Thursday, May 31, 2018

Words Matter, So Does the Truth

Well it didn’t take long for the mole people to come up with yet another false equivalence. This time the lucky contestants were Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee. The former made a clearly overt racist comment about Valerie Jarrett being the offspring of the "Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes"; while the latter called Ivanka Trump as a "feckless cunt" on her show Full Frontal.

I had a feeling while watching the episode that Bee might catch some flack over it. And, sure enough, she did. For the record, what Bee said was wrong. It's a very demeaning term to women and she should've known better. She fucked up and, to her credit, she promptly issued an apology to both Trump's daughter and her viewers.

Which is more than I can say for Barr, who after she was called on the carpet, deleted the tweet and then came up with one half-assed excuse after another for her conduct. First she insisted she really wasn't a racist, just an idiot - as if the latter was a revelation. Next she claimed the drug Ambien was to blame. When that didn't work, she accused her co-stars of throwing her under the bus. To date, she still hasn't officially owned up to what she did. The final insult was when she suggested that Jarrett was a Persian, not really a black woman. Well that settles it; I guess there are no apes in the Middle East.

But far from being a one-off - as Bee's faux pas clearly was - it seems this wasn't the first racist slur that Barr has tweeted. Back in 2013, she went after then National Security Advisor Susan Rice, calling her "a man with big swinging ape balls." What can I say? She's got a thing for apes. Well at least she didn't call Rice a Persian. That would've been going too far.

And as far as the White House is concerned, still no condemnation from the Cadet Bone Spurs. Instead, he lashed out at ABC for, and I swear I'm not making this up, not apologizing to him. Because as we all know, it's always about Trump, even when it's not. What can you say about a man who thinks there are good Nazis and who accuses Mexicans of being rapists? Frankly, I would've been shocked if Trump had said or done anything different.

It's getting tiresome to have to keep repeating myself, but apparently the message isn't getting through. So let me say it again. Enough with the false equivalences already. What Roseanne Barr said wasn't just insensitive or demeaning, it was racist. There are simply some lines you don't cross and Barr crossed one of them. That's why her show was canceled and Bee's wasn't. To equate what both said is to ignore 400 years of racial bigotry in this country.

Yes, words matter and there are consequences when they are used inappropriately. As a salesman, I know this all too well. And let me be clear here: I am by no means condoning what Bee said; far from it. She should be held accountable and, apparently, she is. As of now, at least two companies have decided to pull their ads from her show. Who knows how many more will follow suit. The sad truth about corporate America is that perception is often the driving force behind most of its decisions.

But if words matter, then truth matters even more. And no matter how much obfuscating or rationalizing one does, the undeniable truth is that it is physically impossible to turn an apple into an orange.

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