On the new episode of Roseanne, a Muslim family moved into the neighborhood and Roseanne was forced to face her Islamophobia. The episode began with Roseanne harboring the same fear, anxiety, and misinformation that so many Americans do. Jackie poked a hole in Roseanne’s flawed reasoning, saying, “Anytime something bad happens, it’s always somebody who lives next door to somebody else.” Roseanne responded: “I’m telling you, this is what people from Iraq and Talibanjistan do! They hang out in neighborhoods like Lanford. Don’t you watch the news?” Jackie replied, “You don’t mean the news, you mean Fox News …”
But Roseanne would need to meet the new neighbors when she was in desperate need of Wi-Fi. The problem: The neighbors who they used to steal Wi-Fi from had moved, with the Muslim family replacing them. Roseanne’s password guesses of “DeathToAmerica” and “DeathToAmerica123” were incorrect, so she and Jackie had to go knock on their door and ask.
During the brief encounter with the new neighbors, Fatima and Samir, Roseanne learned some of the harsh realities Muslim immigrants face when they come to the U.S., and that their family isn’t so different from her own. Both agree the barrier between them is due to fear, not hate. Fatima and Samir proved that they also have more in common with Americans than some may think when they give Roseanne their password: “GoCubs.”
This episode did a great job of expressing why some people feel the way they do and the growth that can occur if those people see one another as human instead of as a conceptual threat. In the end, when a racist cashier at the grocery store is rude to Fatima, Roseanne wasn’t having it. “You are ignorant,” she said. “That woman is twice the person you’ll ever be, and she’s dealing with a lot of stuff you don’t even know about. So next time she comes in the store, you keep your damn mouth shut.”
Check out John Goodman’s audition and how he got the role on Roseanne:
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