Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you witnessed the drama this week.
On Tuesday, Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet, which caused ABC to cancel the top rated ‘Roseanne’ reboot.
Then on Wednesday night, Samantha Bee delivered a rant on her TBS show Up Front, during which she referred to Ivanka Trump as a “feckless c***.”
Which of course prompted the right to call for TBS to cancel Bee’s show, as though Bee’s comments and Barr’s tweet were equivalent.
Including, of course, the President:
Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show? A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
And he had those agreeing with this point of view:
You can make the argument that both @therealroseanne barr and @iamsambee (#SamanthaBee) deserve firing; you can also say they both deserve forgiveness (my producer @GregTomlinShow does). But the only basis for firing one, while forgiving the other, is ideological bias.
— Michael Medved (@MedvedSHOW) June 1, 2018
But many on the left begged to differ, calling this out as a false equivalency between two things that simply should not be compared.
Notable among them: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King:
Let’s stop calling each other names. Also, let’s stop comparing an insult to a dehumanizing term used in oppressing Black people and sanctioning the Transatlantic Slave Trade, slavery, Jim Crow, lynching and the idea that Black men are so strong that they have to be shot 8 times.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) May 31, 2018
And of course, many agreed.
This is another of many examples in which the whataboutism of my fellow whities only goes to show the lack of understanding of the true historic and social weight attached to certain words for our friends of color
— Andrew Channing (@andrewchanning_) May 31, 2018
I’m not a fan of Roseanne or Samantha Bee but I can tell the difference between a sitcom and a political talk show & between racism on social media and cursing on a cable network. I don’t approve of the language of either but I can tell the difference.
— Jon Bailey (@EpicVoiceGuy) June 1, 2018
Thank you for your leadership, Ms. King! I wish this message could sprout wings and perch on the shoulders of every American. pic.twitter.com/Xlwsvcgl64
— Susan Bowyer (@suevisa) May 31, 2018
The muscles in my jaw are so tight they may snap from resisting the urge to argue with people who can’t tell the difference between racism and an insult and never will.
— Alicia Gastgaber (@agastgaber) June 1, 2018
— Ms. King (@mshotspot70_kc) May 31, 2018
Kathy Griffin had an idea for how those who supported Bee could actually make a difference:
. @iamsambee is facing some crazy sh*t right now…not only in her mentions but in letters she's getting, pressure from network
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) June 1, 2018
Some felt that Bee was well within her rights to say what she said:
That was the wrong word for Samantha Bee to have used . But mostly because ( to paraphrase the French ) Ivanka has neither the warmth nor the depth.
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) May 31, 2018
But there were those who defended the equivalence being drawn between Roseanne’s offense and Bee’s, making the case that the C-word was just as dehumanizing to women:
If you can’t even admit calling a woman the c word is equally dehumanizing, then I guess you win the award for saddest human being. pic.twitter.com/vLopsjDoFx
— chris (@fntrader) June 1, 2018
Let’s pretend that affirmative action never occurred or that we had a black president. The whole “everyone has it better than me” schtick gets old. Suck it up buttercup. pic.twitter.com/1Ksxal4HPr
— chris (@fntrader) June 1, 2018
I agree – except that term has been dehumanizing to women. That is my problem with it. That it is a term hurled at women of all colors to reduce us to our genitals. It is for that reason I cannot support it.
— janetri (@janetri) May 31, 2018
It is quite offensive to suggest a hierarchy of what others should, themselves, consider to be hateful slurs. A sexist slur, directed at a woman no less, should not be excused due to profane use of racist slurs by others.
— AssuredlyAThrowAway (@AATAconspiracy) May 31, 2018
Or perhaps we should be paying attention to more pressing matters…
Cable news covered Roseanne's tweets 16 times as much as the news that more than 4,600 people may have died from Hurricane Maria and its aftermath in Puerto Rico https://t.co/r7CmvcxWZW pic.twitter.com/q3bLADdELE
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) June 1, 2018