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Valerie Jarrett says 'it's time to demand better'

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In the wake of racist comments against her by Roseanne Barr that led ABC to cancel the television sitcom "Roseanne," Valerie Jarrett is criticizing elected officials who "demean others" and calling on voters to "demand better" at the ballot box in 2018.

Jarrett, a former top aide to President Barack Obama, made her remarks Saturday in a message to supporters of the Obama-aligned group Organizing for Action. The message comes just days after Barr sent a racist tweet saying, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj" in reference to Jarrett.

The e-mail to Organizing for Action supporters doesn't mention Barr or the controversy by name. In the note, Jarrett says, "When we elect people that continually demean others — those of another race, or religion, or gender, or identity, or sexual orientation — and reach for an America in the past instead of one in the future, the results hurt us all." 

She goes on to say, "We have a responsibility to demand better of our elected officials. We have a responsibility to vote in 2018," adding "Who we lift up to represent us speaks volumes about whether we treat each other with compassion and civility — and it's time to demand better."

Earlier in the week, Jarrett said on MSNBC that Barr's comment should serve as a "teaching moment" that sparks a conversation about examples of everyday racism.

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