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Forgive Roseanne? Why Is That The Victim's Responsibility?

Black people bear an additional burden of racism that is not often talked about. Eddie Glaude, Jr. points out that "forgiving" Roseanne Barr is NOT the first step toward healing.
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On Stephanie Ruhle's show this morning, the panel, of course, was talking about the cancellation of Roseanne Barr's show, and Barr's awful racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett that instigated it. Ruhle mentioned Barr's apology, and asked frequent guest, Eddie Glaude, Jr. if we should forgive her. After all, she did apologize.

Glaude looked like he'd just swallowed a frog, and waited a full beat before answering. When he did, it may have been more than what Ruhle was looking for.

"You know, when I think about it, it's often the case that we find ourselves having to accept the apology of white folks who reveal that they have racist beliefs. And we're supposed to exercise this super-ordinate moral gene and somehow forgive them when they reveal what they actually believe. And you know, there is an old African-American saying, 'When people show you who they are, believe them.' [Maya Angelou] got it from the long tradition that we came out of."

He went on to point out that it's very easy to condemn Barr's tweet, but it's a lot harder to eradicate the behavior and the beliefs that made created the climate in which we're still living. And that is the hard work that must be done.

Frankly, whether or not we (or anyone else) forgive Roseanne Barr is quite beside the point. We need to stop asking and expecting forgiveness from the long-aggrieved, the long-suffering, the frequently wounded, and simply stop wounding them.

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