Should We Be Offended By Dave Chappelle?

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Keyboard Warriors Are Fighting Back Against Dave Chapelle’s Latest Netflix Special

If you’re an older Millennial like me, you probably know who comedian Dave Chapelle is. Chapelle, 46, is not only legendary for providing laughs for decades, he also starred in a variety show on Comedy Central from 2003 – 2006 titled Chappelle’s Show which essentially spawned Key and Peele and Amy Schumer’s sketch show. His series was known for being controversial as he touched on race and a plethora of offensive skits which he turned into jokes. The series cemented Chappelle as a staple in comedy and he would eventually quit the series allegedly after stress got the worst of him and the network taking most creative control.

In 2017, Chappelle released a series of comedy specials on Netflix. In them, he joked about the LGBTQ community. I found nearly all of his jokes knee-slapping funny, so I was right along laughing with him and the audience in his special. They were jokes and if I’m watching a comedy special, especially from Chappelle, I’m trying to be entertained and know exactly the type of humor I’m signing up for rather than write down in a spiral everything that would be harmful to someone. Chappelle joked about the transgender community, including them in on the fun of his act, and social media lit their torches and came for him, demanding he be, as he claims, “canceled”. Through the articles of distain for his comedy, he got another deal with Netflix.

In his latest special, Chappelle speaks on a long variety of topics within a short hour. He touches on the Michael Jackson documentary, the LGBTQ community again (and how the transgender community hates him), online mob mentality, race, school shootings, and the absolute mess of a fabricated story that made Jussie Smollett’s name a headline international news. He touches on the following:

He doesn’t believe Jackson’s accusers and admits he may be a victim blamer. He thinks they are lucky if they had a music icon give them fellatio while others have it done by their uncles and have to see them at Thanksgiving dinner.

He pokes fun at the members of the “alphabet (LGBTQ) community not liking the other “letters” as gays don’t like lesbians who don’t like bisexuals who are confused by transgenders who don’t understand queers.

Stands up for his friends Louis C.K. (who was #MeToo’ed) and Kevin Hart, who both got destroyed by online mob mentality even though he believes their actions weren’t that offensive.

His belief that white people love heroin and exaggerates on himself purchasing a gun, while knowing that white people are the only ones who raise school shooters.

He, like the majority of anyone with an ounce of logic, doesn’t believe a word that came out of Smollett’s mouth about his alleged attack in Chicago at 2AM in negative thirty-degree weather.

I’m probably gayer than you are, I’m Caucasian, I’m from Chicago, I’m a sexual abuse survivor (who has vehemently denounced alleged sexual predators like Jackson, Bryan Singer, and Harvey Weinstein). I somehow managed to find a way to sneak in a handful of laughs during Chappelle’s latest special. Because I knew exactly the type of humor that was going to be delivered. If I wanted to watch an hour of community, tears, and happiness I’d turn on reruns of The Ellen Show. Rather than going against Chappelle on social media or writing a scathing article on his last special, there’s a great way for you to not help his career… you don’t watch it!

Chapelle is declining to go the way of past, offensive comedians who have molded their brands to fit the current culture. Using some examples like Kathy Griffin, who will likely not say anything negative about anyone besides Donald Trump and/or Andy Cohen, because she clearly would get flamed for being herself after the picture fiasco. Even the once self-proclaimed “Queen of Mean” Lisa Lampanelli has said she now refuses to be an insult comic and retired in fear of politically correct culture (although she poised those words in a much more delicate way during her latest interview with Wendy Williams).

I’m not saying what Chappelle said wasn’t offensive, it absolutely was. I may not agree with Chappelle’s opinion in some or many instances, especially as someone who believes sexual assault victims, but it’s rather refreshing to hear the bold voice of someone who pokes fun at himself and everyone compared to another PSA like aforementioned Schumer who literally told the audience of her comedy special to sit in silence and listen to her political opinion.

Of course, I want equality for all and not to have bullies on the street or internet harassing and assaulting strangers. I want victims to stand up for themselves and have a voice of their own. But… the lit torches coming for Chappelle seems a little worthless when in reality, he’s not the enemy. He is not a villain in the stories of the LGBTQ community, child sexual abuse victims, or even to Jussie Smollett.

I kind of feel like giving up sometimes when someone doesn’t know how to take a joke as it’s originally intended. The mob mentality of politically correct culture has led me to roll my eyes more times than not. If you can’t laugh at yourself or your stereotype, chances are you’re surrounding yourself with the same brand of person and you’ll continue running in that circle for the rest of your life. Enjoy your own world, I’ll be living in a much more diverse universe full of laughs.

For those of you who want to take the plunge into insult and dark comedy, Chappelle’s most recent special, Sticks and Stones, is currently streaming on Netflix.

Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.

H/T: Buzzfeed

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