The job of a comedian is to make light of heavy situations— like racism. Since the beginning of the medium, comedians like Richard Pryor have attempted to tackle the issue of race, but the lessons often fell on deaf ears thanks to their more vulgar delivery.
Along came Chris Rock; a guy who was not only funny, but clever as well. His approach to describing race was quick-witted and ingenious. He paints a bigger picture for the crowd and allows everyone to take away from it what they want.
On why his method of speaking about race is so unique, Rock told New York Magazine that we continue to treat racism “Like a style that America went through. Like flared legs and lava lamps. Oh, that crazy thing we did. We were hanging black people. We treat it like a fad instead of a disease that eradicates millions of people.”
As the host of the 88th and most controversial Academy Awards so far, many are interested to see how the funny man tackles the issue of #OscarsSoWhite amidst all the racial tension going on in the country.
Check out all the times Chris Rock spoke perfectly about race.
When he brilliantly described how White supremacy works.
Back in 1998, when he went to South Carolina to discuss the Confederate flag with locals on The Chris Rock Show.
The time he dropped the infamous line, “There’s nothing that a White person with a penny hates more than a brother with a nickel.”
In his 2008 standup “Kill the Messenger,” he discussed Barack Obama’s relationship with Michelle and interracial dating. Classic!
When he broke down the levels of class in America: “There are no wealthy Black people in America. I’m not talking about rich, I’m talking about wealth.”
The time he spoke about gun control in his 1996 standup “Bring The Pain.”
When he schooled the crowd on Affirmative Action and slavery:
In his interview with New York Magazine, Rock dished on Ferguson, Bill Cosby, and race relations in America: “When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy, and today they act less crazy.”
In an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, the comedian spoke on police brutality and why Hollywood is a White industry.
On the CBS segment, Hollywood Film Awards: After Party, Rock dished on the responsibility of Black actors versus White actors.