Larry Wimore Plays The Race Card With President Obama. No, Not That Race Card
Here’s where we stand in Einstein’s Relativity Theory. (That would be comedian Bob Einstein, also known as Super Dave.) The theory states that stuff getting shot out of a cannon can go anywhere. To wit, GOP nominee Donald Trump referenced a National Enquirer story linking Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Naturally, legacy media lost their minds. CNN’s Jake Tapper almost blew a fuse box refuting the story.
Forget that the Enquirer has, in fact, broken a number of the legit political stories the past decade (John Edwards’ infidelities, Jesse Jackson's love child, Hillary Clinton's brother selling presidential pardons) that legacy media have missed. Anything that attaches to Trump in the media is now a clown car for the punditry to drive.
Is it a rude move? Absolutely? Is it a low blow? Perhaps. Should we join the braying mob before the facts emerge because it’s the Enquirer? Hey, it’s Trump. Still, there is outrage. Or OUTRAGE.
Or there was till Cruz pulled the pin on his campaign Tuesday after being pulverized in Indiana. Now no one cares about Oswald or Rafael of the Enquirer anymore.
So let’s pivot to the bunfest known as this past weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This is the annual trade gathering where the people who cover the president assemble to be skewered by the same president. This was Barack Obama’s last WHC dinner, and so there was an expectation that the transformative guy would be loaded for bear. (Er, that’s if he didn’t hate hunting and guns— which he does.)
You can watch his speech here. (http://bit.ly/24tNM2Y) Understand that, like Shelly Berman in the Catskills, Obama was born to play this room. His entire presidency has been one extended Colbert Report bit. So after the usual repartee about how he’s been treated by the press, it was no surprise that he’d do the Eddie Murphy mic drop to punctuate his set. (32.30) When you’re raised in Hawaii you know gangsta’.
Now watch the pom-pom crowd leap to its feet in rapt adulation. For all its faux scrutiny the DC media conclave sees his historical moment as their historical moment. Mi casa. Su casa. Pavarotti didn’t get this many curtain calls.
But the main dish was yet to come when comedian Larry Wilmore, a graduate of the Jon Stewart Debutante Society, gave the keynote speech. Wilmore, who is black, had the expected one liners and digs at the clay pigeons in the tuxedoed audience. Boilerplate. As he wound down, however, he couldn’t help but let the mask of impartiality (as if) slip from his guise as satirist.
For the zillion-and-first time, Wilmore celebrated Obama’s status as first black president—in case someone missed it the first zillion times. They tried to get you, Wilmore suggested, but they didn’t. (Perhaps if they’d looked in the seats next to Raul Castro at a baseball game they’d have found him.) He then played the race card. No, the other one. The one that says white people are excluded from the Cool In Barack.
Wilmore called Obama his “niggah”, the kind of street-cred thing that guys educated at Ivy League schools like to say to signify against The Man. There were some gasps and groans in the crowd, but a blushing Obama rushed up to give his brother-in-oppression the all-clear.
While black leaders were divided on the proper use of “niggah”, Obama was all chill, homey . His press secretary Josh Earnest (redundancy in aisle five, please) said a president raised by white grandparents “appreciated the spirit of the sentiments that Mr. Wilmore expressed… I take Mr. Wilmore at his words that he found that to be a powerful transformation just in his lifetime, and something he seemed to be pretty obviously proud of.” (If you check the seat back in front of you you’ll find the barf bag.)
Lest we be accused of repeating ourselves a zillionth time, this was the president who was going to bind the wounds of the nation, assure no blue state/ red state schism etc. He gave the Heisman (http://wapo.st/1NSKfXB) to the mostly white gathering, a group so reverential to him that it has largely failed to note how convicted rappers are invited to the WH so their court-ordered ankle bracelets can go off mid-performance.
The liberal three-legged race is always an amusing spectacle, and the Wilmore taboo smashing was gold-medal worthy as there progressive crowd was told look but don’t touch the sensitivity seminar. As we now live in a world of self-identification where feelin’ it confers doin’ it, no one should be surprised. The folks who brought you 31 flavors of sexual identity and almost-black or almost-Indian are making a list and taking names of those who will be re-educated.
The funniest part of the charade is that the liberals who laughed hardest in the WHC crowd at their transformative president think that their empathy will spare them when the identity police knock on their door next. Good luck with that, bee-atches. I’m out… (mic drop).
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy
Bruce's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience with successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013).