Dave Chappelle, the comedian behind the eponymous Comedy Central sketch show that featured bits like Clayton Bigsby, a blind white supremacist who doesn’t know he’s actually black, and the racial draft, has weighed in on the Rachel Dolezal controversy.
Speaking to the Washington Post backstage at the graduation ceremony for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, of which Chappelle is a graduate and for which he gave the commencement address, the comedian says there’s something “very nuanced” about racism that’s being displayed here.
“The thing that the media’s gotta be real careful about, that they’re kind of overlooking, is the emotional context of what she means,” says Chapelle. “There’s something that’s very nuanced where she’s highlighting the difference between personal feeling and what’s construct as far as racism is concerned. I don’t know what her agenda is, but there’s an emotional context for black people when they see her and white people when they see her. There’s a lot of feelings that are going to come out behind what’s happening with this lady.”
Chapelle adds that Dolezal is “just a person, no matter how we feel about her” and he’s “probably not going to do any jokes about her” because that’s what a lot of comedians are going to be doing.
“I’m sure her rebuttal will be illuminating,” he concludes. “Like, once she’s had time to process it and kind of get her wind back and get her message together.”
Whether you agree with Chappelle or not, one thing’s for sure — he certainly is more thoughtful about the whole ordeal than Cher.