Dave Chappelle is the black Lenny Bruce. I’m sure there are stronger encomiums than that, but right now I can’t think of any. Lenny Bruce is my favorite Jewish comedian, and Dave Chappelle is my most beloved black comic. And this is not because they are all that funny. Oh, yes, they are both way up there on my humor-meter; they are each side splittingly hilarious. Rather, my veneration of them is because of their magnificent courage. Lenny Bruce attacked putting people in jail for using the F word, and for incarcerating adults who took prohibited drugs. Dave Chappelle has done magnificent work for free speech.
The way I read him, Mr. Chappelle does not really hate, revile or oppose Jews, or gays, or the transgendered, LGBTQ, blacks, whites, men, women, himself, or any of the other groups he has delighted in denigrating. If there were chartreuse people, he’d mock them too. He is the Thomas More of the modern era: fighting for free speech rights. No subject is off the table for purposes of amusement. We live in a cancel culture. The wokist, regressives (I refuse to call them their self styled name, “progressives”; if that is progress, I want no part of it) snowflakes have taken over college campuses, the military, the boardroom, the media. They are like a virus. And who is doing yeoman work in trying to stop them by poking fun at them? Nowadays, no one is better or more effective than Dave Chappelle at that portion of the Lord’s work.
Ok, his latest “outrage” is his supposed anti-Semitism. What awful thing has he done? Pretty much theme and variations on the idea that the Jews run Hollywood. Well, I don’t know about “run”; that’s poetic license as far as I am concerned. But disproportionately over represented? Of that there can be no doubt. We Yidden started the movie industry, and still comprise way more than our 2% of the overall population in that industry. This is the God’s honest truth. If you don’t like him accurately mentioning facts, get over it. While we’re at it, we might as well mention that we Jews are wildly overrepresented in academia, STEM, journalism, banking, medicine, intellectual pursuits of all kinds. This is no accident. Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQs of any group. What else would you expect? That a great number of us would be asking if you wanted fries with that? Shamefully, apart from the few and far between likes of a Ludwig von Mises, a Murray Rothbard, a Henry Hazlitt or a Milton Friedman, we are also disproportionately represented amongst socialists, communists and lefties of all types and descriptions.
But we are hardly the only group that is disproportionately over represented in various callings. As Thomas Sowell has documented over and over again, Italians dominate the leather goods industry, French, wine; whites, especially Germans and Austrians, baroque music, rocketry; Scots, distilleries. Blacks take a high-profile role in all virtually all sports with the exception of swimming and hockey. Well, they are also weak in ping pong. Should anyone get into any trouble for mentioning these truths? Of course not. Why should only Jews be exempt from commentators accurately depicting them? We should get used to it.
What, in contrast, has been the major Jewish reaction to this latest sally of Dave Chappelle. Hint: it has not been to congratulate him, as I am now doing. Instead, they have, wait for it, accused him of anti-Semitism.
According to ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt: “We shouldn’t expect [Dave Chappelle] to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see [SNL] not just normalize but popularize antisemitism.” He continued: “Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?”
This is stuff and nonsense. If it is really anti-Semitic to tell the truth, we are in big trouble. By we, here, I mean not only the Jewish community, but our entire society.
Hat’s off to Dave Chappelle for telling it like it is. Lest I myself be called an anti-Semite, or a self-hating Jew for complimenting him in this manner, let me just say that my most recent book was a strong defense of Israel.
Respers France, Lisa. 2022. “Dave Chappelle’s ‘SNL’ monologue sparks backlash as being antisemitic.” November 14;
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