During his Comedy Central show Monday night, Wilmore brought up a critique of his performance by Mail Online editor Piers Morgan, who quoted the line as ending with “n***er.” That’s how our colleague Jonathan Capehart quoted it, too. (He actually spelled it out in his piece.)
But Wilmore said he actually said the word “n***a” — a more casual pronunciation. There’s a huge distinction between “n***er” and “n***a,” he said.
The former “is what white people use to denigrate, demean and dehumanize black people,” Wilmore said. But the latter is “a term of endearment some black people use between each other to take back that power.”
“Piers, you didn’t properly conjugate that slur,” Wilmore said.
Conjugations aside, one person who’s definitely not offended? Barry himself — er, that is, President Obama. His spokesman said Monday that POTUS got it. “He said that he appreciated the spirit and the sentiments that Mr. Wilmore expressed,” spokesman Josh Earnest said.