One of the few contemporary comedians I have time for is Dave Chappelle. He is thought provoking, challenges stereotypes from all angles, is sincere, has contributed to the pop culture nomenclature and is genuinely funny. Recently, on an otherwise dull, dreary and preachy episode of the American comedy television show Saturday Night Live, Chappelle said the following pertaining to the anti-Trump riots:
“And white people were furious, Never seen anything like it. Haven’t seen whites this mad since the OJ verdict”.
Chappelle then spoke about how he never thought he’d see a black man in the White House and the fact that he was proved wrong made him examine his prior pessimism. He then said, “So, in that spirit, I’m wishing Donald Trump luck. And I’m going to give him a chance. And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too”.
Whilst some of what he said in the course of his monologue I disagree with, his plea for peace and his recommendation of giving Trump a chance, was magnanimous, heartfelt and honourable. More interestingly though, were his remarks about the broad white reaction to the OJ Simpson not guilty verdict in 1995. The entire Simpson trial become a social phenomenon that vastly transcended the actual subject of whether or not Mr. Simpson murdered his estranged wife and Mr. Ron Goldman.
What the case came to represent was a matter of blacks feeling that the judicial system was rigged against them and that the police were systematically racist. For whites it became a matter of wishing to see a wealthy black celebrity punished for the crime they were certain he committed. Anything less would be an affront to their dignity. After copious research, it is my belief that O.J. Simpson did not commit the murders. But that discussion is for another day.
When the jury reached the same conclusion I ultimately did, many middle-aged and older whites in America protested furiously and expressed vehement anger. At the same time many blacks celebrated. I am in no doubt that racism against blacks was an underlying motive for the white reaction. On this I agree with Dave Chappelle. The trial brought out an ugly side of parts of white America that has actually subsided in the decades since, although watching the ghoulish mainstream media, one would not realise this. By contrast, the white riot of 2016 was an entire different flavour of white meat.
The rioters this time are not middle-aged racists, they are mostly young, they are anarchists, they are scoundrels, many are out of their heads on drugs, they are petty minded bandits and they are in some cases spoiled children from families that are materially rich but spiritually poor. The only thing they share in common with the racists of 1995 is their stupidity. And this is yet another reason I support Trump. Long before he entered politics, The Donald was a kind of lovable fraternal figure for Americans. He was your rich but fun uncle.
He still is that, even though his circumstance has obviously made him a far more serious character than he used to need to be. Trump has said that he wants people to come together in a spirit of patriotism as Americans. This statement, like his policies towards Americans (as opposed to those who legally and literally are not Americans), speaks to a deep sincerity in respect of uniting America. Myopic racists, like drug addicted scum have no place in a cohesive society.
I say well done Dave Chappelle for pointing out that, skin colour aside, there are many shades of deplorable.