What Will White America Do with Its “N-Word President?”
Recently, I saw Sam Jay’s comedy special, “3 In the Morning,” from 2020. Halfway into her special, Jay calls Trump, “the first nigga president.” Jay’s comment challenged me because Trump’s white identity is glaring.
But for good reasons, I’ve learned to take seriously the theories comics cloak as “jokes.” Take Chris Rock, for example. In an interview with Vanity Fair from August 1998, Rock said, “I view Bill Clinton as the first black president. He spends a hundred-dollar bill; they hold it up to the light.”
Both Jay and Rock see beyond skin color to name an effect. Toni Morrison did the same.
In September 1998, Morrison wrote in The New Yorker about former President Bill Clinton’s treatment adding that, “African-American men seemed to understand it right away. Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President.”
With those thoughts in mind, I looked online. I wanted to know if anyone else saw nigger in Trump.
I found a book on the subject. In 2020, Tara Abydos, Ph.D. published, “Our First Nigger-President: Trumpian Politics and the Curious Fate of White People.” In her book, Abydos distinguishes between “nigga” and “nigger.” And she provides scholarly support for her theory. After reading the book, and talking with Abydos via email, that case against Trump is clear and closed. But this is still a conversation worth having.
When we think about nigger as meaning, rather than color, Trump is America’s “first nigger-president.” Much of what whites thought or think about nigger, they have in Trump. He is what whites have always imagined and feared nigger to be. Every, “Who does that?” question asked about Trump is answered by “nigger.”
With this analysis, James Baldwin is a star witness whose testimony gives us everything we need. During his life, Baldwin asked, “Who Is The Nigger?” And he answered his question by telling whites that they were the nigger.
Color and race do not define or limit nigger. In history, whites did not restrict nigger to Black people or people…