Why Dave Chappelle Won't Be Making Jokes About Rachel Dolezal: 'She's Just a Person'
By Antoinette Bueno
Dave Chappelle is showing some compassion for Rachel Dolezal, the 37-year-old Spokane, Wash. NAACP leader, who last week was outed by her parents for pretending to be black.
The 41-year-old comedian, who didn't shy away from topics of race in his now-classic Comedy Central show, Chappelle's Show, takes a deeper look at all the controversy in a new interview with The Washington Post.
"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," Chappelle said about the embattled Dolezal. "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 adds.
Besides, Chappelle knows that every other comedian is already making jokes about Dolezal.
"I'm probably not going to do any jokes about her or any references to her for a while 'cause that's going to be a lot of comedians doing a lot," he explains. "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."
However, he jokes that Dolezal definitely falls in the "black" category in his memorable sketch, "The Racial Draft" -- in which representatives from different racial and ethnic groups selected celebrities to be a part of their racial group, much like the NFL or NBA draft.
"We would take her all day, right?" Chappelle quips.
Dolezal was scheduled to address the controversy at a NAACP chapter meeting Monday night, but the meeting was postponed over the weekend. She recently told KREM reporter Shawn Chitnis that she does consider herself "black."
"Actually, I don't like the term African-American; I prefer black," she said. "So, if asked, I would say, yes, I consider myself to be black."