by Janel Sanders
On June 12th, Dave Chappelle did an unrefined and rather powerful show in his hometown in what appeared to be an amphitheater, coronavirus is still very much real. This short show was in response to the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that George Floyd was under the knee of an officer and the protests that are in effect because of it.
It was not your typical comedy show, although there was bit of comedic relief, because this situation is no laughing matter.
Chappelle has always been in tuned to the struggles of black America, to which much of it can be seen in “The Chappelle Show” and in many of his stand-up comedy shows.
During this segment he reminded us of this and spoke to those who wanted him to make a statement on the protests:
“These are the streets talking for themselves, they don’t need me right now. I kept my mouth shut and I’ll still keep my mouth shut but don’t think that my silence is complicit to what everyone is saying… Why would anyone care about what their favorite comedian thinks after seeing a police officer kneel on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds?”
Chappelle enlighten everyone on the story of Christopher Dorner, a former African American Los Angeles police officer, who did everything right according to the justice system. He was fired for reporting his partner, a white woman, on police brutality. After going through the system and trying his luck at every legal avenue he had, he wrote a manifesto against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Dorner ambushed several officers and their families. They found him in a cabin and called upon 400 officers to take him down. Chappelle emphasized on the number of cops that were present because one of their own was shot. He raised the question on why these same officers do not understand why so many people are protesting in the streets.
He told more stories of injustice against black men within the past 10 years. Along with these stories he gave doses of knowledge on the struggles that dated back to slavery. It was as though this segment was, in fact, Chappelle’s statement in saying there was no need for his words because there is nothing left to be said.
Dave Chappelle has always used his platform to advocate for the lives of black people and while he did not make an official statement, he expressed support for the many people who are outside fighting for social justice. While his Youtube special was not very long, it left a powerful impression and gave many something to think about.