Dave Chappelle and “the Black Ass Lie” that keep us down

“Gays are minorities until they have to be white again,” Chappelle complains The closer, to disappear black gays, transgender people, and women into whiteness in a way that is not at all unique to him. “Somewhere, buried in the nonsense, is an interesting and accurate observation that the white gay community can conveniently invoke whiteness at will.” Roxane Gay wrote for New York Times. “There is a convincing observation about the relatively significant progress that the LGBTQ community has made, while the progress towards racism has been much slower. But in these formulations, there are no gay black people.”

Phillips says Chappelle’s deletion speaks to how many black LGBTQ + people are forced to distort themselves to exist among their own people, including their loved ones. “There are tons of jokes and memes about how black queer people should hide when they are together with their black families” – she cites an example “aunt and her little friend” who make fun of the tradition of queer- women who introduce intimate partners to the family as platonic companions. When comics like Chappelle make Blackness an exclusive experience for cishet, “It helps my family pretend that the levels of my existence are not right either.”

The work of calling Chappelle out is being made even more difficult because “black men have positioned themselves in society as the epitome of blackness,” according to Phillips. “So criticizing them feels like you are criticizing black people; in the meantime, you’re just trying to get us free. Yes, there is politics and politics, but I want to be safe at home, in the church, in the grocery store, and I do not get there by not mentioning the damage. “

IN The closer, Chappelle admits that he resents the place where he seems to believe that black queer people exist in society, while erasing them: “I’m jealous of homosexuals, oh, I’m jealous; I’m not the only black person who feels this way … how do you make that kind of progress so fast? “

Author Raquel Willis, notes in a Twitter thread that it is “practical” for male comics like Chappelle to describe the LGBTQ + community as white: “With that framework, they do not have to contend with how black cishet people often commit (physical and psychological) violence on Black LGBTQ + people. ” She describes how black cishet men struggle to locate their own identity in relation to blacks of other sexes who do not see men as the top. She further writes: “They feel guilty about the power that white cishet men have historically had and they have not got it. They think we have jumped a few steps in March towards justice every time they are held responsible for their transphobia and queerphobia. “

In a world where “being seen” can be a matter of life or death when it comes to the experiences of black women and LGBTQ + people, Chappelle simply chooses to look elsewhere and invites her audience to do the same (unless , of course, a joke must be made at our expense). It is “the black ass lie” that says we should and must support our beloved brother’s right to make us invisible, even though he regularly claims that he speaks on behalf of black people.


“I do not care about someone else’s suffering.”The closer (2021)

In the 2017s Spins Age, Chappelle took aim at the allegations of misogyny previously leveled against him while raising new ones. In an alleged encounter with a young white woman who challenges Chappelle for his soft approach to Bill Cosby, Chappelle turns the table and accuses her of being insensitive to failing to consider how difficult it is for him as a then “42-year-old” black “comedian” loses his “hero” for doing “something so disgusting.” If this is how the big ones think of such a damning amount of rape charges, then what can we expect from those who are not so clever? And / or those who look to him for his wisdom?

In the exchange, he reminds his opponent that “we [meaning men who are called misogynists, perhaps] everyone has wives, ”and thus can not really hate women. He then exploits his oppression against her and decides that there is nothing she can tell him that he does not know: “How will you as a young white woman shout at a black man? … You suffer but not like us.”

But what about “us” who suffer like him and Or else? “The Black ass lie” makes black women’s unique suffering at the intersection of racial and gender-based oppression somehow invisible.

That’s a lie, literally.

An oft-repeated line from this special acknowledges how white women have benefited from their whiteness and how white femininity is placed in society as she takes this seemingly feminist woman to the task of daring to complain: “You were involved in the robbery, you just do not like your cut. ” Chappelle is so right about part of a complicated racial equation, but loses the thread with her inability to recognize that black women are:

1. Sort

2. people


We were not involved in the theft, we were part of the theft – right next to our men. We clung to life in the guts of transatlantic wooden ships right next to them, we slid in the fields right next to them. But when it was time for Massa, or whatever another white man wanted a part of us, we were alone, powerless and invaded.


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