Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, had already bailed, tweeting this morning: “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.”
Perhaps there are people to feel bad for: those who rely on a paycheck to create the show. I have a hard time feeling much sympathy considering they were involved in production of a program whose namesake is a well-known racist.
Boo fucking hoo. Reap the backlash. Racism has done, and continues to do, far more harm than people needing to look for new employment because the horse they bet on is a bigot.
Racists are pervasive in America, and whatever slight shoving into closets they experienced in recent decades, they felt emboldened to return out and proud with their hatred since the election of Trump.
Time to make them afraid again. Because it works. It has consequences.
- A white nationalist exposed at Charlottesville lost his job and another was denounced by his family.
- The CEO of Starbucks apologized when an employee called the police on two black men for no reason.
- BBQ Becky, who called the cops on a black family having a picnic in a public park, got memed back to the Stone Age.
- A woman was filmed going on a racist rant in a Denny’s in Alberta, and lost her job after being identified.
- The New York lawyer who went a racist tirade then later apologized and wrote, “I am not a racist” has had his reputation ruined and possibly lost his career.
- A New York Fire Department lieutenant was confronted with his multiple racist and sexist posts online, and he collapsed into weeping, saying, “My life is ruined.”
That’s just a sample. All the time, people are suffering the consequences of going public with their racism.
And this doesn’t mean mob justice is a wonderful thing. In fact, it can be pretty frightening. But when you’re confronted with the reality that a black man can be shot and killed by police in his own backyard for holding a cell phone, and that in 2016 “Black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers,” then maybe we shouldn’t be so forgiving of someone having 911 on hair trigger because of their bigotry. And yes, that emphasis in the quote is mine, because NINE FUCKING TIMES.
Some lawyer lost his career. Others lose their lives.
Some woman lost her privacy to a meme. Others lose their children to ICE.
Outing racists hurts them, and it should. Make them afraid.
Tens of thousands shared it, many more liked it, and millions saw it. It shows there is strong support for not being this way. But it’s still a battle, because Trump, the man who refers to some immigrants as “animals” and who wanted a Muslim ban and to build a wall, enjoys high levels of support among Republicans.
What can you do? Expose racism when you see it. Many of these stories came to light because someone pulled out their phone, began filming, and posted it to social media.
Be the person with the phone.
UPDATE: Roseanne Barr just got dropped by her talent agency. Again: Boo fucking hoo.
FEB 2019 UPDATE: She doesn’t know when to shut up.
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James S. Fell, MA, MBA, has bylines in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, TIME Magazine, and many other publications. His blog has millions of readers and he is the author of two books: The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant (St. Martin’s Press, 2019), and Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind (Random House Canada, 2014). Order them here.