A few nightlies ago Larry Wilmore, seasoned comedy veteran and host of The Nightly Show (Comedy Central’s popular news program filling the hole Colbert left behind) was the host of the White House Correspondents dinner. The role was suitable of him, as a public supporter of the president, Wilmore was the right choice in a comedian to send Obama out with his last Correspondence event.
The job is a hard one. It’s hard enough being the opener for the leader of the free world. It’s damn near impossible to put a smile on the faces of those in the one room in America filled with reporters who have professionally trained themselves for years to not laugh at things, such ludacris phrases like “Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump”. And yet, Larry did. He did his job, he told jokes, he roasted the pundits, the reporters, the news outlets, the politics of the media. And he did what he was hired to do based on what he has done for the last year on Comedy Central—Call American media out on its political BS.
And yet, everyone decided to have a fit when Larry used the N-word. A black man, who is allowed to say the N word, said the N word to another man who is allowed to say the N word. Why is everyone upset?
Well because they were uncomfortable, quite frankly. Because they didn’t know if they should laugh or not. They’re worried about losing their jobs, their dignity, their respect as reporters, and what not. Well… all aside from Don Lemon who flipped Larry off. But he doesn’t have to worry about losing his dignity as a reporter because he already said goodbye to that long ago when he joined CNN.
But to everyone else, the answer is of course is yes, laugh! Larry is a comedian. And he is black. He said the N word in conclusion to a very touching and true moment of the night—A symbolic evening, the end of an era of a black presidency, in one night where politics and comedy come hand in hand. Why should that not have been said? Especially from a comedian news reporter who has a regular segment on his daily program called “The Plot To De-Negro-fy The White House” or AKA “What’s Happenin’ In The Un-Blackenin’” I mean that should have been mentioned in the program, come on white people.
Why does everyone want to forget that Obama is black? Seriously. No one wants to talk about him joking about his weed smoking college days, or him schooling Ted Cruz on the linguistics of basketball, or that extremely blacker than black “mm-mmm-mhm” he gave us that night? And yet Larry Says the N word and suddenly the whole media erupts into hysterics. Where were those hysterics about ignoring his blackness when people were demanding he show his birth certificate? Where was that deep need to ignore his blackness when the media wanted to act like congress was just giving him a rough time because of “his policies”? In the black words of President Obama, “Mmmm-Hmmm…”
Following the events of the weekend, Wilmore recapped on his show: “Many people were upset about it. Many people supported it,” he continued. “And like the president himself, the reaction was mixed. Oh, shit, I did it again. Don’t make those jokes, Larry!”
Even the White House made reference to Wilmore’s usage of the N word, saying that the president found the joke appreciative. “What the president said is that he appreciated the spirit of Mr. Wilmore’s expressions on Saturday night,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary said, “Any comedian who signed up to follow President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is assuming one of the most difficult tasks in comedy… it’s a tough job.”