‘The Wire’s’ White Creator Thought He Could Say The N-Word. He Can’t.

By Sameer Rao Sep 20, 2016

David Simon, more than many White people, seems to understand the ways structural racism impacts Black communities. He employed that understanding in his journalism work and in creating the acclaimed HBO programs "The Wire" and "Treme." But a recent series of tweets suggests that he doesn’t understand why a White person using the n-word—even as a joke, even with an "a" instead of "er"—is problematic:

He issued the above tweet in response to the bizarre news that Fox News‘ Sean Hannity will moderate Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump‘s town hall tomorrow (September 21) that focuses on "core issues and concerns surrounding African Americans," according to the channel. His use of the n-word while noting the situation’s irony and invoking Ta-Nehisi Coates and DeRay Mckesson as better hosts prompted understandable criticism:

Simon responded to criticism by doubling down on his original satirical intent. As this sample of tweets shows, it didn’t work out well for him:

Even Mckesson jumped in, seemingly trying to stop Simon’s hole-digging:

(H/t Politico, The Root, Salon)