Roseanne Barr is mean and ignorant. We knew she was wacko before – and not wacky like Steve Martin. She is wacky in an unhinged sort of way – you know, NUTS.
If you don’t know what she did, Tuesday morning (May 29) Barr tweeted – then deleted – a racist comment about another person. She said about Valerie Jarrett – a former adviser to President Obama – that it was like the “Muslim brotherhood and Planet of the Apes had a baby.”
Reaction didn’t take long. Just a few hours after she tweeted it, her new hit ABC sitcom was cancelled. Barr quickly deleted her tweet and apologized, but it had already hit the fan (not as in fansideseats.com) and her second chance at TV stardom was over and done. It was a silly way to kill an already once dead, but resurrected career. But it was so like Barr.
ABC took a chance on her, and she made them look stupid for doing so. The television network fired her – as they should have.
Some “conservatives” in the United States, which shows you the kind of rampant ignorance currently alive in the politics of that great country, have supported her and claimed the issue was one of free speech – which the First Amendment of the US Constitution protects.
They are right on one point. Barr’s free speech is protected by US constitutional law. It was not illegal for Barr to tweet her poison into the world.
That said, the First Amendment of the US Constitution does not protect Barr from humiliating herself or from being canned when ABC came to immediately realize she was NOT the person they wanted as a Poster Child. Nazis can legally yell what they will, but that doesn’t mean they should be hired as Kindergarten teachers.
The victim of Barr’s poison, Valerie Jarrett, took the high road by suggesting that Roseanne Barr’s tweet should be turned into “a Teachable Moment.” It’s a good call.
And, well, if we accept her wise invitation, what does Barr’s action and the sudden and swift reaction that ensued teach us? And, more to the point as parents, how could we use today’s events as lessons to teach our children.
Here are four life lessons I think our children could learn, and sadly some adults need to learn.
Life Lesson #1: Don’t be Stupid With Social Media. You Can’t Take it Back.
How many young people have done something on social media they came to regret? Today is a clear lesson for young people about the murderous power that might be unleashed if they engage social media ignorantly. I invite us to tell our kids this story: if even one listens, we are better off.
Life Lesson #2: Saying Your Sorry Doesn’t Make it Go Away.
Well, Roseanne almost immediately apologized – too late. Even if she were sorry, and my guess is that she is only for herself and not that she actually harmed anyone else, so what? You can say “Sorry” all you want, the cheque is NOT in Roseanne’s mail.
Life Lesson #3: Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice.
What we already know about Barr is that she has been in trouble for ignorant behavior before. She even accused the Obama administration of making “false-flag terror attacks,” such as the Boston Marathon bombing. She embarrassed herself for screaming the National Anthem in 1990. We need to teach our children not to squander second chances. If you are fortunate enough that someone gives you a second chance, don’t brain fart it away. We need to teach our children NOT to make the same mistakes over and over.
Life Lesson #4: Don’t Try to be Funny at Someone Else’s Expense.
When I was growing up, there were kids who were really funny – they just said and did funny things. We laughed, and we liked them. Then there were other kids who wanted to also get into the action and be liked, too. But their attempt at saying something funny was “You’re Fat!” Roseanne Barr is that second kind of kid. It didn’t work when I was a kid, and it doesn’t work now. Let’s teach our children that funny should never come at another person’s expense.
What 65-year-old Roseanne Barr did was clearly racism, which she should have known when she tweeted it. Ironically, it happened on the oneday corporate giant Starbucks closed their stores to train their staff to become more sensitive about racial issues. However, not so ironically, it has occurred under the reign of Donald Trump’s rain of no-longer-startling comments of incivility and ugliness.
Well, perhaps it isn’t so ironic. After all, Trump is known as the King of “You’re Fired.” Welcome to reality, Roseanne. Let’s hope you are a teachable moment.