Roseanne, Samantha and Free Speech

 

Critique does not come easy for me.  I try to be careful but truthful with my words.  I don’t like to be rude.  I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I consider myself a moderate in many things.  I prefer to look at both sides of an issue, as I know that circumstances can appear different to each of us. We all have experiences that color our perception of the world around us.  I’m one of those who believes in “being nice to someone no matter what because you don’t know what they’ve been through.”  When there is a bizarre statement trending on social media, I try to look it up before I pass judgment or share inaccurate or misleading information.  I have voted for political candidates on both sides of the aisle, taking into consideration which person I feel is best for the job. That being said, when push comes to shove, I lean to the left.  My reasons?  That’s for another blog post-stay tuned.

Today let’s talk First Amendment, specifically regarding Freedom of Speech, Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee and Colin Kaepernick.  I have never been a fan of Roseanne Barr or Samantha Bee, and I have had a passionate dislike for reality television since its inception.  I don’t care much for professional sports where the tickets are financially out of reach for the average family.  In my opinion, both women are the type of comedian who does or say anything outrageous just for laughs.  Reality stars are a peculiar bunch whose behavior is motivated less by real emotion than by the drive to affect the ratings and stand out from the rest by being dramatic or outlandish.

Samantha Bee’s statement about Ivanka Trump falls into the comedic arts category.  I think there were other ways she could have addressed Ms. Trump’s apparent lack of empathy for the families separated at the border.  The offensive word Samantha Bee used was not funny and did not advance her message, but the “wow factor” did get her media attention.  Should she have been fired? I suppose some might argue that foul language and off-color remarks are acceptable as part of a comedy routine. In the general population, some people use swear words like others use punctuation marks.  I have been known to unnecessarily spice up my language to make a point, but I am never in favor of anyone using disparaging statements to describe another person or to lash out at someone. 

Roseanne Barr, also a comedian, woke up in the middle of the night, sent out a racist tweet and tried to backpedal by saying she was under the influence of prescribed medication. There is an old expression that says, “a drunken man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.”   Is that comparable to a woman on Ambien?  I called out a colleague at work once for a scornful comment he made. He apologized saying that he said it without thinking; this admission on his part told me that derogatory thoughts were part of his belief system.  Had he been thinking, he would have filtered his words. I don’t believe medication, alcohol or Bipolar Disorder makes a person racist.  It is something taught early in life, and some people never learn anything else.  Should Roseanne Barr have been fired?  I’m sure she is not the only racist in Hollywood, but because she does not hold political office, she does not have the right to call people apes or fat or ugly or cowards or losers or sons-of-bitches. Ms. Barr doesn’t have the right to change the facts or make fun of disabled people or ethnic groups or even to say white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups are made up of good people.  Although she is a celebrity, she is not the President of the United States and does not have the same rights sanctioned by conservative groups that the President has.  Instead, Roseanne Barr is an actor who worked for a family oriented business, and an angry racist is not kind of image Disney wants to be associated with their brand.

Since some in the media have linked Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee, and Colin Kaepernick, in the same First Amendment debate, I will address it here as well.  Colin Kaepernick, a young athlete of African-American descent, decided to use his position, his celebrity status if you will, to advocate for change in the justice system, specifically concerning racial profiling and use excessive force often leading to death.  We teach our children that one person; one small act can make a difference.  One NFL player “took a knee” to bring awareness to an ongoing problem in our country. He lost his job and was blacklisted from the sport.

According to a Snopes fact-check published September 28, 2017, former Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer, educated and advised Kaepernick and former teammate, Eric Reid to “take a knee” instead of sitting out the National Anthem in objection to current civil liberty violations.  The three agreed this was more respectful,  “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect…”  Eric Reid is quoted as saying “We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”  The “take a knee” demonstration was a thoughtful form of silent protest.  It is protesting social injustice, not the flag, not the military or the country or whatever other theories are out there in the media. 

Divisive politics and fear-mongering have tried to skew the facts and turn the story around to question the integrity or validity of the complaint; to question the patriotism of protests in general. It is sad to me that the government has stepped in to coerce private companies to make employees behave in a way that is acceptable to the Administration’s agenda.   The NFL’s new policy about the etiquette during the national anthem is an example of this.  Last year it was indirectly suggested that perhaps the Administration should look into the tax breaks the NFL teams were getting since they were disrespectful to the flag and country.  Why these teams need “tax breaks” is beyond me, but that’s a topic for another post.  The point is the suggestive language worked.

According to Britanica.com “In the broadest sense, totalitarianism is characterized by strong central rule that attempts to control and direct all aspects of individual life through coercion and repression.”   I find it upsetting to think this is happening in our country.  People complained about political correctness, an idea that attempted to invoke fairness and open-mindedness but what I see now; is an agenda to make sure everyone is behaving and thinking in the same way.  This plan is based on one group’s interpretation of Judeo-Christian traditions or the Constitution or whatever else they can use to manipulate the masses.   

How does this change?  It changes when everyone takes an interest in being well informed and challenging the ideas that limit our freedoms.  It is disheartening to know that a significant number of people in this country stop at the headlines they see in social media. They don’t read entire articles nor do they cross-reference sources.  That’s why it is easy for foreign powers to influence our politics or how we look at the world around us.   It changes when citizens of this great nation stand-up and give a damn to research the candidates beyond the sound bites.  It changes when well-informed citizens get out to vote. 

Day Twelve: Critique a Piece of Work or Write an Opinion Piece   #everydayinspiration

25 thoughts on “Roseanne, Samantha and Free Speech

  1. I am visiting, as advised by Jill, to read the complete post. It is a thoughtful and well researched piece that answers questions that I did not even know that I had. I admired Colin Kaepernick’s strength to silently and peacefully stand up, or kneel in this case, for a principle that he believed to be worth the risks involved. My admiration has not dimmed, indeed it has just grown brighter. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lindi, I am here via Jill’s reblog. This is nicely done. I can very much relate to your perspective. These three events have been lumped together, but as you note they are different in some respects. Barr used a term that is highly offensive to Blacks as it has been used over time to say they are not equal and do not deserve the same rights. It is equivalent to the Nazis defining Jews as animals to support doing what they did to them.

    Bee used a word that comedians use that is not very funny and is offensive. It also did not help her attempted joke. While I do find offensive the use of the term, it is not in the same category as using a word that says a group of people are subhuman. Jim Crow should tell us that.

    As for Kaepernick, this is not in the same bailiwick. A man knowingly risks his job to protest that Blacks are not being given the same opportunities and too many are being killed and jailed because of the color of their skin. In essence, he is saying to the Roseanne way of thinking “we are not apes.”

    While Barr and Bee should be chastised, Kaepernick deserving received international notoriety for exercising his free speech rights. It is the man in the White House who made this an issue, who does not understand that. Again, thanks for writing this, Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is where I show my age. When I was growing up, I was taught that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Back then it was known as common courtesy. Things have changed. I guess all oldish ladies say that, but sometimes things do change for the worse, and it’s up to us to say no, not acceptable. I’m glad the ladies in your article are paying the price for their nastiness, but I’m sorry for a young man who’s life has been ruined because he knelt for a principle. I think he’s a hero too. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, our world has certainly changed. Never in a million years would I have imagined that we would end up almost right back where we started. Thankfully there are still people that believe our democracy will survive this too. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated. All the best.

      Like

  4. Thank you. If your blog is correct, and I assume it is from the way you write it, it is a thought-provoking piece that shows Mr, Kaepernick had a good and true reason to use kneeling as a formal protest of what he, and many people around the world, see as injustice. I cannot remember ever hearing this side of the story, and IMO anyone who hears it and still disagrees with Mr. Kaepernick and those who joined him in kneeling during the playing of the American National anthem should take a good, long, hard look at what they believe, and why they believe it.
    Mr. Kaepernick, et al, are not protesting by throwing rocks or bottles at the national Guard, they are rather putting long-stemmed roses into the rifle barrels of the National Guard, as did some of the protesters at Kent State. Those National Guardsmen replied first with tear gas, then with bullets. President Trump has replied with rhetoric, verbal bullets, and threatening the livelihoods of the players. And the real bullets? They flew beforehand to cause the protests in the first place.
    I have always been on the players’ sides in this demonstration, and I always will be. In fact, I would like to see it spread to all other sports, as well as anywhere the American national anthem is played during a public event. The fans or other event-goes should join their own consciences to the consciences of people like Mr. Kaepernick, and show the president and his psychophants that there are at least two sides to every story…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by and providing feedback. I am enclosing a couple of links from articles in NPR and ESPN. I hope they transfer over. https://www.npr.org/2017/10/17/558390590/former-green-beret-and-nfl-player-talks-about-take-a-knee-protests and http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/21003968/nfl-2017-ex-green-beret-nate-boyer-writes-open-letter-president-donald-trump-colin-kaepernick-nfl-united-states-america. I hope this is helpful. Yes. There are always two sides to every story. All the best.

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    From my dear friend, Filosofa’s Words … a very important topic!!
    ‘I simply had to share it with you, my friends, for Lindi Roze, blogging as Self Censored, has written the most thoughtful and thought-provoking piece on this topic that I have read. ‘
    … thank you, Lindi Roze!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Linda Roze,

    Thank you for this well thought out piece focusing mostly on Colin Kaepernick as he tried to do protest in a respectful way but his actions have been distorted to be equal to being anti-military and / or unpatriotic. And he has paid a high price for his stance. He is my idea of a hero. One day, the history books will reflect his truth and his heart.

    Whatever happens with Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee is on them, their employers and the marketplace. Personally, I hate when someone tries to justify a wrongdoing because someone else did the something simiiar.

    The president wants a totalitarian government but I am still believing that there is ample resistance out there although he is wearing.

    Anyway, I just love your post.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I have written about Colin Kaepernick and others who, in protest of police brutality against African-Americans and racism, took a knee rather than stand for the national anthem. But recently, a new blogger joined my circle of friends & readers, and when I read the post she did on this topic, I was awed. I simply had to share it with you, my friends, for Lindi Roze, blogging as Self Censored, has written the most thoughtful and thought-provoking piece on this topic that I have read. Please take a few moments to read Lindi’s piece and leave her a comment, if you feel so inclined. Thank you, Lindi, for this excellent post, and for your generous permission to share with my readers!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have really enjoyed your contributions to the conversations these last few weeks! I had no idea you wrote so well, though, until I visited your blog last night! You are most welcome — it was my pleasure to share your work!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This, my friend, was an excellent post!!! You and I have some things in common, though you are much nicer, I think, than I am 😉 Would you mind if I re-blog this post in the next day or two? It is very thoughtful and thought-provoking, and makes all the valid points, yet with respect. I have nothing to add, for you said it all! Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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