From the start of Trump’s presidency through about now, it would make sense that most violations of basic social norms and mores were hailed as the ultimate coming back of free speech. The truth is, it never truly needed to be “brought back.” It was always here.
The first amendment says,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
In no place of that quote does it say that somebody can’t say whatever they want, short of libel, slander, and shouting “fire” in a crowded theater or ‘bomb’ on an airplane. People have the right to express the right to free speech in all other circumstances.
However, this amendment also does NOT guarantee protection from disciplinary action from somebody’s employer if they find whatever they, for example, post on social media if it negatively affects the company’s bottom line, or is inconsistent with the values shared by said company.
Unfortunately for Roseanne and many of her fans, she, and they, found that out the hard way:
Roseanne, in a racially charged tweet directed towards Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama aide, called the adviser to #44 “the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes’ baby.”
In respect to what Michelle Obama had preached to us about “When they go low, we go high,” people should not be so quick to jump on this party foul and others she has committed, and attack her character. She has revealed it numerous times before.
Rather, what should be done is criticize her for being the catalyst for the “whataboutism” train that the #MAGA crowd has hopped on quite frequently. Last night, as of this writing, her fans and the aforementioned MAGA crowd gladly and happily got all aboard the train, saying stuff like:
“Well, what about the time Bill Maher called President Trump the son of an Orangutan? He got to keep his job!” and “Why does Roseanne lose hers?”
Few points here:
- He said it on HBO, a premium pay service cable channel very similar to what SiriusXM is to radio. Whereas, Roseanne represents an over-the-air channel, like ABC, the company she worked for. Over-the-air channels have, I’m sure, much more restrictive rules on what they will and will not allow themselves to be represented by as compared to broadcast cable and premium cable channels like an HBO.
- Roseanne’s boss is Channing Dungey, the first African-American woman to head a major broadcast TV network. “Ape” is considered to be a racial slur. The blanks can easily be filled in there.
This segues into those giving Dungey and ABC flack for even bringing here back. Look, nobody can change the way somebody is as a person. Maybe Dungey, out of the goodness of her heart, took a chance on Roseanne. It is, like with any employer (in this case Dungey) taking a chance on somebody high-risk, incumbent on the employee (in this case Roseanne) to act like she is on very thin ice, and that goes double if there is AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN taking a chance on you GIVEN your history.
“When they go low, we go high.”