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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Shut Down This Man Who Doesn't Think Trump Is Racist

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Shut Down This Man Who Doesn't Think Trump Is Racist

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Shut Down This Man Who Doesn't Think Trump Is Racist

The Nigerian feminist writer stood her ground with grace and dignity during a debate segment with conservative magazine editor Robert Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on BBC Newsnight last Friday.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie needs no introduction. She's your fave. We all know it. Now procure a box of tissues and watch her magestically slay this white man trying to tell her President-elect Donald Trump isn't a racist.

When asked Friday night by Newsnight journalist Emily Maitlis about the Ku Klux Klan's endorsement of President-elect Trump, Robert Emmett Tyrrell, founder and editor-in-chief of the conservative magazine American Spectator, reduced their involvement in the election to "balderdash."

“I can’t imagine anyone more marginal to American elections than, uh, the KKK," he said. "It’s inappropriate to talk about the KKK in the same sentence as Donald Trump or any other Republican."

Right... Let’s just forget about the fact their numbers have doubled as of last February. Oh, and that they're planning a parade in Trump's honor Dec. 2! Or that they used to murder political opposition in order to influence the outcome of elections and maintain white supremacy. Lovely.

In fact, Tyrrell would like it if you ingored all the xenophobic, racist campaign tactics President-elect Trump used to garner the support that got him elected.

“He showed you how he’s going to govern starting the other night when he was dignified, uh, charming and, um, very focused,” he said.

Ideally, that's not how presidents are supposed to work, Robert.

Adichie took a moment to gather her thoughts before responding, during which time Tyrrell unsuccessfully baited her, saying, "Go ahead. Let me hear what you have to say about that."

Toward the end of the clip, Adichie laid it out real clear.

“I think it’s very sad," she said. "The standards have been so low for Donald Trump that because he manages not to behave like a spoilt child he needs to be praised. This is kind of a crude analogy, but it’s kind of like, you know, throwing a little tantrum and letting a little child drive a sophisticated car.”

Tyrrell looked so baffled. I wonder if anyone told him that Republicans had been making roughly the same analogy before the reality that Trump was their candidate solidified. Mitt Romney called him "a phony and a fraud," adding that his "promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University." Oh, and House Speaker Paul Ryan also called his comments regarding Judge Gonzalo Curiel, discussed in this Newsnight segment, racist, though he later backpeddled to save face.

When reminded of Ryan's comments, Tyrrell simply couldn't deal.

"That's not true," he said. "He's not a racist."

Adichie for the rebuttal.

"I am sorry, but if you are a white man, you don’t get to define what racism is. You really don’t."

“To say to us that we have to disregard everything that Donald Trump said and did during his long campaign and judge him just on the one day after he had won the election doesn’t make sense,” Adichie later concluded.

Tyrrell had a hard time losing that argument.

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“We’ll talk about this later,” he said, mistaking Chimamanda for someone who’s even moderately susceptible to paternalistic demonstrations of disappointment and possession.

Seriously, what a closing remark. Watch the Newsnight clip below, and grab a stress ball.

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Ian Martella