Monday, February 18, 2019

Why Roseanne Barr’s Demise Will Have No Impact On America’s Race Problem.

June 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Ent., Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( White Americans continual charge that Black America is paranoid in regards to occurrences of racial bigotry, the truth of the matter is that our charges of racial bias are supported by tangible evidence. One only needs to look at any study that examines continuing racial disparities between black and white citizens. It is actually not a stretch to posit that every portion of the United States of America has been and is currently being affected in some form or fashion by some incident of racial bias.

I would like to believe that the counter-arguments that flow so freely from the mouths of whites when conversations regarding racial bigotry arise, however, I have lived long enough to realize that white privilege tends to do strange things to the moral compass of even the most righteous whites. What White America fails to understand about racial bigotry is that it is similar to rancid meat, meaning that it does not have to be in one’s view for its presence to be detected or to affect you. Hence, the arrival of Roseanne Barr’s tweet of if the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj” aimed at Valerie Jarrett, a trusted senior adviser to President Barack Hussein Obama, is not the least bit shocking to anyone who has paid any attention to America’s never-ending cultural wars.

Considering the alluded to cultural wars, I doubt that anyone can effectively argue against the fact that the widely popular comedian Roseanne Barr and star of the recently resurrected ABC sitcom “Roseanne” reflect the viewpoints and political perspective of a white silent majority who rarely share their views and understanding of American race relations in public spaces, they are much too savvy for such missteps. Let’s be clear on this matter, White America is not alone in their adoration of figures such as Roseanne Barr who bravely say the very things that they wish that they had the nerve to say in public.

Greatness is not attached to the name of a black comedian unless he is able to issue shocking, yet truthful, social commentary about white folk for an oppressed black populace who agree with their statements yet will never throw caution to the wind and tell white folk exactly how they feel. I believe that most will understand that a comedian such as Roseanne Barr is to White America what Paul Mooney is to Black America; meaning a comic offering risqué social commentary that one would hesitate to laugh uproariously at in front of “mixed company” regardless of the truth that you believe they are speaking.

If nothing else, internet message boards and Twitter allow users to express their viewpoints from private spaces that give off the façade that one is protected. I am uncertain if it is the ease with which such loaded quips can be offered or the fact that the target of their negativity is not nearby that emboldens people to articulate things that they would never say if face-to-face with the target of their bigoted comments.

Although rarely discussed, it is difficult for African-Americans to be raised in America and not adopt negative perspectives and viewpoints regarding their own people. Let’s be honest about this matter, the justifications for hating black people in this nation are found in movies, newscasts, documentaries, and even school curriculums. Those Americans who receive their entire orientation of the worth, or the lack thereof, of black people from a hostile white society, are destined to develop daunting perspectives of African-Americans. And if it can be stated that it is difficult for blacks to not develop negative perspectives of other blacks, it is a veritable impossibility among White America.

Logic dictates that White America’s hatred for African-Americans has a genesis. When one considers that babies arrive in this world absent of any knowledge of how this realm operates, it is reasonable to assert that humans learn everything that they know, or at least what they believe that they know, via observation and participation in cultural practices and political viewpoints that were here long before they made their debut. Roseanne Barr’s vitriol of Valerie Jarrett communicates her identity as a person whose life’s path has informed her disdain for Black America.

One conclusion that I made long ago after hearing repeated rants of racial bigotry was that white animosity toward Black America has been best diagnosed by a construct offered by Carter G. Woodson, the genius historian whose vision led to Black History Month. In a long forgotten essay, Woodson issued the following question, “Why not destroy the Negro if he hasn’t contributed anything to society?” Of course, Woodson knew better than anyone else the admirable record of black contributions. In fact, his piercing query was not a question at all, rather a subtle indictment of white socialization as the catalyst behind unending racial bigotry. The alluded to hatred is woven into the fabric of huge-swaths of White America in such a significant way that to lose that would mean losing an important parcel of their identity. What would white folk be if they did not have black folk to hate?

There is no escaping the daunting reality that the only problem that huge-swaths of our populace have regarding Barr’s poor attempt at racial humor is that it has closed the curtain on her career. Only those who care little about their careers or social status would dare not denounce Barr; however, public denouncement says much about a figures mastery of public relations and very little about one’s private beliefs regarding Race in America.

I am certain that white Hollywood stars will stumble over one another in their rush to issue a statement distancing themselves from Barr, however, such denunciation is once again a survival strategy and not an indicator of an acceptance of racial equality.

If nothing else is learned from U.S. History, it should be that racial bias has been integral to one’s survival in a highly competitive and increasingly diverse nation. Hence, the fallout surrounding Roseanne Barr’s tweet has everything to do with surviving this latest moment in America’s continuing culture wars for ABC and other actors/actresses who understand that they are extremely fortunate to have such a lucrative job and can be easily replaced.

It is obvious that Roseanne Barr’s career has been ruined as a result of her public articulation of racial bigotry, what is less obvious to is that her removal accomplishes little. It is somewhat amazing that this late in the game people are still dealing with the symptoms (prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and institutional racism) of a deep-rooted problem that many haphazardly term “racism” that has had more say in how this nation operates than leaders of industry or even American Presidents. Until honest discussions regarding the genesis of socially constructed racial paradigms and how they and a greedy avaricious form of Capitalism combined to serve as the central factors in contemporary inequalities that cut across racial, gender, and geographical lines, this nation is merely placing a numbing agent on what amounts to a misdiagnosed chronic health problem.

Instead of realizing that racial bias is a terminal form of cancer, we behave as if it is merely a new strand of the flu. It is a risk to not address this societal cancer in a direct manner as it is bound to infect the nation body, however, I guess that there is some balm found in denying that we are sick. Hopefully, this nation will one day accept how sick it is and take definitive steps to reverse societal cancer that has ravaged its body from the moment of its creation; trust me when I say that failure to do such will lead to our collective death.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.

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