Saturday Night Live star Cecily Strong hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night, cracking jokes at the expense of the 2016 presidential contenders, the Clinton Foundation, attendant members of the mainstream media, and of course, President Obama.
But a couple of Strong’s jokes may have come at the worst possible time; a quip about racist police drew laughter and groans while the city of Baltimore was besieged by a race-based riot just a few miles away.
Toward the end of her speech, Strong followed up with another: “After six years in office, your approval rating is at 48 percent; not only that, your gray hair is at 85 percent. Your hair is so white now, it can talk back to the police.”
“We’ll high-five about that later,” Strong chuckled as the president laughed along with her.
Meanwhile, roughly 50 miles away, rioters took to the streets of Baltimore to protest the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody.
“All of a sudden—literally as my brother and I walked out of Bullpen—everything went haywire. What were peaceful marchers holding up signs turned into violent rioters. Innocent fans standing by were confronted by the rioters, who physically and verbally threateningly engaged many of them—and then the protesters got even more violent…”
“The crowd of protesters then stopped a blue station wagon carrying a white family as they tried to drive past Pickles, Bullpen and Sliders along a narrow one-way stretch between the bars and the main road. As a horde of them smashed their open and closed fists on the hood of the car—while impeding them by standing in front of them—the driver backed up on the one way pass in a desperate attempt to get out of dodge. Then, stopped on the other side with nowhere to go, protesters ripped open the passenger door of the car and began reaching around inside the vehicle. As hundreds of people looked on, including several police officers who didn’t engage the violent protesters, the white woman in the front seat—middle-aged and a little heavyset with dark hair—was visibly terrified. The group of black men who ripped open the car door suddenly realized they were separated from the larger group of protesters and abandoned their quest to seemingly either carjack the station wagon or rob the people inside in front of hundreds, driving out of the one-way street back onto the main road and presumably out of dodge.”
Later at the dinner, President Obama gave his own remarks, getting some help from Keegan-Michael Key as his “anger translator:”