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There is love between Larry and Barry at the Correspondent dinner

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

There is love between Larry and Barry at the Correspondent dinner

By Roger Caldwell

Welcome to Negro Night…..

Many may not understand what the preceding comment refers to, but the white community rarely understands why and how Black men communicate with each other. At the White House Correspondent Dinner in 2016, two Black men were able to turn the tables upside-down on white America. After seven years of President Obama being called everything from a monkey to a liar, it was now time to make whites nervous.

President Obama took the stage first, and the crowd hoped the President would play nice, and not embarrass anyone. The President was cool and funny. But when Larry Wilmore took the stage, the kid gloves came off, and it was time for whites to look at themselves in the mirror.

To start the evening off, Wilmore, host of Comedy Central, established that he was a Black man, “but as Fox News report, two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.” This comment did not sit well with the overwhelmingly white attendees, but they were forced to remain seated and try to laugh at Wilmore’s jokes. Remember, the correspondent dinner is a “roast,” so speakers are expected to poke and make fun of attendees.

Wilmore joked about Larry and Barry. It took many a few minutes to understand who Barry was. Barry is a nickname of endearment for the President’s name, “Barack.”

Many of Wilmore’s jokes made people think before they laughed, but Fox News is known for being racist, and they have very few good things to say about Black men. So attendees in the overwhelmingly white crowd could only groan as Wilmore made jokes about the different news networks in television.

Wilmore noted that MSNBC actually now stands for “missing a significant number of Black correspondents,” for firing Melissa Harris Perry, canceling Joy Reid’s show, reducing the time slots of Al Sharpton’s show, and canceling other minority shows. Wilmore poked a little more fun at the network by saying “They put Chris Hayes on probation because they thought he was related to Isaac Hayes.”

Personally, I felt Wilmore’s jokes were hilarious, and it appeared that the President and the First Lady were enjoying his jokes as well. When Ben Carson was praising Andrew Jackson as being a great president, Wilmore said Jackson spoke from the grave, “What did that jiggaboo say?”

As Wilmore continued with his jokes, the attendees didn’t know whether to laugh, get mad, or ask for their money back. The jokes were Wilmore at his best, and I am sure he was improvising as he pushed to get to the end. Many of the media folks thought Wilmore was mean and arrogant, but again it was “Negro Night.”

This was President’s Obama’s last performance at the correspondent dinner, and all of the media networks will remember Wilmore, a Black man. “When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a Black quarterback. Now think about that. A Black man was thought by his mere color, of not good enough to lead a football team. And now to live in your time, Mr. President, when a Black man can lead the entire world,” says Wilmore.

But the most controversial statement that Wilmore made was at the end of his performance, when he said, “So Mr. President, if I’m going to keep it 100, Yo Barry, you did it, my n…a!”

Many will say that Wilmore was disrespectful, but only brothers are able to use the N-word as a term of endearment. Remember, it was “Negro Night” and the tables were turned up-side-down, and two of the most powerful Black men in the world were sharing some love.

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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