Among the many complaints about Roseanne Barr’s latest racist rant, one is illegitimate. That complaint is that Roseanne violated the premise of her television show—to show America what Trump supporters are like.
When the Roseanne show was brought back to television the mainstream media—including the entertainment media—characterized the new show as an attempt to show that Trump supporters were good, kind-hearted people whose fears and economic insecurities drove them to support Trump, although he was unqualified and a bigot.
In other words, the show seemed to be based on the lie pushed by the mainstream media—that trump supporters were white working-class people who had concerns about their economic future. Of course, that is bull!
People who voted for Donald Trump had higher incomes than those who voted for Hillary Clinton. It was racism, not economic dissatisfaction that elected Trump.
A majority of the voters who were insecure about their economic future voted for Clinton; A majority of whites with racial resentment voted for Trump. Recent studies have shown that many Trump voters were concerned about the increasing proportion of the American population who were minorities and that white Americans were in danger of losing their power. That is racist.
Trump’s campaign was an open non-disguised appeal to this racist, white nationalist orientation.
While I am not saying that all of the Trump voters held these white supremacist views, the data say it applies to a significant proportion of them.
According to a national survey in the Spring of 2016, 59% of Trump’s supporters were birthers—believing Obama was not born in the United States. Only 23% thought he was born in this country. Nearly two-thirds of Trump’s supporters thought President Obama was a Muslim, and only 13% thought he was a Christian. In case there is any doubt about racism undergirding much of these attitudes and beliefs, please note that this same survey showed that 20% of Trump’s supporters felt that slaves should not have been set free after the Civil War.
Many of the other Trump voters did not mind this bigotry. Thus, in effect these two groups are indistinguishable. Such equivalence exists because racism is action, not something inside someone’s mind.
Through the racist tweet in her private life, Roseanne Barr did suggest the racism among Trump supporters. Since Roseanne Barr, the actress, is so closely aligned with the character she plays on the show the two are linked.
I have two questions about this whole episode. The first question is how did Roseanne Barr get such a new show in the first place when she is a known bigot. Valerie Jarrett is not the first prominent African American woman Barr has vilified in a tweet. She made a similar statement about Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, back in 2013. At that time, she tweeted, “Susan Rice is a man with big swinging ape balls.”
My second question is about the mainstream media. When are they going to stop putting lipstick on a pig? They keep going to great lengths to avoid discussing the racism in Trump’s campaign and among his voters. Just as Republican leaders in Congress are enabling Trump in his current questionable behaviors, the mainstream media are working overtime to normalize Trump’s appeal.