David Chappelle With Hard Truth: “Poor Whites” Got Trump Elected
by G. Brown
Dave Chappelle’s gift is laughter. The stand up comedian can take the hard, darkthem places in life that have us on the brink of tears and turn into a place of light and laughter. Pick a topic…the serious weight of crack addiction crumbles under the character Tyrone Biggums…his answer to celebrity uber egos-“I’m Rick James b**ch” and who can’t laugh at the silliness of Blackness in the character of Silky Johnson Hater of the Year.
Comedians often raise our social consciousness through laughter. Whether it’s terrorist attacks or catastrophic attacks of mother nature, a comedian’s humorous perspective is often more about philosophical introspection and less about finger-wagging.
Take the issue of race for instance. Comedians have been pushing envelopes about this topic probably since writing stories on stone tablets back in 2000 BC. Dave Chappelle has made us laugh at different traits of races, but never made us feel his bits were racial. Now, it seems the gloves are off and Dave is giving America just a cold hard truth.
His upcoming Netflix special “Equanimity” will apparently go all in on the issue as it relates to current political times. Netflix released a clip in which the comic says “I’ve never had a problem with white people ever in my life, but, full disclosure, poor whites are my least favorite. We got a lot of trouble out of them.” That was the set up, Chappelle jokingly continues “I felt sorry for them…I know the game now. I know that rich people call poor white people ‘trash.’ And the only reason I know that is I made so much money last year that the rich whites told me they say it at a cocktail party. I stood in line with them like all Americans are required to do in a democracy, nobody skips the line to vote… and I listened to them. I listened to them say naive poor white people things: ‘Donald Trump is going to go to Washington and he’s gonna fight for us.’ I’m standing there thinking, ‘you dumb motherf–ker … you are poor. He’s fighting for me!”
There’s a bit of truth in all humor and the truth here is that the recently approved tax cuts which favor rich people proves Chappelle right. All these poor people, disenfranchised people, people desperate for a change bought into a political lie that they were supporting a man who was looking out for them. Chappelle initially seemed to try and stay away from political issues and was content in part to leave that up to late night talk show hosts like Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah. But things have gotten so seriously off track that Chappelle has grown more vocal about the atrocities of current political leaders. He made headlines a few months ago for his unabashed assailment on a leader that doesn’t care for “we the people”, but we the rich people. Chappelle was so upset following the White supremacist rallies in Charlottesville that he said during a Radio City Music Hall performance, “F**k Donald Trump”.
Such angry criticisms by celebrities often subject them to even harsher criticisms of being unpatriotic and treasonous. But if comedians are our expressions of our social consciousness, shouldn’t we expect them to tell us the unadulterated truth no matter how raw, how brutal and how uncomfortable.
Chappelle’s third Netflix special “Equaniity” begins streaming on Netflix December 31st.