tweet, she followed with, “Nuke all UC Davis Jew-Haters.” She falsely accused Davis students supporting BDS of receiving “terror funding” from King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Barr unleashed a stream of vitriol at students supporting BDS, in tweets that Ali Abunimah saved.
In 2014, she wrote:
“If israel doesn’t nuke iran, then nothing makes sense anymore,”
This spring when the actress Natalie Portman refused to attend a ceremony with the Israeli prime minister at which she was to receive the Genesis Prize, Barr called Portman a nincompoop and said she wanted to move to Israel herself and run for prime minister. She endorsed Zionism as rooted in Torah, and said that the presence of Jewish activists in the BDS movement “threatens our existence.”
“Jews who are against other Jews is always been our problem since the first story in Torah. So maybe this time we could do something about it. And change it. We need to love each other. Jews need to love each other.”
Ron Fox, a longtime peace activist in the Boston area, writes to us that he had unpleasant exchanges with Barr on line.
http://mondoweiss.net/2018/06/roseanne-palestinians-muslims/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=394a406870-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-394a406870-398536457&mc_cid=394a406870&mc_eid=235463292bIn late 2015 and early 2016, while tweeting about, as usual, the oppression and brutality of Israel’s occupation, I was suddenly faced with tweets that were vicious, insulting, hateful and racist from @therealroseanne.For a short period of time, I was unsure that this was actually Roseanne Barr but, for some reason, with a little research, I was convinced that it was she.I apologize that I cannot recapture her actual tweets.However, I did find tweets from some of the other trolls that joined her in basically overwhelming my tweet account for about 10 days.The routine was that @therealroseanne would tweet something offensive and @EternallyJewish and/or @RisingRedStorm would then support her by Replying to @therealroseanne but directing their comments to @ronfoxIt was unnerving, to say the least….What is disturbing is how many have been enablers of her during these many years she has been an extremist, a racist and a proponent of conspiracy theories.
JUNE 1, 2018
by ISHMAEL REED
by ISHMAEL REED
Beginning in 1968 and until 2005, I held classes in Literature and writing at the University of California at Berkeley. Once in a while, I ran into a student who tried to get a rise out of me by writing a racist story or making a racist comment. I’d instruct the class that they could write all of the racist stories that they desired as long as they were fresh and original. That would usually end these clumsy efforts.
One day, I came to class and found written on the blackboard: “Dinner with Professor Reed, bring your own watermelon.” I told the class that the creator of this comment should come to my office or I’d turn him over to the Dean. I knew the identity of the person. He finally showed up. I told him that if he worked as an apprentice to the playwright Ed Bullins, who was preparing a play for production at Berkeley’s Black Repertory Group Theater, I wouldn’t report him. I thought that he’d get a position as a member of the crew. About ten weeks later, I saw the play. Ed Bullins had given him a role.
I never saw the student after he graduated. I don’t know whether his experience in Black theater and working with a Black playwright changed his mind about race. But I suspect that he, like many White students, who were raised in California towns, some of which were former Sun Down Towns, and like-minded people whom I have encountered Europe, Asia, and Africa, received all of his ideas about race from American film and television. Though ideologues might view Hollywood as “liberal,” the industry has produced a lot of films in which Blacks and Browns are dealt vigilante justice. One of the favorite genres is that of a detective who has to surrender his badge for using excessive force whereupon he’s free to go on a rampage of cracking heads. The much-admired film, “Crash” justifies police brutality and stop-and-frisk sexual molestation.
Roseanne did not invent the idea of Blacks as animals. You can blame some of the thinkers from the Enlightenment. Voltaire, for example, did not distinguish between Black men and apes. The Puritans arrived with the idea that North America, according to William Bradford in his 1650 “Of Puritan Plantation,” was “devoid of all civilized inhabitants and given over to savages, who range up and down, differing little from the wild beasts themselves.” Animal imagery was often used to describe president Michelle and Barack Obama.
But I find the hand-wringing from members of the Fourth Estate, the very ones who exhibit stereotypes of Blacks to hundreds of countries, to be hypocritical. Given the segregated media, most of the comments about Roseanne’s outburst were dominated by White pundits and reporters. On one panel, a smug Rich Lowry of The National Review became the judge of what constituted White Supremacy, when the magazine where he works was founded by an Anglo-Irish White supremacist. The few Blacks who were allowed on TV were preaching to what James Baldwin called “The Chorus of Innocents,” who, in his The Fire Next Time, were offered redemption. Mara Gay of The New York Times editorial board preached redemption as a possible deliverance for Ms. Barr and the next morning, Eugene Robinson, one of the token minority members of “Morning Joe,” used the same word.
Of course, Baldwin got tired of redeeming people and ridiculed “The Chorus of Innocents” in his best novel, Tell Me How Long The Train’s Been Gone. He was deemed ungrateful by his former patrons, and Mario Puzo was chosen to do the Times’s hatchet job on the book, maybe because Baldwin’s Italians are more complex than his.
MSNBC, which did a lot of sanctimonious hectoring of Roseanne has a series called “Lockup” in which viewers are invited to gawk at prisoners who are exhibited like animals in a zoo. Maybe that’s where Roseanne Barr got her ideas.
In 2007, my daughter Tennessee and I were guests of Roseanne Barr’s Las Vegas radio show. I agreed to go on because Tennessee was a big fan of the actress. A CD of the broadcast is among her prized possessions. During the show, Tennessee, who received a Master of Fine Arts degree at Mills College, with an emphasis on poetry, read a lengthy poem about a polar bear whose life was confined to a zoo.
At the end of the show, Roseanne asked me what could be done to solve the problem of racism. I said that education would help. I don’t know about Roseanne’s views about race before or after that show, but since then I’ve had second thoughts about my advice. The kind of education offered by American universities and colleges might even harden her racist views. Those who believe that American colleges and universities are overrun by politically correct radicals haven’t consulted college catalogues. Were they to do so, they’d discover that something American scholars call Western Civilization is dominant and that White Pride is supported in the Humanities divisions. Moreover, radicals of the kind that were present on campuses in the 1960s now can’t afford to go to college.
Some of the schools use “Gone With The Wind” to cover Reconstruction. In this film, enslavers are referred to as merciful “Knights and Ladies.” Maybe, like my student, Roseanne should consult places where Blacks define themselves instead of having their experience interpreted. One such place is the Black Theater, which, like other ethnic theaters, is close to extinction. They need help. Maybe this is a where she can begin her redemption.
Copyright © 2018 Ishmael Reed.
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