Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has no time for white men who want to redefine what racism is.
The feminist author appeared on BBC Newsnight on Friday with R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., founder and editor-in-chief of the conservative magazine The American Spectator. Discussing Donald Trump’s campaign, Tyrell argued with host Emily Maitlis’ comment that Trump’s language has been racist.
“That’s not true, he hasn’t been racist,” Tyrell said, but Adichie wasn’t having it.
“I’m sorry, but as a white man, you don’t get to define what racism is, you really don’t,” she said. “You don’t get to sit there and say he hasn’t been racist when objectively he has.”
There has been a lot of backlash over these comments made by Adichie, people mostly arguing against her reasoning.
Here’s one by Chiedozie Dike, that backs her up.
“I’m not going to pretend like I understand this lamming on her choice of words any more than its being a splitting of hairs. What’s even more troubling for me is that I’m getting a ‘White Lives Matter in response to Black Lives Matter’ vibe from these arguments and they are darn annoying. Because just as the White Lives Matter proponents choose to ignore that what people mean when they say Black Lives Matter is that “Black Lives Matter, too,” y’all are conveniently forgetting that there was context for what Chimamanda said.
“They were discussing Donald Trump and his racist, divisive rhetoric. Emmett is a white man. Chimamanda is a black immigrant. I don’t understand how y’all can miss that when she says “As a white man, you don’t get to define racism,” what she means is that as someone who benefits by default from the structure of racism, you don’t get to define racism over us who suffer from it. As a man who wasn’t directly attacked by Donald Trump’s divisive, xenophobic Islamophobic statements, you don’t get a definitive say about him being racist over those whom he constantly attacked.
“How is this even hard to grasp except you’re trying hard not to see what’s so stark?”