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. After Jackie poked a huge hole in Roseanne’s flawed reasoning of, “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 WiFi. The problem was that the neighbors they used to steal WiFi from moved and the Muslim family moved in. Roseanne’s password guesses of “DeathToAmerica” and “DeathToAmerica123” were incorrect so she and Jackie had to go knock on the door and ask.
During the brief encounter with her new neighbors, Fatima and Samir, Roseanne learned some of the harsh realities Muslim immigrants face when they come to America, 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 they also have more in common with millions of 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 come about if those people actually see one another as human instead of as a threat. In the end, when a racist cashier at the grocery store is rude to Fatima, Roseanne wasn’t having it. She said to the cashier, “You are ignorant. 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.”