Donald Trump is the greatest N-word of all time

OPINION: The former president is actually the embodiment of the racial stereotypes his followers believe about Black people.

Former President Donald Trump Surrenders To Fulton County Jail In Election Case
In this handout provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, former U.S. President Donald Trump poses for his booking photo at the Fulton County Jail on August 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Fulton County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images) Credit: Photo byHandout / Getty Images

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

A racist called me the n-word today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.

As someone who’s publicly taught, discussed and written about race for more than two decades, I’ve been called more racial slurs than you can imagine. While “moon cricket” is my favorite, if we searched every inbox in Black America, I’d probably rank in the top 10% of people who have been emailed the n-word. Here are just a few excerpts from messages I’ve received in the past two weeks alone:

“I’m so much more racist now because of racist tribalist n*ggers like you who lie and race grift. Well done.”

“Fuck black history! Unfortunately, Lincoln didn’t have the balls to ship all the n*ggers back to Africa & Abe’s to blame for all the black criminality in America ever since. America’s greatness is all due to white heterosexual males, not women or spooks or spics or gooks or gays.

“Black people are cool but you are a n*gger.”

“I kill n*ggers.”

“Mediocre white man like Elon is still superior to 95% black men and 100% of dumb sub-saharan race huckster n*ggers like you.”

Don’t cry for me. As a Musk-approved, verified “Hard R” on White Twitter, the language-deficient members of the so-called “superior race” who resort to the most unoriginal invective amuse me. Imagine the amount of historical ignorance required for someone to believe that the people who were subjected to centuries of rape, lynching and race-based human trafficking are the violent ones. I can’t help but giggle when someone whose cross-burning ancestors stole an entire continent assumes my son is a thief or a gangbanger because he’s wearing a hoodie. 

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As offensive as America’s top-ranked epithet may be, the deplorable, shiftless, violent stereotype that the racial slur depicts has always existed — if only in the imagination of white America. “N*gger is an opprobrious term, employed to impose contempt upon them as an inferior race,” wrote Hosea Easton in 1837. “It flows from the fountain of purpose to injure.” According to David Walker’s 1829 “Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World,The white Americans have applied this term to Africans, by way of reproach for our colour, to aggravate and heighten our miseries, because they have their feet on our throats.”

This comically detestable racial caricature is not a relic of the past. It’s not hard to see why the Supreme Court dismantled affirmative action if you know that 51% of white respondents to the 2022 General Society Survey believe Black people take jobs from “equally or less qualified” white people. Once you know that 26% of white Republicans believe that Black people are less intelligent than whites and 55% believe that “African Americans face more poverty due to lack of motivation and willpower,” you understand how “diversity hire” became the new n-word. If you wonder why police disproportionately kill more Black people, read the studies that show how cops and most white Americans view Black men as less innocent, more threatening and more criminal. 

As uncomfortable as it may be, I must also concede that white people didn’t create this negative imagery out of whole cloth. Thugs exist. Laziness is real. Some people take opportunities from more qualified candidates. And when it comes to the lazy, good-for-nothing, sperm-slinging hooligan who is the bane of America’s existence, there is someone who fits the description. 

Donald John Trump is n*gger incarnate.

Take one of the more popular euphemisms for the n-word, for example. Merriam-Webster defines a thug as “a violent or brutish criminal or bully.” That sounds like an apt description of a man who told cops not to worry about injuring suspects as he embraced the “very fine” white supremacist terrorists before applauding an attack on a reporter and praising the “hostages” who attacked police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection. “Grab’em by the p—y” may not be the most brutish phrase you’ve ever heard, but combined with his attempts to intimidate election officials, judges’ families and protesters, there is no doubt that he’s a bully who’s deeply entrenched in the thug life.

And just like a dindu (a slur used for Black hooligans who “dindu nuffin”), Trump is a criminal. 

According to the FBI arrest data, 96.9% of Black men are not arrested in any given year, unlike the former president who’s currently fighting 91 criminal charges in four indictments. While a 2001 study found “the percentage of young Black men in a neighborhood is positively associated with perceptions of the neighborhood crime level,” the feds have raided the homes of at least four boys in the MAGA hood (Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen and Trump). Nearly everyone who led a Trump-related organization has been criminally indicted, including his campaign chair (Manafort), inauguration committee chair (Tom Barrack), chief of staff (Mark Meadows), his chief strategist (Steve Bannon) and the CFO of the Trump Organization (Allen Weisselberg). Meanwhile, most Black men (66%) have never been convicted of a felony. If you’re looking for gangbangers, find Trump. 

I can’t shame him for having three baby mamas. I blame the lack of family values. What else would you expect from someone whose father was arrested at a violent Ku Klux Klan rally? His grandfather was kicked out of Germany and reportedly ran a brothel. Trump’s current wife somehow secured an “Einstein visa,” and his mother took advantage of the dreaded “chain migration” process Trump hates. Slovenia isn’t a “shithole country” so some of them, I assume, are good people

And he’s “ghetto.” Unlike a true, God-fearing Christian patriot, Trump is a cussing, whoremongering sinner who disrespects the troops. He lies. He uses the lord’s name in vain. He worships graven images. He does not honor mothers or fathers. He advocates for murder. He commits adultery. He steals. He bears false witness. He covets.  He is as “ratchet” as it gets. 

It’s just his culture. The “unstable genius” president is one of those unqualified people who benefitted from the white version of affirmative action. He hid his academic records, received five draft deferments and had a family friend working in admissions to get Trump admitted to an Ivy League college. Despite coming in second place in two elections, the unstable genius believes he won both. Aside from his verbal gaffes, he has incompetence in every subject, including biology (with his Clorox COVID cure), geography, (Colorado’s shared border with Mexico), history (his comments about the Civil War) math (he has trouble counting inauguration crowds) and business (six bankruptcies). Then again, a recent Economist/YouGov poll shows that 80% of Trump voters believe he won the 2020 election. Being “qualified” for a job only matters when it comes to Black people. 

Yes, the “unstable genius” is the epitome of a “diversity hire.”

If only he’d focus on education and hard work. Trump is just like the lazy “naysayers” who white people say ”lack will.” Whether he’s begging Georgia’s secretary of state for votes he didn’t earn, using campaign donations to pay his legal bills or weaseling out of paying taxes, he’s always asking for handouts. He’s a well-known scammer who never pays his bills. That’s probably why his credit score is so low, although he tries to blame it on discrimination. Of course, he’ll tell you that he “dindu nuffin.”  

Yet, Trump may be the most successful president in American history. All of the affirmative action rules and DEI policies combined couldn’t catapult a similarly unqualified African American to the heights that Trump ascended. There isn’t a Black man alive who has escaped incarceration after being charged with as many crimes. Never before has someone as incompetent, meritless and corrupt achieved so much. 

And yet he is beloved. 

Instead of being denounced as a violent, unintelligent, scamming, welfare-receiving baby daddy who came from pimps and hooligans, he is perceived as the fulfillment of the American Dream. To his white minions, he is not “ghetto”; he “tells it like it is.” He is not a violent thug; the unfair criminal justice system persecutes him — because he is white.

And that is why I laugh when someone calls me the n-word. I understand that my Blackness is the only thing separating me from becoming a fine, upstanding citizen who loves America. To me, the n-word is a term of endearment used by white people to describe the qualities they admire. White people love n*ggers. 

And that’s why they love Donald Trump. America’s 45th president is the epitome of America. I am just a lowly race-baiting professional identity politics player who slightly annoys white people. But when it comes to the deplorable demon that possesses the collective mind of white supremacy … 

 Donald Trump is the n*gger you heard about. 

Trust me. 

It takes one to know one.

Michael Harriot is a writer, cultural critic and championship-level Spades player. His NY Times bestseller  Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America is available in bookstores everywhere.

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