As a present to OutKick’s loyal readers, we are proud to present some of Jason Whitlock’s best columns from 2020. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy!
For 16 minutes Saturday night, Dave Chappelle played Black in all the ways white liberals allow. Angry Black. Racist Black. Self-hating Black.
On the Saturday Night Live stage, the comedian joked and pontificated about a post-Trump America in a manner pleasing to the guilt-ridden white audience that surrounded him, and in a manner intended to venerate the defining characteristic white supremacists bestowed on us.
Four hundred years ago, American bigots relegated our skin color to a special distinction that limited our contribution to a civilized society. Four hundred years later, the ideological descendants of those bigots doubled-down on the distinction and the limitations, capitalizing the B in Black as a written reminder that dark skin is a defining characteristic above all else.
As we have been trained to do by our white liberal overseers and their social media apps, Dave Chappelle took the stage Saturday night determined to display a Hollywood-approved version of Blackness.
Chappelle sprinkled his rambling screed with the prerequisite use of the word “nigga.” He made racist generalizations about white people, including saying that the COVID pandemic had stopped white mass murderers and that white people who don’t like wearing masks are Klan members.
Most important, Chappelle feigned disgust toward Donald Trump. Chappelle turned Trump’s brief battle with the coronavirus and Herman Cain’s death from it into a fable about Trump’s diabolical indifference to life.
“That’s your leader for four years!” Chappelle barked. “What kind of a man makes sure he’s OK while his friends fight for their lives and die? A white man.”
That white man sounds no different from the black men and women who say nothing as black children are slaughtered in the streets daily while passionately protesting the rare cases of a white police officer harming a black criminal suspect.
Dave Chappelle knows this. Comedians used to gain fame for their ability and willingness to recognize and point out inconvenient truths. Intelligence and courage used to be requirements for humor. All that’s required now is a script. Chappelle stuck to the one NBC handed him.
Play black, with a capital B. Angry Black. Racist Black. Self-hating Black.
It’s a role that doesn’t fit Chappelle comfortably. His black skin is not his defining characteristic. He married an Asian woman. He lives in a white rural community. For a man of Chappelle’s station, marriage and zip code are choices, not conditions. Chappelle built his following cracking jokes for David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Howard Stern. That’s not quite Arsenio Hall, Tyler Perry and Tom Joyner.
When Chappelle isn’t on a stage straining to meet a liberal’s definition of Blackness, he lives a life that strains to meet the standard set by the great-grandfather he referenced at the top of his SNL monologue. According to his great-grandson, William David Chappelle, born a slave in South Carolina, spent his post-emancipation years pursuing three things: education, freedom for black people and Jesus Christ. That pursuit led him to meet with President Woodrow Wilson, who was considered sympathetic to the Confederacy.
Chappelle’s great-granddaddy’s defining characteristic wasn’t his skin color. He took on the identity of a typical 19th century American, seeking and spreading knowledge, freedom and Christianity.
It’s what we (black people) used to do before liberals re-imagined our purpose in life, before we self-imposed Black restrictions under the guise of 1970s Black pride associated with hairstyle, clothes and slang language.
Acting Black took precedence over acting smart, acting American or acting Christian. The tent poles of William David Chappelle’s existence were remade. Acting smart was acting white. The self-determination of freedom was cast as a racist, conservative plot to deny government assistance to black people. And Christianity was redefined as the primary tool of slavery, not the primary motivation of abolitionists.
No other American racial group lives under a restrictive burden of skin color. They are free to think, behave and believe as they see fit without threat of racial ostracization and recrimination. They’re free. Their skin color doesn’t define them. Four-hundred-year-old labels and limitations do not impede their pursuit of happiness.
Offstage, Dave Chappelle is much like his great-grandfather. He is not ashamed of his black skin. He is, however, acutely aware of how little his skin color says about him. American white supremacists made skin color the center of Black identity, leaving knowledge, freedom and religious faith as the white man’s identifying characteristics.
We are Black. They — and everyone else — are Americans.
The last 60 years of American black-white racial history is not a mystery novel that can only be deciphered by the careful study of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Shaun King’s racial justice campaigns and Jemele Hill’s tweets.
Bigots defined Blackness with a capital B, paid a handful of celebrities to model Black behavior and told the rest of us to act accordingly. We acquiesced.
Dave Chappelle hates himself for going along with the plan.
A decade ago, after signing a $50 million contract to play his Black role, Chappelle ran away to Africa in shame. He’s been slowly working his way back into the good graces of his Hollywood handlers. Saturday night, he cleared another hurdle on his journey to redemption. With the world watching, he was given the assignment of instructing white people on how they should behave in post-Trump America.
He urged them to do random acts of kindness for undeserving black people. He said that a declining life expectancy brought on by heroin and suicide was causing angst and pain among white people. He said he knew that suffering. He claimed to know the frustration of police officers who feel targeted and unappreciated. And then he pivoted to draw the distinction he believes separates black people from white people.
“But here’s the difference between me and you,” he said. “You guys hate each other for that. And I don’t hate anybody. I just hate that feeling. That’s what I fight through. That’s what I suggest you fight through. You gotta find a way to live your life, find a way to forgive each other. You gotta find a way to find joy in your existence in spite of that feeling.
“And if you can’t do that, come get these nigga lessons.”
He slammed the microphone to the ground, stared aimlessly at the floor and then lifted his head to acknowledge the sea of white, masked faces applauding his disjointed, racist and disingenuous diatribe.
Dave Chappelle is the bigoted white man’s favorite Black man. That’s why he still hates himself. To earn a living, he has to play Black in the ways liberals allow. Angry. Racist. Self-loathing. And obedient.
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