Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie learned something from her interview run-in with a Trump supporter, too. The Nigerian feminist author, sampled in Beyoncé’s “Flawless,” notably clashed with American Spectator editor-in-chief and founder R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. on BBC Newsnight in a recent interview.
“I am sorry, but if you are a white man, you don’t get to define what racism is,” she said on the program. “You really don’t.”
Her statement drew wide accolades from a public eager to have their voice, and the voice of fact, represented in a televised debate.
“Normally I would not think of ‘emotional’ as belittling,” Adichie writes. “Emotion is a luminous, human quality. I am often emotional – gratefully so. But in this context it was coded language with a long history. To say that I responded ‘emotionally’ to the election was to say that I had not engaged my intellect. ‘Emotional’ is a word that has been used to dismiss many necessary conversations especially about gender or race. ‘Emotional’ is a way of discounting what you have said without engaging with it.”
She further writes that Tyrrell continued his ignorance throughout their exchange.
“Who presumed that he, a white man, could decide what was racist and what was not. And who insisted that Donald Trump is not a racist, even though the evidence is glaring, even though the House Majority Leader of Donald Trump’s own Republican party condemned Donald Trump’s racism. So much for responding ‘emotionally’ to the election. I left that interview still feeling upset. But it made me better see why America no longer feels like America.”
Read the rest of Adichie’s post below.
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