Roseanne crossed a line on May 29th when she compared former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ‘ape’ in a wildly, racist tweet. Here’s everything you should know about civic leader in light of the scandal.
No apology could save Roseanne Barr after she shockingly tweeted a racist insult at Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser in the Obama White House. In a tweet she has since deleted, Roseanne wrote, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” in response to a Twitter thread accusing Valerie of helping to cover up CIA spying. Almost immediately, Roseanne felt the backlash of her self-proclaimed ‘joke’ and she offered an apology for her ‘bad-taste’ comments, but she suffered the ultimate price as ABC swiftly announced the cancelation of the reboot of her hit show, saying in a brief statement: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” Given this wild ride, many are asking who is the woman Roseanne felt the need to insult so cruelly and seemingly unnecessarily. Valerie released a short statement, saying,”I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine, I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense.” Here are five things you should know about her:
1. Valerie is best known as being one of President Obama’s longest serving advisors during his time in the White House. After working closely with Michelle Obama for years in Chicago, Barak invited her to join his team as one of his closest confidantes, after she was a strong member of his campaign team. Her official title was White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, becoming a point person for advice with state and local officials. She was one of three to hold the title of Senior Advisor at the time.
2. Valerie played a crucial role in pushing Michelle and Barack into civic leader roles. Nearly two decades before Barack was elected President, Valerie hired Michelle when she was first engaged, to work at Chicago’s City Hall in the mayor’s office, according to the NYT. It was then that she got close to the couple, and after one fateful dinner, she decided to ‘take them under her wing’ and introduced them to many ‘wealthy’ and powerful figures in the city, which helped launch their influence.
3. Valerie and Michelle Obama have more in common than just their friendship. Like Michelle, Valerie studied and became a prominent lawyer before deciding to leave her private practice for public service. She did her undergraduate work at Stanford and received her law degree from the University of Michigan. She served in many roles while working under Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, including serving as his planning commissioner, drawing up blueprints to redevelop several neglected neighborhoods, and then was chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority, according to NYT.
4. Valerie was born in Iran, to two American parents who were working overseas. Her father, an African-American doctor, was working in Iran as part of a program that sent USA physicians to developing countries.
5. Roseanne attacked Valerie over a Wikileaks drop claiming Obama had his CIA spy on the President of France, even though Valerie’s name is not mentioned. Her tweet was spotted in a chain responding to a story published by SGT Report, a conspiracy-oriented YouTube channel that calls themselves the “corporate propaganda antidote,” on Julian Assange releasing this new information. It was then noticed by those following her on the social platform and the backlash ensued.