Political pundit Keith Olbermann drew ire from those on Twitter on Tuesday after he called President Donald Trump a "whiny little Kunta Kinte" in an attempt to twist the name of the Roots character into an insult. Olbermann later deleted the tweet and attempted to explain why he called the president by the Roots' character's name, insisting in a subsequent tweet that he was attempting to refer to Trump as a "c—." However, as the New York Post noted, it didn't take long before the pundit drew a ton of criticism for his original tweet.
Olbermann made the original remark in response to a Fox & Friends segment in which the president questioned Fox News' coverage of him. "Yes, @realDonaldTrump has always been, will always be, and on the day of his bid for re-election, still is: a whiny little Kunta Kinte," Olbermann, a former sportscaster and primetime MSNBC host, wrote in a since-deleted tweet. For reference, Kunta Kinte is a fictional African slave whose story is at the center of the classic 1976 novel Roots, which was later made into a hit television series. The New York Post noted, the name can also be used as a derogatory insult for recent African immigrants. As a result, critics were quick to call out Olbermann for his tweet, and the pundit then swiftly deleted it.
Never forget pic.twitter.com/ttYCAvLZ61— Dr. Mantis Tobboggan 🇮🇪🇺🇦 (@abscolk) November 3, 2020
"What is this? Why is this white man calling Trump a 'Kunta Kinte,'?" author Frederick Joseph wrote. Writer Jesse Spector also wrote about this matter, “Too bad Keith Olbermann isn’t on TV to do his ‘Worst Person In The World’ segment anymore, because it would be really something to see him give it to himself.” In a subsequent series of tweets, Olbermann attempted to explain that he was trying to call Trump a "c—" by using the Kunta Kinte name. He even noted that he should have told the president, "see you next Tuesday."
“I was using an old 70’s-80’s technique for calling somebody a c*** without writing/saying c***, just using a sound-alike to call Trump a c***,” he wrote. “Deleting previous, largely because this one clarifies the c*** part.” He added in another tweet, “And you can never keep your personal lexicography as much as you’d like, so I especially appreciate the suggestions in this thread that ‘See you next Tuesday’ is the modern acceptable euphemism.”