While Valerie Jarrett took the high road after being called an ape by Roseanne Barr, she said some of the blame for Barr’s racist tweet falls at the Trump’s feet because of his discriminatory nature, reports USA Today.
“The tone does start at the top, and we like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country,” Jarrett says in an MSNBC special that aired Tuesday night.
“But I also think every individual citizen has a responsibility too, and it’s up to all of us to push back. Our government is only going to be as good as we make it be.”
As race relations continues to implode around the country with one incident after the other making headlines, Jarrett, an Iranian-born African-American and former senior adviser to President Barack Obama appeared on the MSNBC special, Everyday Racism in America to discuss the recent Starbucks debacle where the arrest of two Black men at a Philadelphia location went viral.
While ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey swiftly brought down the ax on Barr’s show, sponsors and her talent agency have dropped her, Barr tried to defend herself on Twitter saying that she was on Ambien, a sleep drug and it made her do weird things, like be racist.
Jarrett said there’s much to learn out today’s racial climate and Barr’s racist tirade:
“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” Jarrett said.
Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC’s parent company Disney, contacted Jarrett beforehand to let her know about the network’s decision to cut ties with Barr.
“He said that he had zero tolerance for that sort of racist, bigoted comment and he wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show.”
After the fallout, Jarrett said: “I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense,” she said.
And while President Trump had championed Roseanne Barr back in March for her record ratings and for reflecting the sentiments of his MAGA crowd, the president refrained from mentioning the controversial comedienne at a rally in Nashville last night.