Posted BY: Civis Americanus
Comedian Dave Chappelle recently received a lot of heat for an act in which he said, among other things, “If they’re black, it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob. But if they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence, and you should never speak about it.” I don’t regard this as anti-Semitic, or for that matter racist or anti-Italian, because he is clearly mocking all racial stereotypes as opposed to promoting them. To this, he added, “I’ve been to Hollywood … it’s a lot of Jews. Like, a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything. There are a lot of black people in Ferguson, Missouri. That doesn’t mean they run the place.” This again comes across to me as ridiculing the stereotypes in question, and I am by the way of Jewish identity.
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Comedians, like court jesters who often had license to criticize their monarchs in public because everything they said could be taken as a joke, have some leeway with regard to ethnic and racial humor because none of it is meant to be taken seriously.