D.L. Hughley talks Donald Trump and Martin Luther King

Comedian D.L. Hughley speaks at Winston-Salem State University for its joint Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event with Wake Forest University on Monday, Jan. 16

D.L. Hughley talks Donald Trump and Martin Luther King
January 19
03:30 2017

Photo by Todd Luck



Comedian D.L. Hughley told attendants to keep Martin Luther King in mind when Donald Trump becomes president as he spoke at Winston-Salem State University on Monday, Jan. 16.

Hughley addressed the 17th annual King holiday event jointly held by WSSU and Wake Forest University at the K.R. Williams Auditorium. He wasn’t shy about addressing the election of Trump, whose inauguration is on Friday.

“I think Martin Luther King showed us what we could be, everything that we aspire to be,” said Hughley. “And I think we’re in the situation we’re in right now because we forgot, I think we forgot.”

Hughley made recent headlines when he posted a profanity-laced Instagram video on Saturday where he criticized President-elect Trump for photo ops he’s had with black celebrities. He said that he hasn’t forgotten how, in 2011, Trump questioned if President Barack Obama was born in America, claims which Hughley said was racist denigration of the first black president. It was only in September 2016, during his presidential campaign, that Trump finally admitted Obama was born in the United States.

Hughley told attendees he didn’t object to people meeting with Trump, saying that King met with people who were more racist. But if celebrities are going to meet with him, they should know why they’re there and have something to say. He also questioned why Trump would meet with rappers and athletes as opposed to black scholars, mayors and congressmen who are more representative of the black community.

Though touching on a lot of serious issues, Hughley was still full of his trade-mark humor. He made fun of students who were getting online degrees, saying they should send him an email so he can go to their graduation. But he also wasn’t above making fun of himself for never achieving education higher than a GED.

He said the country was divided between “Jetsons,” who want to go to the future, and “Flintstones,” who want to go back to the past. If black people could go back in time, he joked they wouldn’t use much gas, since they’d just go back to 2008, the year Obama was elected.

Hughley said that his father was unfazed by Trump’s election and told him

that if black people survived Jim

Crow, they can survive anything. The key, he told Hughley, was to rely on each other. “I think the example of Martin Luther King has never been more necessary, the embodiment of what he stood for has never been more important,” said Hughley. “And I think it is time for us to remember who we are and where we came from. If we do that, I promise you, Friday will just be another day.”

Hughley’s speech attracted students and others from all over. DeAndre Pendergrass, an N.C. A&T student, said it was a good address because  “laughing has always been a way we’ve coped with things.”

Quantasia Herndon, another A&T student, also said she found the speech to be inspiring.

“It spoke on leadership and the community and how to do a lot of character building, so that way we can make an impact,”  she said.

Hughley is well known for his sitcom, “The Hughleys,” and his big screen role in “The Original Kings of Comedy.” He also hosted “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News” on CNN and wrote the books, “I Want You to Shut the F*ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America” and “Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years.” He currently hosts his own radio show.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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