Sunday, October 17, 2021

Why Dave Chappelle Won’t Joke About Rachel Dolezal in Future Gigs

Comedian Dave Chappelle takes a selfie with the Duke Ellington School for the Arts seniors at their graduation at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium on June 14.
Comedian Dave Chappelle takes a selfie with the Duke Ellington School for the Arts seniors at their graduation at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium on June 14. Chappelle is an alumnus of the high school and gave the commencement address.

*Comedian Dave Chappelle weighed in on the Rachel Dolezal controversy during a commencement speech Sunday to Duke Ellington School of the Arts grads at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium in DC.

Regarding the former Spokane NAACP chapter president who presented herself as a black woman, despite both her parents being white, Chappelle couldn’t resist:

“The world’s become ridiculous. There’s a white lady posing as a black lady,” he said. “There is not one thing that woman accomplished that she couldn’t have done as a white woman. There’s no reason! She just needed the braids! I don’t know what she was doing.”

His tone changed, however, while speaking to the Washington Post afterward. Chappelle said he is hesitant to joke about Dolezal during future stand-up gigs.

“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,” the former Comedy Central star said. “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.”

“And she’s just a person, no matter how we feel about her,” he added. “I’m probably not going to do any jokes about her or any references to her for awhile ’cause that’s going to be a lot of comedians doing a lot. And I’m sure her rebuttal will be illuminating. Like, once she’s had time to process it and kind of get her wind back and get her message together.”

Chappelle did add humor to the Post interview while referencing the race draft sketch on his former Comedy Central sketch program “Chappelle Show,” saying blacks would draft Dolezal in a heartbeat.

“We would take her all day, right?” he said.



  1. Black people should just embrace her like they did Singer Teena Marie, until they saw Teena marie She was this great soulful new singer, then they saw her in public”She White!” exhale! So What She can Blow! Exhale>>What did she do in a leadership capacity that was damaging to Blacks? In her mind she is what she is on the inside, Why not.. We certainly have Blacks That are masquerading as white people, but doing nothing but selling their own race out and throwing others under the Bus , including “Nigga -Jokes too. I’m Not Defending her , don’t know her motives , But I would like to know the whole story and then respond.

    • I’m with you, Robert… There’s a heck of a lot more going on with this story then something as simple as someone wanting to be another race. I, personally, have mixed feelings about it all – so many questions. However, in my heart I am more “for” Rachel winning in whatever she does than persecuting her in the public. This is forgiveable to me (yeahh I said it). Did she need to resign as President of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP? I would have to say YES. There are some unignorable issues of intentional deceit, but not intentional harm which may be her saving grace. I think Dave bring up some good points; and he’s right – this is not a joking matter. I, too, would love to ask Rachell why did you need to be black to do what you did with your life? Why hurt your family in all this? Why deny your truth? No – we’re not where we use to be or need to be as a society with regard to race matters, but we’re so much better than before. Doing what Rachel did is no stretch, unusual, shocking or brand new – and as a educated professor of black studies I’m sure Rachel knows that. So, whyyyyyyy? And I remember when I first learned that Teena Marie was White and how my jaw dropped with shock. Then I thought to myself… *shrugs shoulders at the thought of it all* what a cool gift to be given someone unlikely/unexpected. But let’s be clear – Teena never “pretended” to be black. She was a black woman in MY MIND though… lol.


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