Late Night: 'Conan' writer reacts to racist anti-Obama sticker
Comedian and "Conan" writer Deon Cole has become the show's unofficial spokesperson on the matter of race. Earlier this year, he confronted tea party activists trying to remove slavery from history books. On Wednesday night, he voiced his disapproval of a racist anti-Obama bumper sticker -- though not for the reason you might think. (A warning in advance: The clip above includes lots of late-night language.)
The sticker in question reads "Don't re-nig in 2012," an unfortunate play on the word "renege."
At first, Cole sounded indignant, asking, ""Don’t re-nig? Really?" But as he continued, Cole offered up ironic words of praise: "All I have to say is, that was clever as hell. I mean, I hate it, it’s racist, but that was clever for real. How he took the word renege and the 'n' word and mixed it up, so it could have racist and political meaning. Yeah!"
The real problem with the sticker, according to Cole, isn't its racist message, but rather its glaring misuse of the word renege (or, in this case, "re-nig").
"If you’re saying 'Don’t renege in 2012,' you’re basically saying vote for Obama again, because if you renege, you’re taking away," Cole explained. "But if you don’t renege, then you’re keeping it the same. So thank you for your endorsement, you [morons]."
As the "Conan" audience erupted in approval, Cole pulled up the hood on his gray sweat shirt and defiantly raised a clench fist in the air. Who knew semantic quibbles could be so funny?
It just goes to show you: If you're going to make racist bumper stickers, it's a good idea to bone up on your vocabulary first.
-- Meredith Blake