If there is anything Dave Chappelle has shown, it is that nothing sticks to him. Chappelle has become a bit of a lightning rod. when it comes to his comedy over the last few years. With Chappelle, there are no sacred cows, and everyone, every group, and every ideology is fair game. He has been relentless on people of all races, religions, political beliefs, and sexual orientations. However, only one has come as hard as they have against Chappelle: “The T's.”
No one, including anyone here at RedState, missed the drama that exploded after Chappelle's latest special, which he declared would be his last for a while. Chappelle became the target of the transgender community as a result of some off-color jokes which poked at the true gender identity of a particular transgendered person with whom Dave had developed a friendship.
The friend, who identified as a woman, unfortunately killed herself in the wake of defending Chappelle against the last salvo of hate thrown his way from the T's. In a touching moment in the special, Chappelle spoke of a trust he had set up for the daughter of his deceased friend — showing that he was willing to do what the transgendered community was not — and how he intended to give those funds to her to help her become whatever she wished to be. In typical Chappelle fashion, he stated that he would turn over the trust to the daughter with a proud announcement of “I knew your father.”
After weeks of temper tantrums from Netflix employees, including the resignation of several, it was clear Chappelle was going nowhere. Chappelle offered numerous times to sit down and discuss the matter with anyone interested. While he stated there were no conditions associated with his demands, he later joked that he had three conditions: First, that they watch his special before sitting down with him; second, that they meet at a time and place of Dave's choosing, so that he wasn't ambushed; and third, that anyone involved had to admit that Hannah Gadsby, a transgendered Netflix star, is not funny.
When Chappelle recently appeared at a school that he attended in the D.C. area, one could only have expected that Chappelle was going to push the limits yet again. And Chappelle did just that.
Chappelle appeared at the Duke Ellington School of Arts in Washington D.C., on Tuesday, an appearance that had been originally scheduled as a fundraiser, however, students threatened a walkout which caused the initial postponing. Now, several students and parents are complaining about Chappelle's appearance and talk, stating that Chappelle was condescending to the students, argumentative, and rude. One student suggested his jokes were “laced with bigotry and ignorance.” Another pointed out that they believed Chappelle's intentional “misgendering” (which Chappelle even questioned what it even was) was responsible for deaths.
I hate to see these people struggling with such a difficult time, of hearing jokes that may make fun of things which they hold so dear, but maybe I can help you out here a minute:
Warning: the following contains coarse language
DAVE. CHAPPELLE. DOESN'T. F***ING. CARE.
If there is anything Chappelle has shown over the years, it is his complete and total inability to be “owned” by anyone or anything. When Viacom offered him a huge payday to continue with “Chappelle Show,” Dave decided it was a good time to step back, as he felt the new contract came with too many strings attached and had him ceding too much control to Viacom in the process. Chappelle disappeared from the scene altogether, until returning to Netflix under a new multi-special contract.
Those specials have routinely hurt the feelings of some dainty flowers, who are incapable of laughing at themselves, the pinnacle of which was this last special, “The Closer,” which began streaming in October. Chappelle announced it would be his last special, likely knowing the controversy he was igniting.
The Chappelle haters act like they can control him or somehow force him into an apology for something for which he clearly isn't sorry. And what does he have to be sorry for, specifically? Whom did Chappelle target? Who did he threaten or disparage or slander? No one. The haters simply want Chappelle to agree to their terms, and to define everything in life as they choose to have it defined.
Dave's own free thought, and potentially even biased or bigoted opinion (for the record I think it is neither of those things), is no less valuable than the opinion of those who hate on him. Chappelle has proven himself to be respectful and good to those around him, regardless of any of the defining characteristics of that person — including whether or not they chose to sever their genitals. Chappelle's jokes about Black people no more decide that he hates Black people than do his jokes about “the T's” mean that he hates members of the transgendered community.
However, they continue to push, thinking that somehow, someway, Chappelle and his fans will end up waving the white flag of defeat. Do they think that Chappelle needs their approval? Do they think Chappelle needs the money? Do they think that Chappelle is in any way worried about what they think about him? Clearly, no. Chappelle doesn't care. And not because he's unfeeling toward their plight, or that he wants them to suffer because of his words. It is that their speech, can't silence his speech. That's it.
It has long been my belief that Chappelle is one of the greatest comedians of our generation, if not of all time. He doesn't come by that greatness by catering to a specific audience or by running his jokes by the woke crowd ahead of time. He is the real deal. He is a philosopher and a poet. He is a fighter on the front line for free speech.
Most importantly, he doesn't care what you think about him.