During an interview with Faux News’ Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump recounted a story about a plane “almost completely loaded with thugs” headed to destroy one of the great American cities. Trump’s claim was echoed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was also familiar with Boyz n the Hoods Airlines.
While some speculated that Samuel L. Jackson was starring in a sequel called Niggas on a Plane, we spoke to a guy whose names rhymes with “Vladimir Putin” (hey, you try rhyming in Russian!) who told a certain president who doesn’t read intelligence reports that a two-month-old, debunked rumor he read on Facebook was probably, maybe possibly true.
However, during our investigation, The Root discovered a real Sky Thug who was flying around the country thugging out. We managed to catch up with Malik Franklin, the organizer of this imaginary field trip, who granted us an exclusive interview.
The Root: Hello! I like to start all of my interviews by asking your full name and your preferred pronoun.
Malik Franklin: I go by the name Tyrone Hussein Umar Gustavo Navi Ignacio Graham and my pronoun is “Goddamned Antifa.”
TR: Wow! That’s quite a name.
THUGNIGGA: Yeah, it’s basically urban, Muslim, African, Mexican and Jewish—all the things white people are afraid of. My dad wanted to name me “Economic Anxiety” or “Nonwhite Neighbor” but my mom put her foot down when he suggested “Black Penis.”
TR: So where are you from?
THUGNIGGA: Da Hood.
TR: Is that an actual place?
THUGNIGGA: Yes, it’s the opposite of Trump’s beautiful, lily-white suburbs filled with all Caucasian non-criminals who don’t smoke crystal meth and trade oxycodone like baseball cards. It’s in the urban, underprivileged inner-city.
TR: Is that where you grew up?
THUGNIGGA: Nope. My parents came here from a shithole country and had me here as an anchor baby, so I’m a citizen. But we were deported when my father was caught in a child trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlor.
TR: Wait, your father was a child trafficker?
THUGNIGGA: Yep. We lived in a Black neighborhood with shitty, underfunded schools but he was arrested for signing me up at Jefferson Davis Confederate Elementary, a predominately white school in the suburbs. Because we were from a different zip code, they charged him with child trafficking, sent me to a detention center and deported us to Mexico.
TR: Is that where your parents are from?
THUGNIGGA: Nah, they emigrated from Puerto Rico.
TR: But Puerto Rico is in America!
THUGNIGGA: Semantics, nigga. Semantics.
TR: So how did you get back to America?
THUGNIGGA: We went to Mexico and crossed the border in a Caravan. It was a long trip. Some of us didn’t make it.
TR: I’m sorry to hear that. Did they get eaten by coyotes? Did you bury them in the desert?
THUGNIGGA: What? No! Of course not! What do you think I am, a savage? It’s just that my favorite teddy bear couldn’t fit in the Dodge Caravan because there was very little room in the backseat. I like to stretch out and be comfortable.
TR: Oh, I understand. So is that what radicalized you?
THUGNIGGA: No. Honestly, it was when I joined MS-13.
TR: You’re a member of the deadly Hispanic gang?
THUGNIGGA: No, it was Microsoft’s coding summer camp for 13-year-olds. I was the only Black kid there. When I realized there was a technology gap but I was still smarter than those rich white kids, it changed my life forever. That’s why I joined Black Lives Matter, antifa, and the radical left.
TR: So what did you have to do to join? Was there an initiation ceremony? How much was the membership fees?
THUGNIGGA: Well, to join Black Lives Matter, you just have to believe Black lives matter. And when I read about fascism, I decided I was against it, so I automatically became an anti-fascist. To be honest, I assumed everyone was an anti-fascist. I’m always shocked by white people’s hate for antifa because I rarely meet any pro-fascist people (except in Alabama).
That’s why I organized the plane trip. It was a recruiting trip.
TR: Recruiting for what?
THUGNIGGA: Our goal is to get white people to stop being racist and to get the police to stop killing Black people.
TR: Is that why you were wearing all black on the plane?
THUGNIGGA: Nah, we bought those T-shirts at the gift shop at the Seattle airport. They lost our luggage.
TR: Were you offended when the president called you a thug?
THUGNIGGA: No. After George Floyd’s death, I was actually getting worried for a minute and began questioning the movement until the president said that.
THUGNIGGA: Well, when white people started tweeting out the words “Black Lives Matter” and showing up at protests, I began to wonder if we were going about this in the right way.
White people have never, ever been on the right side of history. They fought the Civil War to protect slavery. They lynched “thugs” who looked white women in the eyes. They instituted Jim Crow to protect their children and their white women from so-called thugs. Poll taxes kept thugs from voting.
You know who else they called a thug? Emmett Till. And Cleveland Sellers. And Medgar Evers. And Rosa Parks. They said the same thing about John Lewis and the Freedom Riders. They said it about Martin Luther King Jr. They called Malcolm X a thug. They called the Black Panthers thugs. And Tupac. And Eric Garner. And Trayvon Martin. And Korryn Gaines. And Kaepernick. And Breonna Taylor. And Ahmaud Arbery. And George Floyd.
To them, “thug” means “refuses to be oppressed.” It means “does what he believes is right.” It means “doesn’t listen to white people.” It means “nigger.” It means “target.” It means “I give you permission to kill this person.”
How many times have you heard Kyle Rittenhouse be called a “thug”? How about Dylann Roof? Show me a clip of Trump calling the white supremacist terrorists who marched on Charlottesville “thugs.”
So, when the president called us thugs, it confirmed that we were doing the right thing.
TR: I see. But what about the violence at protests? Why do you condone that?
THUGNIGGA: Oh, that’s them white boys. Everyone knows that.
TR: So why haven’t you spoken out about it?
THUGNIGGA: Wait...Are you asking me why I haven’t fact-checked a liar? Are you asking why I haven’t reached out to media outlets that pointed out that Trump might be lying about National Lampoon’s Thugcation but haven’t once challenged him on how he knew they were thugs or what he thinks these mythical thugs look like?
The same media who reports the handful of violent protests but not the thousands of nonviolent ones? The same media that never mentions that more people are arrested at protests than were hurt or killed at protests? The same media who calls the protests violent when the cops are often the ones committing the violence?
What would be the point of that?
TR: So what would you like the world to know about you?
THUGNIGGA: I’d like them to stop killing Black people or we are going to burn down their buildings, buy low-income housing in the suburbs and fornicate with teenage white girls.
TR: Wait...Are you really gonna do all that?
THUGNIGGA: Of course not.
But why should we be the only ones walking around in fear?
TR: Thanks for the interview. This was my first time talking to a real thug.
THUGNIGGA: No, it isn’t.
You just called him “police officer.”