But for some reason, out of all of the topics, the one that made him public enemy #1 was the jokes he made about Trans people and the LGTBQ community. Which, as we now know, is top of the list of things comedians cannot make fun of. Which was proven by all of the sanctimonious (yet hilarious) bitching from sites like Vice, Buzzfeed, Salon, and several other random outlets churning out clickbait.
Everything has been said about Chappelle in the days to follow Sticks and Stones. He’s been called everything from homophobic to transphobic to victim blamer to Satan in the flesh. Articles claiming he’s a millionaire who’s out of touch. He’s been accused of “punching down” and being mean spirited. LGTBQ groups have called on Netflix to remove his specials from their platform, and threatened boycotts. But the thing I found most amusing about the backlash is, the revisionist history of questioning whether or not Chappelle was ever really funny. As if, all of sudden, years of laughing at Chappelle’s comedy, there’s now a question of his talent? Are you f*****g kidding me?
But, this is why the “outrage” is problematic for me…
As a 45 year-old Black man in this country, personally I’ve heard so many comedians over my time on this orb (Chappelle included) make Black folks the punchline of their jokes. And guess what? It was never a problem… not even by the most progressive of progressives. So when I hear that there is a “protected class” of people that we can’t poke fun at, the hairs on my neck stand up, and the “hood” in me is unleashed. Dave made a point of this when, at one point in the special, he was recalling a time when he was called into the office of Comedy Central and was told he can’t, under any circumstances, use the word “faggot.” To which he agreed and didn’t fight it. But then asked why was it okay for him to say the word “n****r” regularly and with impunity but not okay to say “faggot.” He was told “Dave, because you’re not gay.” And he simply replied “Yeah but, I’m not a n****r either!”
"…In the end, the world of comedy will benefit from this!"