The Cultural Meaning of the Shaming of Roseanne Barr

The so-called Populist revolt that ended in the earthquake election of Donald Trump has left the cultural and social foundations of America shaken to the core. This latest media storm around Barr is indicative of that. We’re all still in need of extra herbs or meds in light of how he and his people in Washington seem to be trying to take us down! It feels like anarchy to me. Parliamentarian Puritans (Democrats) vs. Royalist Monarchists (Republicans). Trump wants to take down our Democratic Republic that seeks to empower our pluralism and civil rights in America and turn it into what? That “what” is the problem and producing anxiety in our collective.

I’m from Chicago, NW Illinois, white middle class, a true Cubbie Blue Cubs fan and Democratic Yankee Puritan (Episcopal, Church of England). My entire upbringing was about integration of mostly black and white and exposure to any form of Christianity. My family was also a mix of Democrat and Republican. But the overriding tendency was tolerance of differences and civility. No violence. I was exposed to everything. I’m kind of a mix of African-American matriarchal tendency and White European patriarchy because my Mom’s family was matriarchal and my dad’s family was patriarchal. Just as I’ve had to straddle the cultural fence, most Americans do also. So when we perceive what’s going on in our culture, it’s with our particular bias, to be sure.

Roseanne Barr is a granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Central Europe and Russia, the oldest of four children in a Jewish Salt Lake City, UT family.  Barr has stated, “Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning I was a Jew; Sunday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon we were Mormons.” Barr doesn’t wear the fact that she’s Jewish on her sleeve, which completely changes how people might perceive her “joke” about Hitler and the cookies in the oven. That said, even though she is an award-winning comedian, nothing is funny about what she’s said lately. I didn’t know she was Jewish. She was deriding Hitler for the genocide of her own people and likely most of her ancestors from Europe and Russia. Her grandmother who was an orthodox Jew held the highest sway over her family. Trump likewise came from a family that for generations back, was extremely traumatized so that visions of royalty and kingship rule his psyche. When your ancestors fall far behind, something overly ambitious kicks in within the brain to compensate. That’s my theory.

Her show portrayed a culture that hails from Greater Appalachia, Tidewater, and the Deep South, referring to three of the regions of America discussed in Colin Woodard’s great book, “American Nations”. Greater Appalachia is Southern IL, most of Indiana, southern OH, WV, VA, KY, southern MO, part of OK, N. Texas, northern AR, TN, NC, northern MS, and northern AL. The Deep South is southern Texas, LA, and all states further south to FL. Tidewater’s history is the landed gentry who eventually betrayed the inhabitants of Greater Appalachia and the Deep South.  They are N.Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Washinton D.C. Trump won all of those states in the election. Roseanne Barr supported Donald Trump! What is going on in America? Two years on and we still haven’t figured it out.

The truth is, the United States is an imperialist, colonized mish-mash of enslaved people. This country exists on the back of ALL cultures being enslaved by the Royalist Republicans. They then came to America as the Tidewater landed gentry in the South with their Royalist, Republican biased values and commenced with their brand of violent evil.

In Chapter 3, Founding Tidewater, Woodard says of the opposite side, The Yankee Puritans;

For the Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Dutch, and other Germanic tribes of northern Europe, “freedom” was a birthright of free peoples, which they considered themselves to be. Individuals might have differences in status and wealth but all were literally “born free.” All were equal before the law, and all had come into the world possessing “rights” that had to be mutually respected on the threat of banishment. Tribes had the right to rule themselves through assemblies like Iceland’s Althingi recognized as the world’s oldest parliament. Until the Norman invasion of 1066, the Anglo-Saxon tribes of England (Germans) had ruled themselves in this manner. After the invasion, the lords of Normandy France imposed manorial feudalism on England, but they never fully did away with the “free” institutions of the Anglo-Saxons and (Gael-Norse) Scots, which survived in village councils, English common law, and the House of Commons. It was this tradition the Puritans carried to Yankeedom. (MA, VT, NH, MA, NY, PA, IL, MI, WI, MN).

The Greek and Roman political philosophy embraced by Tidewater gentry of the southern U.S. assumed the opposite; most humans were born into bondage. (Republicanism) Liberty was something that was granted and was thus a privilege, not a right. Some people were permitted many liberties others had very few, and many had none at all…It was a philosophical divide with racial overtones and one that would later drive America’s nations into all-out war with one another. (The Civil War).”

Speaking of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was an anomaly in the Republican Party of his time in many respects. His ancestry was neither royalty or landed gentry and Lincoln behaved more like an Independent than someone from either party. If there was anyone who straddled the political fence, it was Lincoln. Many times the Republicans like to claim him but in key ways, Lincoln’s behavior and values were from neither party. He was more Universal.

I’ve posted about this before, but we are country at war with our own subconscious mind and ancestral memory seeded in us, in utero from the ages of 0-5 by our parents who have inherited their minds from our ancestors and on it goes!! That is what is going on here. Our culture, our institutions, and our families are still dominated by the memory in our subconscious mind instead of by our actively chosen, adult,  conscious mind. Trump and Barr and many others are still playing out so much of what they’ve lost because of their wretched upbringing and have never regained because they don’t claim the right over their own souls to cut it off. Well, they may be trying, but the emotional struggle to love themselves is all that comes out of their mouths and on Twitter as they seem to fail at loving or tolerating anyone else; least of all themselves.

The meaning of the shaming of Roseanne Barr and Donald Trump is that the U.S. and it’s media is still largely Puritan, Yankee, Democratic and Christian in its values despite this Republican upsurge. If the Democrats can mobilize the apathetic base, it can be turned around in the next election and be more pluralistic. We are a young country, still deciding who we want to be when we grow up.

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