Sarah Silverman went after Holly Robinson Peete on Twitter, and it’s not OK
Opinion: Silverman was upset over Kanye West’s anti-semitic remarks and what she viewed as a lack of outcry over them.
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
Kanye West really be out here—in the words of D.L. Hughley—effing it up for everybody.
In case you haven’t heard, possibly because you have any mention of his ignorant ass muted, West came under fire over the weekend for making anti-semitic remarks on Twitter and Instagram. I won’t quote or repeat what he said here; that he was out of line and disgusting is all you need to know.
West was widely criticized for the remarks, which came on the heels of him wearing a “white lives matter” shirt alongside Candace Owens (don’t get me started)—and just added to the pile of literal dung that has been falling out of this man’s mouth for years now. Black folks have been ringing the alarm about Kanye and his bull for years now, and as a collective, we are all tired of him.
Enter Sarah Silverman, a white Jewish comedian with a sketchy past of donning Blackface and using the n-word in her comedy because she thinks it makes her edgy. She took to Twitter to express her disgust for Kanye’s remarks and also to question why no one else was speaking up about it.
“Kanye threatened the Jews yesterday on [T]witter and it’s not even trending. Why do mostly only Jews speak up against Jewish hate? The silence is so loud,” Silverman wrote on her personal, verified Twitter account on Sunday.
Now, I’m not sure if Sarah just doesn’t pay attention to what’s happening on Twitter, including ignoring the trending topics that show up on the site and in the app, but Kanye had been trending all weekend, and there was a lot of talk about his remarks.
People replied to her and began pointing this out to her, including Black people, who she chose to ignore—that is until Holly Robinson Peete chimed in.
“Um…I’m not sure who you follow. But Black Twitter has been all over this. So it’s not MOSTLY Jews. Please call out exactly WHO are SILENT,” one person said to her.
Holly Robinson Peete replied to that person and said simply “That part.”
Sarah Silverman, seeing Peete’s tweet, replied to her and said, “‘That part’ is all I see in your timeline about it.”
Now, let me pause right here to say what I said when I saw this: What you not gonna do in front of me is come for Holly Thee Robinson Peete, originator of Judy Hoffs’ epic shower slide and wall cry. I will eat you up every time.
For her part, Holly sweetly tried to explain to Silverman how she is exhausted from preaching about the wrong Kanye has been doing, but honestly, she shouldn’t have had to do even that.
People rightly began calling Silverman out for her comment to Peete, including a white man named Geno Carter, who told her, “Sarah, no. Just no. A public snarky remark against Holly isn’t the answer here.”
Silverman replied to him and said, “You’re right I’m sorry Holly.”
That was it. That flat response wasn’t as loud as the direct statement she made to Holly in the first place. And it was too little too late because the damage had already been done. Sarah’s followers had already launched a full-on harassment attack against Peete, and unless she is a complete and total blithering idiot, Silverman knew that would be the result of her attack.
I mean, by now, we all know how Twitter works, especially when you have a large following that you can weaponize against other people.
And because Holly Robinson Peete is the most unproblematic Black woman on Megan Thee Stallion’s internet, people Black and white took to her defense and began chastising Silverman for both her original tweet claiming no one had spoken up for Jewish people and the tweet she sent to Peete.
It is also worth mentioning that she never took the tweet to Peete down, which meant at the same time Silverman was receiving criticism, Peete was still being harassed by her minions.
Silverman’s initial tweet is a classic example of white people only caring when it happens to them.
Kanye has been delivering anti-Black messages for some time now. Where was Sarah Silverman? Where are her tweets speaking out about that? Why does she only care about what he says when it threatens or denigrates Jewish people?
From a Black person’s perspective, Silverman is doing exactly what white people do in these situations. They only care when the mess lands on their doorstep. Otherwise, they are blind to it.
And again, we are talking about the same Sarah Silverman who got on Bill Maher’s show and said it is totally OK for her to use the n-word in her comedy.
The other issue is the way Silverman came at Peete. Nowhere in Silverman’s timeline is there a tweet showing her directly addressing anyone else about their presumed silence on the issue of Kanye’s anti-semitic statements. Yet she felt totally emboldened to go after a Black woman.
After an entire day of people being on her neck about both tweets, Silverman came back on Monday and tried to backpedal on her original tweet.
“The thing that kills me is I was talking about white people but here we are,” she tweeted a full 28 hours after her original statement.
Oh really, Sarah? If that was your target audience, why didn’t you say so in the original tweet? If that was your target audience, why did you feel the need to say anything to Holly? If that was your target audience, then why aren’t there any tweets on your timeline of you directly calling out your fellow whites the same way you did Holly?
I’ll help you out: You weren’t talking about white people. You were doing that thing white people do when they try to make all Black people the villain in something they are angry about. You were mad at Kanye, and by default that meant all Black people were accountable for him in your eyes. We see you, girl. You ain’t low.
A person who has used Blackface and thinks saying the n-word (hard! er!) is OK will definitely think it’s OK to make Black people responsible for the one Black person we can all agree is an ignorant tool. Black people have been disavowing Kanye for some time now, but Sarah likely doesn’t see that on her timeline because she doesn’t care about nor follow many Black people.
Her attacking Holly was a dog whistle to get other white people to pile on, and she succeeded in that. White people were combing through Holly’s tweets looking for their gotcha! moment.
Again, Holly Robinson Peete is on Twitter daily uplifting people, talking about her family and minding her beautiful, sweet Black business. She didn’t deserve any of this.
As of the time of this writing, all of Sarah’s tweets are still up. She is currently doing the final chapter of the racist white woman playbook, which is centering herself as a victim of a mess she created in the first place.
You aren’t a victim, Sarah Silverman. You are a huge part of the problem. What Kanye said was dead wrong, and you have every right to be upset about it. What you shouldn’t be doing is scapegoating a Black woman to get your point across.
Holly Robinson Peete is a sacred queen in the Black community. We aren’t going to allow you to make her a part of your racist agenda. You wrote that original tweet to try and call out Black people, and you were dead wrong there, too. Black people been calling Kanye out forever.
Don’t blame us because you late to the party.
In the future, keep Holly, the n-word and any other Black person besides Coonye out of your mouth.
Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.
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