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Monday, 28 November 2016

Chimamanda Adichie writes on how BBC Newsnight deliberately pitted her against a Trump supporter

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has opened up about her recent interview with BBC Newsnight, in which she got into heated discussion with Emmeett Tyrrell, editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and staunch supporter of American President-Elect Donald Trump.

In the viral interview that has since been shared across the internet, Ms Adichie and Emmett discussed the role of racism in the U.S presidential election, particularly in relation to Trump's campaign.When Tyrrell claimed Trump has not been racist, she replied: I 'm sorry but ...if you are a white man, you don't get to define what racism is, you really don't"

In a lengthy post published on her official Facebook page on November 24th, Ms Adichie said she was not aware she would be on a panel with a Trump supporter.
She described BBC's move as a "deliberately strategy that news organizations use in the pursuit of what is often called 'good television'. Read what she said below:
"Two weeks ago, BBC Newsnight contacted my manager to ask for an interview with me. I would be interviewed by the presenter, they said, and would broadly be asked about the election. I said yes.
When I arrived at their studio in Washington DC, the show’s producer casually said, “You’ll be on a panel with a Trump Supporter. A magazine editor who has supported Donald Trump from the beginning.”
“What?” I said. At no time had I been told that there would be anyone else in the interview, never mind being pitted against a Trump Supporter.
I felt upset and ambushed.
I wanted to walk away, but decided not to. I was already there. And I did want to talk about the election, which I had experienced in a deeply personal way. I was still stunned and angry and sad. I still woke up feeling heavy. Not only because I am an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton, but also because, with Donald Trump’s win, America just didn’t feel like America anymore. The country that grew from an idea of freedom was now to be governed by an authoritarian demagogue.
“I’m sorry you didn’t know it was a panel,” The producer said. “There must have been some mistake somewhere when your manager spoke to the people in London.”
Some mistake somewhere. My manager had simply not been told.
“We want to have balance,” he said.
But sneakily pitting me against a Trump Supporter was not about balance – we could have easily been interviewed separately.
It is a deliberately adversarial strategy that news organizations use in the pursuit of what is often called ‘good television.’
It is about entertainment.
I told the producer that my condition was that I not be asked to respond directly to anything the Trump Supporter had to say.
We could both air our opinions without being egged on to ‘fight it out.’
The Trump Supporter arrived. A well dressed, well groomed elderly man. The producer greeted him, gushed a little. He introduced me to the Trump Supporter. “She will be on the panel with you,” he said.
The Trump Supporter barely glanced at me.
The producer wanted us to shake hands, and he gestured to complete the introduction. We shook hands.
“How are you?” I said. Something about the tilt of the Trump Supporter’s head made me think that perhaps he had hearing problems – and suddenly his standoffishness was forgivable.
I felt a kind of compassion, while also thinking: why would this man, editor of a conservative magazine, be willing to put America in the hands of a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who does not even believe in classic conservative principles?
We got on air. We were seated uncomfortably close. The studio itself was strange, a flimsy tent on top of a building that overlooks the White House. A strong wind rattled the awning.
The interview began. I was determined to speak honestly, and not be distracted by the Trump Supporter, and be done with it and go home and never again allow myself to be ambushed in a television interview.
Until the Trump Supporter said that word ‘emotionally.’
“I do not respond emotionally like this lady,” he said.
I thought: o ginidi na-eme nwoke a?
He didn’t say my name. Perhaps he didn’t know it because he had not paid attention when we were introduced. Mine is not an easy name for languid American tongues anyway. But that word ‘emotional.’ No. Just no.
Normally I would not think of ‘emotional’ as belittling. Emotion is a luminous, human quality. I am often emotional – gratefully so. But in this context it was coded language with a long history.
To say that I responded ‘emotionally’ to the election was to say that I had not engaged my intellect. ‘Emotional’ is a word that has been used to dismiss many necessary conversations especially about gender or race. ‘Emotional’ is a way of discounting what you have said without engaging with it.
No way was I going to ignore that. Which, predictably, led to an interview in which I found myself, rather than talking about misogyny and populism, responding to a man who claimed that an anti-NAFTA, China-bashing, America-First Donald Trump would be an ‘internationalist’ rather than an ‘isolationist.’
Who presumed that he, a white man, could decide what was racist and what was not. And who insisted that Donald Trump is not a racist, even though the evidence is glaring, even though the House Majority Leader of Donald Trump’s own Republican party condemned Donald Trump’s racism.
So much for responding ‘emotionally’ to the election.
I left that interview still feeling upset. But it made me better see why America no longer feels like America.

38 comments:

vinna saviour said...

It's well my sista

Eddy Ogbunambala said...

Ok

livingstone chibuike said...

nne biko speak nd make dem understand wat dey dont knw

Uju Phil said...

Quite intriguing... Shall dissect later!

Anonymous said...

"Ambushed" and she didn't walk away?!
I bet she must have been paid and didn't want to turn the $$$ away.... "ambushed" my foot!

News business is now infotainment...nothing more than cheap reality TV drama and Chimamanda was the guests star of that day.

Anonymous said...

U and the Soyinka are fighting a losing battle so rather than complaining and if America does not want you come home. You still have a home to come to. Nigeria might not match US in standard of living but at least its home and ur skin color is not looked at with disdain.

Abiodun Karbey said...

I can relate with Chimamanda's dissatisfaction. Sometimes things don't just work the way we envisaged. And yeah the idea of America being free now has a question mark.

Abiodun Karbey said...

I can relate with Chimamanda's dissatisfaction. Sometimes things don't just work the way we envisaged. And yeah the idea of America being free now has a question mark.

Abiodun Karbey said...

I can relate with Chimamanda's dissatisfaction. Sometimes things don't just work the way we envisaged. And yeah the idea of America being free now has a question mark.

Abiodun Karbey said...

I can relate with Chimamanda's dissatisfaction. Sometimes things don't just work the way we envisaged. And yeah the idea of America being free now has a question mark.

Ndubisi Tochukwu said...

This lady lightens my heart
Signed
LibBadBoy

Anonymous said...

That's what it was a debate. She's trying to hide face for having her racism and sexism exposed.

Onah Erochukwu said...

Let her be watchful.~Nwa_Nsukka

ONYX linda ikeji first son GODWIN said...

Well..... If you're straight, you don't get to tell gay people how to feel and express themselves! Case closed!

Chizzy Liz said...

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Chizzy Liz said...

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Chizzy Liz said...

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Jamila Shaibu said...

Seen

freeborn bamislam suani ahmad zinalima said...

U never seen any thing yet.Killary killington desperate supporters.CHIMAMANDA U ARE A DISGRACE TO IBO LAND AND CHRISTIAN U RACIST DESIST FROM TRUMP HATE OO.all trump supporters are the best except killary supporters. DONALD J TRUMP HAS WON IS THAT HE HAS WON BITCH COME BACK TO NIGERIA U HATER OF GOOD.
U an trump who is a racist now bitch huh? Shame to u. SHAMELESS RACIST LIKE U






























#sad indeed

freeborn bamislam suani ahmad zinalima said...

U never seen any thing yet.Killary killington desperate supporters.CHIMAMANDA U ARE A DISGRACE TO IBO LAND AND CHRISTIAN U RACIST DESIST FROM TRUMP HATE OO.all trump supporters are the best except killary supporters. DONALD J TRUMP HAS WON IS THAT HE HAS WON BITCH COME BACK TO NIGERIA U HATER OF GOOD.
U an trump who is a racist now bitch huh? Shame to u. SHAMELESS RACIST LIKE U






























#sad indeed

okechukwu nnoduechi said...

GOOD TO SEE






AUNTY LINDA 👩





PLEASE KINDLY FOLLOW ME ON LIS @OKECHUKWU NNODUECHI

Bonita Bislam said...

Gbam! Emotional ke?Words could betray you if you chose the wrong ones, or mean less if you used too many.
If you have to say or do something controversial, aim so that people will hate that they love it and not love that they hate it.

Anonymous said...

SCHOOL Girl Opens Her Pant IN Class See Photos

Anonymous said...

Bitch u afmitted you were emotional after crooked hillary lost

Then someone pointing it out ruffled your feathers

Please shut up u ultra feminist cunt

Anonymous said...

linda, i thought you screened incoherent responses. allowing someone to use such profanities as anonymous 8.54am is abhorrent. anyways weldone Chiamamanda. you always represent Nigeria, and women outstandingly. keep up the good works

Anonymous said...

Pls get married ma

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OSINANL said...

*SIGH*

Anonymous said...

Your mother is a cunt,u idiot,no one in your generation will ever be able to achieve what she has achieved,anuofia

Juliet Iwuno said...

She should know how to choose her words as she is a writer. Linda take note!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8.54am.... Take it easy. You can make very valid points without resulting to insults. How old are you? Please broaden your vocabulary. Violence (either verbal or physical) never pays. Unless you are in the jungle. Do you live in the jungle?

chiazor owoh said...

Anonymous 8:45am, Shut up! Just Shut the hell up! Shut up and Fuck off! you have the nerve to call out Chimmanda? Who the hell are you? you male or female? Do you even exist? Get a friggin life Dumbass!

chiazor owoh said...

Anonymous 8:45am, Shut up! Just Shut the hell up! Shut up and Fuck off! you have the nerve to call out Chimmanda? Who the hell are you? you male or female? Do you even exist? Get a friggin life Dumbass!

Vivian Reginalds said...

Ok
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Anonymous said...

@ anon 8:54. You must be butt hurt..biiish.

Anonymous said...

Really? Is this type of language necessary to make your point?

Anonymous said...

Did you even watch the interview?? 😒

Anonymous said...

Go and watch the interview.. She didn't say anything wrong abeg

Jasmin said...

Chimmanda and FFK both possess bitter, infantile and shallow minds, only masquerading them with big grammar they learnt at school...

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