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In a horrendous but unsurprising display of racism and Islamophobia, Donald Trump’s favorite sitcom star Roseanne Barr tweeted insults about Barack Obama’s former adviser Valerie Jarrett. Barr labeled the Chicago politician and businesswoman a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.
These comments aimed at Jarrett, who is African American and was born in Iran, were made in response to a fake news story claiming Obama’s CIA spied on the French president. Barr responded “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” according to The Wrap. Jarrett’s name is not even mentioned in the shared article.
White people describing black people as monkeys or apes is a tradition seemingly as old as racism itself. These kinds of comments were hurled countless times at No. 44 and Michelle Obama both before, during, and after they were in office. If the H&M controversy taught us anything, it’s that white people still don’t understand how racist and dehumanizing those kinds of statements are. And of course, Jarrett has no connection to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Barr has already walked back her comments, calling them a "joke." Jarrett hasn’t responded to the incident, and neither has ABC. If anything, a statement like this will boost Barr’s Roseanne ratings from those on the right who have decided this has-been represents them on cable TV.