Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “America No Longer Feels Like America”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie learned something from her interview run-in with a Trump supporter, too. The Nigerian feminist author, sampled in Beyoncé's "Flawless," notably clashed with American Spectator editor-in-chief and founder R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. on BBC Newsnight in a recent interview. “I am sorry, but if you are a white man, you don’t get to define what racism is," she said on the program. "You really don’t.” Her statement drew wide accolades from a public eager to have their voice, and the voice of fact, represented in a televised debate. Now, she's taken to Facebook to talk about her reaction to the events of the interview. She says that the producers ambushed her with the panel discussion, and that she thought she'd be appearing on the program alone. But she drew a different headline from their exchange than pretty much everyone else. Her focus was on Tyrrell's use of the word "emotional" to describe her, without using her name. "Normally I would not think of ‘emotional’ as belittling," Adichie writes. "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." She further writes that Tyrrell continued his ignorance throughout their exchange. "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." Read the rest of Adichie's post below.

More from News

R29 Original Series