The Fear of a White ‘Black Bush’

Donald Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Three months before a little-known Illinois state senator named Barack Obama made his now-historic keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the final episode aired of the second and final full season of Chappelle’s Show. The last sketch of the last episode of that last full season was “Black Bush.”

The skit was Dave Chappelle having his turn at one of the classic black comedian bits: imagining the fantasy world of a black president in the United States of America. As a scenario, it was always ripe for hyperbole, since the idea of it actually happening was, for so long, far-fetched.

There are two sides to the “Black Bush” sketch, both acknowledged in Chappelle’s opening monologue on that episode. First, he notes, a black president wouldn’t be able to get away with the stuff Bush (or white presidents in general) did without getting barraged with thousands of questions. Second, a time-honored tradition in black comedy is to play with the idea of what peak foolishness would look like if black people had the societal cloak of invincibility that whites have had for centuries.

The sketch still holds up, but it’s impossible to view it the same since Barack Obama was elected president. Obama messed up every black-president comedy routine. Was his every move questioned? Yes. Did he walk on the thinnest of ice, something his predecessors were able to often avoid? Yes. But as we near the final days of Barry, it’s a reminder that he never fell through, never succumbed, and never acted without poise.

During the Obama years, watching “Black Bush” was like seeing an artifact, reaching back to a time when we couldn’t imagine life without a black president. The laughs were still there, because the skit is still hysterical, even if its prediction was slightly off. But then something odd happened — an unwelcome surprise that made “Black Bush” feel relevant again.

In Chappelle’s monologue, he says, “You know, they always do polls like, ‘Minorities just don’t seem to trust the government.’ Because you don’t understand what it looks like for us.” With Trump, many white Americans are learning what it looks like: a group of powerful white people doing and saying whatever and getting away with it.

In many corners of white America, there was a strong belief that this “doing and saying whatever” recklessness would happen if a black person ever became president. But as we all prepare to become citizens of Trumpmenistan, somehow this character Chappelle created has captured what ultimately is happening when you go back to a white president. Obama has not done a single thing that the Black Bush character did. Everything Trump does, however, feels eerily synced with this fictional, comedic caricature of what a terrible president could be.

Follow me as I outline why real-life Trump is the fictional Black Bush, but even worse — he’s white.

Scene 1: The Lead-up to War

An exchange, while Black Bush is sitting with his associates, in a hearing:

Black Bush: After carefully examining the region, me and my cabinet agree that that area is definitely right for regime change.
Black Rumsfeld: All right?
Black Bush: But, if I can be real about it?
Black Rumsfeld: Be real, son.
Black Bush: Real?
Black Rumsfeld: Be real, real, son.
Black Bush: He tried to kill my father, man.
Black Rumsfeld: What?
Black Bush: I don’t play that shit!
Black Rumsfeld: Say word he tried to kill your father, son.

Black Bush: He tried to kill my father, man.
Black Rumsfeld: What?
Black Bush: I don’t play that shit!
Black Rumsfeld: Word on everything we love, we coming to see y’all, son.

For a moment, just entertain a world in which Donald Trump finds out a foreign leader made fun of his haircut. Or some prime minister is overheard saying, “Melania does not have the range.” Or some innocent civilian in a brown country tweets that Barron can’t read. You think Donald is going to let that come and go? No, because he’s a goon, and goons react. And when your existence is reacting, you pull down your figurative boom mic by way of tweeting substandard SoundCloud bars in the middle of the night and then one of your flunkies probably begins the process of making that person who hurt your feelings, oh, I don’t know, disappear.

Scene 2: British Intelligence

In the Chappelle skit, it’s like — oh, wait, why is Black Bush hanging out with Black Tony Blair, who is wearing a robe, looking very relaxed, almost as if they’re best buds who talk about things they shouldn’t be talking about?

In real life, here’s Nigel Farage:

Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP

Also, there’s the whole Trump and Putin thing, but moving on …

Scene 3: Proof

Black Bush, at the lectern: “The nigga bought aluminum tubes. Do I need to tell you what the fuck you can do with an aluminum tube? ALUMINUM.”

What’s he talking about? Seems kind of random and unhinged? So far, so Trump. More:

“That don’t scare you? Fine, I didn’t want to say this … The motherfucker bought some yellow cake. Okay? In Africa. He went to Africa and bought yellow cake.”

Ever been listening to Trump and you don’t know where he’s going with a point and it’s not really about anything, but if you’re in a Trump room it somehow works? Well, Trump’s wall is Black Bush’s yellow cake. And then, after the cake, a reporter raises her hand and she asks, “Are you sure?”

Black Bush: “Yes, I’m sure, bitch.”

It’s like Chappelle knew about 2016 a decade ago.

This scene ends with the Black Head of the CIA actually bringing the highly classified, very dangerous yellow cake to the briefing, with some black dude (Ben Carson) also present and someone given a job in the inner circle for no apparent reason (Rudy Giuliani) repeatedly telling him not to drop that shit.

This is our future, people.

Scene 4: Oil

In the sketch’s most famous scene, it is revealed that the president was playing conspiratorial war games with the Middle East because of oil. Black Bush, when faced with a direct question about it, gets outraged — then bolts out of the room.

If you don’t see this and think about the press conference that Trump JUST HAD then I’d love to visit the rock you currently Airbnb under. He’s still in the stage of talking and yelling and insulting his way out of situations, but when he finally gets away from the podium — wait for it. He’s running.

Scene 5: United Nations

In this scene, he tells the U.N. that if they have a problem with the way he’s behaving, they can “sanction” him with their army — and then jokingly notes that they don’t have an army. Following that, a message to the U.N.:

It doesn’t matter if you are part of the United States government, if you come after Trump he will come after you. Black Bush then notes that he’d never take orders from an African (referring to Kofi Annan), which I’m sure Trump has said in the past 48 hours. And then he says, “I know Gucci when I see it, nigga, I’m rich.”

The two men are the same person.

Still not convinced? The next exchange should do the trick:

Black Bush: I’ve got a coalition of the willing, I’ve got 40 nations, ready to roll, son.
Reporter: Like who?
Black Bush: Who the fuck said that? [Looking around the room, ready to fight.]

This happened, TODAY.

Trump [to CNN’s Jim Acosta, refusing to call on him for a question]: “Your organization is terrible … you are fake news.” The reporter also noted that he was told he’d be thrown out.

I can’t lie — I think Trump wakes up, unplugs the USB out his back, puts on his hair, and then watches “Black Bush” to get ready for the day. It’s the only explanation.

Scene 6: Victory

IMAGINE DONALD J. TRUMP GIVING A WARTIME VICTORY SPEECH. I know, the horror, right? Well, if he did, it’d probably go something this:

Black Bush [in military outfit]: [Clears throat] What did I say? I’m not gloating, but what did I say? Did I not say that we would win that shit? We ROCKED them bamas. We ROCKED THEM. Nigga, you see me come in on that plane?

Scene 7: Civil Unrest

A reporter asks Black Bush during a press conference about Iraq and Black Bush flips out:

“Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have called on this nigga. I shouldn’t have called on you because you always trying to distract motherfuckers with things like the war and skirt all the real issues … Gay people are getting married, folks. Yes. Nasty.”

Classic Trump move, both hating the idea of a White House press corps and then saying that people are distracting the public from the real issues, the real issues being his distractions from the actual real issues. Black Bush proceeds to talk in great detail about titty balls, saying “caressing them, gently stroking those nipples till they get so … STIFF. And ERECT. Blowing on them.” I’ve got a lot of papers on my desk and I’m 95 percent sure one of them is a dossier of Trump saying that exact sentence.

Scene 8: Saddam Captured

Black Bush finishes the sketch with the most Trump line of them all:

“You can’t be distracted with what’s going on with the war or what’s wrong with the economy — stop worrying about that, I GOT THAT SHIT UNDER CONTROL. Let’s focus on space, nigga. The United States of Space. Because I ain’t stopping at the moon. WRITE THIS DOWN — M, A, R, S, Mars, bitches, that’s where we are going, Mars, RED ROCKS.”

Looking back at this sketch, it’s clear why Trump is so terrifying: The worst possible scenario for a modern-day president is being a white “Black Bush.”

The Fear of a White ‘Black Bush’