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Controversies over who’s black and who’s not suddenly have become an odd undercurrent along the Democratic fringes of this presidential election campaign.
First, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman insisted in a radio interview that Barack Obama is not America’s first black president, since his late mother was a Caucasian. Obama always has identified himself as African-American, and contemporary genetic studies have shown that few black Americans are of unmixed African heritage. Freeman’s own credentials in matters of racial identity presumably are unassailable, since he played a runaway slave turned heroic Civil War soldier in Glory and has a beautiful baritone voice.
Now, the usually affable comedian and Let’s Make a Deal game show personality Wayne Brady has delivered an obscenity-laced tirade against HBO talk show host Bill Maher, who has referred to Obama’s alleged lack of recognizable black cultural characteristics by describing the president repeatedly as “your Wayne Brady.”
Brady recently told interviewer Aisha Tyler, who hosts a podcast called Girl on Guy, that Maher’s characterization was intended as “a diss to Obama to be called me because (Maher) wants a brother-brother.”
Brady went on to attack Maher for an alleged predilection for the company of African American prostitutes: “Just because you f–k black hookers,” Brady said, “just because you had that particular black experience… I have to stop myself to getting into it because I realize the thing is if I had gone on his show, or even doing it online, I’m not going to win. Because as soon as you back off, he still has his platform to say whatever he wants to.”
The 40-year-old Brady also took offense to Maher’s denigration of his black identity, declaring that if the HBO host and Democratic campaign donor wants to “know how black Wayne Brady is,” he would “gladly slap the sh-t out of Bill Maher in front of Coco and Ebony and Fox, the three ladies of the night he has hired.”
(Maher, thus far, has remained silent.)
Listen to the audio below.
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