Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this week. What is unclear is if Comey’s firing came on the heels of a recommendation from the Deputy Attorney General or – if as Trump announced on Lester Holt’s interview on Thursday – he had made the decision to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation. Prior to this on Tuesday, Kellyann Con-all-the-way went on Anderson Cooper’s show where she spun her lips into a lie that would have us believe that Trump’s decision to fire Comey had nothing to do with Russia.
We all know that the FBI Director’s termination had everything to with Russia. Who asks for extra resources to do an investigation into Trump’s links with Russia and then loses their job a day later? What’s worse, who loses their job and finds out not from their employer, but from some third party…like TV? This is not treatment that powerful white men – particularly not men in high profile positions such as director of the freaking Federal Bureau of Investigation! – are accustomed to. I tell you who is accustomed to this maltreatment, however: The rest of us.
How many of us know a co-worker (or have been that co-worker) who lost their job for asking too many questions? Surely you’ve worked shoulder to shoulder with that woke brother that caused way too many waves by challenging the status quo at the office? How long has that employee lasted in the corporate world? Not longer than the affable, porn watching, coke-snorting sales executive in the corner office, I assure you. Tristan O’Brien the exec is going to last a heck of a lot longer than Tyrell Brown in customer care. I’ve chanced on the backroom meetings where Tyrell’s firing was being discussed.
“Tyrell just doesn’t seem to fit in with the corporate culture here,” says a team lead.
“Yeah…he really struggles to understand basic concepts like why we don’t pay for sick leave or why we reuse the coffee filters in the office,” adds another.
Nodding his head in agreement, the department head confirms that Tyrell and his incessant questioning are bad for employee moral. It is decided that Tyrell is to be terminated on Monday morning.
“Why ruin the weekend?”
The room agrees. Everyone skips off for margaritas after work, Tyrell included. He doesn’t know it, but this Friday happy hour is actually his going away party, sans cake and kudos or nary a word from his co-workers. It is only on Monday morning when his futile attempts at swiping his badge to gain access to the building that he discovers the awful truth: He no longer has employment with CareerMaster.com.
Frantic and confused, Tyrell calls his team lead to find out what happened.
A voice on the other end of the phone says calmly, “You were let go today. Didn’t you get the email? It was sent out on Friday after work. Don’t worry… your personal affects will be mailed to you, along with your severance check. Ah…Ah! Tyrell! There’s not need for that sort of language!”
The rest of the office surreptitiously listens in on the call that the team lead “happened” to be taking on speaker. I hear one of the new hires say not quietly enough, “Gosh…I hope Tyrell doesn’t come in here and shoot up the place!”
“I know. He was SO militant. He always made me a little uncomfortable.”
“He was nothing like you, Malaka!”
“Yeah! You’re so easy to get along with! And you know how to say ‘ask’. It always grated on my nerves when Tyrell said ‘ax’ when he wanted to ask a question.”
“Three cheers for our magical African Negro!”
Naturally, I was disgusted by this display of liberal white benevolence for my benefit, but Tyrell, and all Tyrell’s like him everywhere, also happened to harbor deeply sexist beliefs. And while I was sad that the brother lost his job, I was not sad to see him go.
What makes James Comey’s ouster so stunning is that white men aren’t typically punished for asking questions. Asking questions shouldn’t get an FBI director promoted to private citizen. The effort ought to catapult you to minor deity status. It’s a trait that is encouraged in that particular demographic. Pop culture bears this out. Who is the last person often standing in a horror flick? A white male. (Get Out being the most noted exception that comes to mind.) Who’s always the first to die? The Black guy…and he ain’t even want to know what that strange rustling in the bush was in the first place.
Questions guide white male existence. Questions like:
- “What’s that noise?”
- “How many guns would it take to colonize an entire continent?”
- “If I poke this lion in the nose, will it really try to bite me?”
So when a powerful white man like James Comey asks questions like, “What are the Trump’s family links to Russia and what – if any – involvement did Russia have in this election”, I’m sure Comey did not see his sacking coming. In fact, he probably expected Fuhrer Trump to commend him for his queries. After all, it was only a few months ago that the Orange Fuhrer praised Comey for the “guts” it took to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Questions are not supposed to lead to a public humiliation for white men. Seeking truth and accountability is a noble calling – one that minorities are frequently punished and reviled for. Who can forget how we were all disparaged for calling for investigations into the mysterious and unexplained deaths of Sandra Bland, Edward Crawford and Sheila Abdus-Salaam? When Black people ask questions, we are being difficult. When White people ask questions, it’s an admirable effort. I imagine it must have come as a shock to Comey and his team when he received this untoward treatment that is generally set aside for the lower castes of American society.
Welcome to the other side of the tracks, James! Now that you’re down here with the rest of us, let me tell you where you went wrong: You were too visible. You were too flashy. You were literally the Flo Rida of FBI directors: all over everybody’s’ tracks. Every time there was a television broadcast, your name and face where on it. Every time there was a discussion about the election and the influences, your name popped up. Real Gs move in silence…like gnomes. Consider your predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover. The man shaped much of American history, and we’re still discovering all the nefarious deeds that are attributed to his decisions. But you? You left yourself too open. You were too exposed. You were too often caught in the crosshairs of a camera! That has consequences, bruh; People of color consequences.
The wages of working on Donald Trump’s behalf to influence an election is an Apprentice style firing. That ho ain’t loyal, James! I bet you never, ever thought…. But you gone learn tuhday! *cackle!!*