On The Late Show last night, W. Kamau Bell expressed a sentiment shared by many where it concerns whether Donald Trump used the N-word. “I don’t really care” if there’s a tape, Bell said. “I already know Donald Trump is a racist. Needing a white person to say the N-word to reveal you are racist is really a white person thing. That’s like an indicator … but we look at the whole package, not just that one word.”
He also offered a study in contrast by using Eminem as an example. “Years ago, Eminem said the N-word, and black people were like, ‘It’s alright. It’s Eminem. He’s from Detroit. He’s really good at rap.” In other words, there wasn’t a context to suggest that Eminem was racist. Whereas, “Donald Trump has a career of racism. So, the N-word is like the rotten cherry on the crap sundae.”
And yes, he is absolutely right. No one needs to see Donald Trump say the N-word to know that he is a racist. There’s a whole history of it, beginning with a racial discrimination suit filed against him in 1973, or even the fact that he called Mexicans rapists when he announced that he was running for President. THAT WAS HIS PLATFORM.
But the damn video still matters. It matters for the same reason that the Access Hollywood video mattered. We all knew he was horrible to women before that (his ex-wife accused him of rape in her book), and while hearing and seeing it didn’t change the outcome of that election, it did help to define his legacy, just as the N-word tape would (also, note: He lost the popular vote. Badly.). It’s like that Ray Rice elevator video: If it hadn’t surfaced, Ray Rice would’ve gotten a slap on the wrist. But the first video came out, and he was suspended for two games. When the second video surfaced, Ray Rice’s contract was terminated and the NFL changed its domestic abuse policy. Powerful white people, unfortunately, do not give a damn about context; they only care about the smoking gun, and even then, only if it has been recorded, because only then does it box them in. The NFL itself could point to the tape and definitely say that Trump’s attacks are driven by racism. Yes, I know that, and you know that, but maybe it affords the NFL or other entities the ability to completely ignore Trump where it concerns race, and the players can look at the owners and say, “Did you see the video? We’re going to go back to kneeling again, and we’re not just protesting police violence, we are protesting our racist president.”
And like I said, when it comes out, we can put it to rest, and when your father-in-law tries to defend Trump, it’s just easier to say, “Screw you. He said the N-word. You’re not allowed near my children again.”
And according to Tom Arnold, there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll see that video because even though Mark Burnett won’t release it, he also cannot destroy it. The FCC requires that all footage be available because of the rules surrounding game shows. Also, Tom Arnold rants and raves here for 10 minutes, and though he is breathless and crazed, he still makes way too much sense for Tom Arnold.
Header Image Source: CBS