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Obama drops mic at correspondents’ dinner

Free Press wire reports | 5/5/2016, 9:19 p.m.
President Obama took aim at Democrats and Republicans alike last Saturday in his final appearance headlining the star-studded White House ...
President Obama greets comedian Larry Wilmore after the “Comedy Central” host ended last Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner with remarks that later drew criticism.

“Words alone do me no justice,” he concluded. “So, Mr. President, if I’m going to keep it 100,” Mr. Wilmore said, before pounding his chest. “Yo, Barry, you did it, my nigga!” 

Mr. Wilmore’s use of the word shed light on a debate among many in the African-American community: Those who feel it is an offensive slur and shouldn’t be used in any context, and others — including Mr. Wilmore — who feel that using it as a term of endearment among African-Americans robs the word of its negative power.

“I knew that it would be provocative and, yes, I was taking a big chance,” Wilmore told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. “But you know what, it was just a creative expression that I made at the time. I don’t know if I would take it back.”

He said that “at this point, I think it may open up a dialogue that at the end of the day is probably pretty good. And if I have to take the heat for it, that’s OK. Part of my job is to take the heat. I certainly dished out a lot of stuff.”

Mr. Wilmore said the president was “very kind and very warm” to him and the White House said Monday that President Obama wasn’t offended.

With a bit of nostalgia, President Obama reflected on his more than seven years in office, saying he had been a young man of idealism and vigor before he became president.

“Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics,” President Obama said. “In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific.”