Popular Democrat Keith Olbermann Uses ‘Kunta Kinte’ Whining To Describe Trump

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Written by Ann Brown
Kunte Kinte
Popular Democrat Keith Olbermann Uses ‘Kunta Kinte’ Whining To Describe Trump Photo: Keith Olbermann, Oct. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)/Photo: President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump = Kunta Kinte?

In a now-deleted tweet, political commentator Keith Olbermann called Trump a “whiny little Kunta Kinte,” referencing the name of the African slave character from the historic Alex Haley book and subsequent TV miniseries, “Roots.”

Olbermann posted a clip on Nov. 3 of Trump bashing Fox News during an interview, and captioned the segment “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.”

Not surprisingly, the tweet drew immediate backlash and made Olbermann a trending topic. 

“Journalists, media figures, and other blue-checks piled on, and the theory that Olbermann was using a man who was abducted into slavery, tortured, and mutilated as a euphemism for the c-word shockingly did not help,” Mediate reported.

Astead Herndon, a politics reporter at The New York Times and CNN analyst tweeted, “a whiny little WHAT?” He added, “today has so much clown potential pls do not go adding to it”.

Olbermann, formerly of MSNBC and ESPN, was called out for the bizarre comparison. The Kunta Kinte character portrayed by actor LeVar Burton in the 1977 groundbreaking miniseries was brave, not whiny. The ABC miniseries garnered an estimated 140 million viewers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It won nine Emmy awards and a Peabody Award. It was remade in 2016.

In the miniseries and the 1976 book, Kinte is a Gambian warrior who is captured, transported to the U.S. and enslaved.

But it seemed that Olbermann, a Democrat, wasn’t really calling Trump Kunta Kinte. He trying to find a way to call the president “a vulgarity that is similar to the first four letters of Kunta’s name. He later tweeted confirmation that they were correct about that,” TheWrap reported.

Still, Olbermann’s comment was deemed racist by commentators on both sides of the political spectrum.

Even actor Burton weighed in, changing his social media profile picture to one of himself portraying Kinte. He tweeted, “Dear @KeithOlbermann, #Kunta is pronounced with a long ‘u’ as in unity, not a short ‘u’ as in cup. Try again! Love, Kunta.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Burton added, “I think the thing I didn’t address (on Twitter) that is also important to note is that at the end of the day, whether he was trying to call Trump a name without using the word or not, he still referred to Kunta as ‘whiny.’ Enslaved people were not ‘whiny.'”

In an email to TheWrap, Olbermann explained why the tweet was up for so long before he deleted and clarified it. “I’ve just looked at Twitter for the first time in a couple of hours and seen the issue,”

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In a new tweet, Olbermann apologized. “Just logged back in: I apologize for my previous subtweet of this. 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*** Deleting previous, largely because this one clarifies the c*** part.”