Stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle seems to think that he is brave for saying things that no one else in the entertainment industry is willing to say.
Evidently, it has not occurred to him that no one is saying these things because they are outrageous, offensive or just flat-out wrong.
On Saturday, Chappelle delivered the opening monologue for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live."
Most of Chappelle’s 15-minute monologue was dedicated to addressing Ye’s (formerly Kanye West) recent antisemitic remarks.
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight, but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” the rapper wrote in a tweet on Oct. 8.
Ye seemed to be referring to the military term “DEFCON,” which describes five graduated states of readiness with DEFCON 5 being the least severe and DEFCON 1 corresponding to nuclear warfare.
It is unclear as to whether Ye was preparing himself for an attack by Jewish people or for some violent action on his own part.
Ye continued to make antisemitic remarks over the next several weeks, alleging that “Jewish Zionists” control the media and were responsible for rumors surrounding his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.
Chappelle addressed these comments in his monologue where he sympathized with Ye.
“It's not a crazy thing to think,” Chappelle said. “But it's a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this.”
Chappelle even applauded Ye’s controversial statements for breaking the “show business rules.”
“If they're Black, then it's a gang. If they're Italian, it's a mob, but if they're Jewish, it's a coincidence and you should never speak about it,” Chappelle said.
Quite frankly, it is extremely difficult for me to understand why Chappelle would defend Ye’s comments, especially since they may be symptomatic of a manic episode.
I think, perhaps, Chappelle is so used to receiving backlash for his own problematic remarks that he immediately aligns himself with anyone else who he feels is a victim of “cancel culture,” regardless of whether that response is warranted.
What Chappelle does not seem to realize is that no one wants to hear him play devil’s advocate when it comes to condemning hate speech.
He was not being brave – he was being reprehensible.
Regardless of whether Ye truly believes in the paranoid rhetoric he espouses or if it is simply a symptom of untreated mental illness, the consequences of his hate speech are real and dangerous and should be treated as such.