Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty


I’m so not surprised by this news…

Dave Chappelle was the commencement speaker at his alma mater this weekend, the Duke Ellington School Of The Arts, where he mentioned the controversial former NAACP local President Rachel Dolezal.

Backstage, he went into further detail  with the Washington Post about his thoughts and why he’s not going to make any jokes about Rachel Dolezal anytime soon.

“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. 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.

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.”

Bruh. Nuanced? Illuminating?

Are we talking about Rachel Dolezal or Mother Theresa?

This is from the same man that created skits and characters like ‘The Racial Draft,’ ‘Piss On You,’ and Clayton Bigsby. Now you want to show discretion? It seems like when it comes to this White woman perpetrating a Black woman that everyone is treating her  with kid gloves.

Chappelle isn’t the only person caping for Rachel Dolezal either.

We knew when it was announced that Raven-Symone was going to be a permanent co-host on The View that there were going to be comments like this. She didn’t even wait for the ink to dry on her contract before she threw Black womanhood under the bus.

On today’s episode of The View, Raven-Symone reportedly defended Rachel Dolezal and said, ” Black people straighten their hair everyday.”


As if straightening your hair is somehow equal to pretending to be another race entirely.

I just cannot…

The problem is how quickly folks are willing to accept this White woman as a Black woman and  diss other Black women in the process. If you’ve been present on social media, you may have seen various memes from several Ashy Larry-types comparing Rachel Dolezal wearing blackface for years to Black women wearing blonde or curly hair.

Example:

Ugh, please.

The thing is, people are forgetting that Rachel Dolezal didn’t just decide to be a Black woman and live a regular life. She sent herself hate mail (federal crime) and lied on government forms about her identity. She is a criminal. If a Black woman had gone through the same lengths of deception as Rachel Dolezal, she would be facing serious charges. Period.

Over the weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry took heat for actually saying “Is it possible that she might actually be black?” and comparing her situation to the transgendered experience. Girl BYE.

It is not the same thing.

Race and gender aren’t the same thing. Our trans brothers and sisters don’t wake up and simply decide they want to wear clothes of the opposite sex. Everyday they are fighting to be themselves. Rachel Dolezal didn’t want to be herself; she wanted to be Angela Davis. Rachel Dolezal made the choice to cut ties with her real family and threaten her siblings if they ever told anyone about her deception. She believed that she would benefit (and perhaps she has) from being perceived as a Black woman. Trans men and women don’t even come close to benefitting from transitioning.

Rachel Dolezal may have quit as president of the NAACP but we still have so many questions. What happens next? Is she going to continue her blackface?  Will she face charges for the hate mail crimes?

Either way, this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Rachel Dolezal or her defenders.

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1. Stephanie McRae: “Black women are funny, smart & charismatic!

Stephanie McRae

“The toughest part about doing comedy as a Black woman is doing comedy as a Black woman. There’s been plenty of times I was bumped from major shows that I was scheduled to be on because a more seasoned male comic just showed up. ” McRae says. “Being a woman does play a big part in the gigs I get or don’t get.” McRae says comedy is about truth & she gets to bring hers and “that’s where the funny is!”

2. Nichelle Stephens: “Women in comedy often don’t get the big paying hosting gigs or even more important, the writing jobs.”

Nichelle Stephens

“Black comics are often underestimated for their writing skills when it comes to tv and screenwriting.” Nichelle says there’s “only one in a line-up–either one woman or one African-American for a mainstream show.” Which is why she created her weekly stand-up show, Chicks & Giggles.

3. Hadiyah Robinson: “There’s a stereotype of the Black women voice in comedy, but our voice is as vast & varied as our shades.”

Hadiyah Robinson

“Sometimes clubs want to relegate you to a certain nights or shows because they think your comedy won’t translate to everyone. There’s the shows that don’t want to have more than one woman on the bill,” Hadiyah mentions, but that doesn’t get her down. “But Black girls aren’t just sitting back waiting. We’re coming together and making magic happen: tours, podcasts, web series, TV, movies & books.”

4. Maryssa Smith: ‘Many popular female comics are hypersexuallized. I don’t think we have to sling tits and ass or the fantasy of having sex with us to be funny.”

Maryssa Smith

“Male comics are never expected to be sexy, they are just expected to be funny,” she says. “The typical female comedic archetype is the ‘dumb slut.’ My voice is not sexual. I joke about sex, but I have no interest in writing jokes to just end up being in some guy’s spank bank. I’m not saying a woman can’t choose to be sex-positive. Is that really your choice or are you allowing others to objectify you to fit in?”

5. Phoebe Robinson: “My number one goal is funny first, and then you can have a lesson or a message that you want to get across.”

Phoebe Robinson

“Being a woman of color in comedy has been an issue, but I just roll with it and know that my career is going to make it just a skosh easier for the next W.O.C. that comes along. W.O.C. should be represented more and that will require more people of color to be in positions of power. But what interests me most is creating my own vehicle. I don’t want to try and fit into someone else’s mold.”

6. Yamaneika Saunders: “Comedy helps me to connect with the inner child in me that was always overlooked and dismissed.”

Yamaneika Saunders

There’s a “sense of responsibility we feel as people of color to be a representation for our ENTIRE race. Being a Black woman [in comedy] is an issue because you’re Black women are often pitted against each other which breeds resentment & disdain, I’m praying that with more opportunities that dynamic will change. I would love to see Black women get together & say ‘Hey, let’s do our show.’ We can be the leaders.

7. Chloe Hilliard: ‘I am Black & I am a woman. I don’t play either of them up or down for laughs.”

Chloe Hilliard

“Men don’t see us as being relatable. They don’t want to hear about what it’s like to be a woman so that means you have to work that much harder to be undeniably funny so they see past your ovaries,” Chloe admits. “Comedy is dominated by misfits. It’s hard to be racist when we’re all the underdog in an industry that most won’t succeed in.” Chloe’s success is in comedy being her bread & butter. That’s not easy!

8. Akilah Hughes: “Comedy is inherently about finding something funny in adversity, so I think Black women make great natural comedians.”

Akilah Hughes

She’s the mastermind behind, “Meet Your New Black Girlfriend” on YouTube and her favorite thing about comedy is that it’s changing. Established comedic career paths are overwhelmingly White male, so you have to have really thick skin to be able to handle the onslaught of hacky rape and racist jokes. It gets old. I do think it is changing for the better, though. I’m seeing more & more women perform.”

9. Loni Love: “People like women to be pretty. If women aren’t pretty, there needs to be something (audience members) can look at or joke about.”

Loni Love

Women may be featured, but I can’t count how many times guys walk up and say, “I’ve never seen a woman close the show,” Loni says. “Everybody thinks my audiences are going to be Black. I do so many mainstream shows. Once the club owner sees that, he’s like, ‘Oh, she’s not only drawing from the African American community, she’s drawing from everybody,'” Love says of proving herself as a comedienne.

10. Del Harrison: “My voice is very honest and even a little racist.”

Del Harrison

“That’s the advantage we have as Black women: we can speak our racist thoughts aloud and if there’s enough Black people in the audience, it’s funny,” Del said. Ever heard of Black privilege? Well, Del gets it. And she doesn’t think that being a woman or being Black hinders her. “Being Black or a woman has not hindered me from doing anything. If anything, it’s helped because my perspective is fresh and different.”

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