In perhaps one of the most shocking comments of the 2016 election cycle, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity suggested that President Barack Obama and his family should leave for Africa and never come back. In treating as truth a satirical article which stated that Obama planned to move to Canada if Donald Trump were elected (since Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused to expressly deny the premise of the parody), Hannity said:
I have an offer for the president. I will charter a plane for you and your family. I will make sure it’s as big a plane as Air Force One, what you have grown accustomed to, in other words. Taxpayer-funded plane. I don’t know where I’m going to get it. Maybe I’ll ask Trump if I can charter his plane for Obama. I will charter Donald Trump’s plane if he’ll let me, and I will charter it to the country of your choice. You want to go to Canada? I’ll pay for you to go to Canada. You want to go to Kenya? I’ll pay for you to go to Kenya. Jakarta, where you went to school back in the day, you can go back there. Anywhere you want to go. I’ll put the finest food, caviar, champagne, you name it. I have one stipulation, you can’t come back.
As stated by The Atlantic, this statement is at the very least a dog-whistle to birtherism and Obama’s “otherness.” Additionally, it is reminiscent of white supremacists’ claims that black Americans should be sent back to Africa. In an election full of toxic rhetoric, this comment by Hannity may be the worst yet.