Dave Chappelle surprised the world with an unexpected performance on YouTube that was billed as a comedy special but was came across as more like a coping mechanism for a comedian who has long addressed issues of social justice. Simply entitled “8:46” — the time that it took Derek Chauvin to kill George Floyd — the brief but powerful show took place in his hometown of Beavercreek, Ohio.
In typical Chappelle fashion, the comedic genius held absolutely no punches and took aim at any and everybody who he felt has tried to shape certain aspects of the post-police killing narratives that have been proliferated since the horrific homicide took place in broad daylight in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. That included Candace Owens, who bills herself as a conservative pundit but is more realistically an anti-Black emissary doing and saying the things that her white counterparts would rarely dare to do or say in public. He described her in the most accurate of terms while explaining to the multicultural audience in attendance that Owens was part of the problem.
Chappelle also emphasized the inhumanity of the fashion in which Chauvin killed Floyd by driving his knee into his neck while Floyd was handcuffed and face-down on the pavement for nearly nine full minutes.
Owens’ name was tucked into a comedy bit that at times was hilarious and at other times was, of course, very sobering considering the reason why Chappelle was performing it in the first place. Chappelle ran down the laundry list of names of Black people killed by senseless violence and the lack of justice achieves in any of those cases, including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Alton Sterling. He called out the NRA for not sticking up for Philando Castile, a legal gun owner who was executed by a trigger happy cop for trying to show the officer his paperwork. Chappelle also pointed to John Crawford, an unarmed Black man who was killed by an officer in Beavercreek in 2014.
Chappelle also defended LeBron James from Laura Ingraham‘s racist “shut up and dribble” comment before diving headfirst into the muddy waters that is Candace Owens, who he described in no uncertain and justifiably crude terms. Calling her “rotten,” Chappelle said Owens is “the worst. I can’t think of a worse way to make money. She is the most articulate idiot I’ve ever seen in my fucking life. She’s so articulate she can tell you how fucking stupid she is precisely.”
He mentioned how Owens criminalized Floyd in death by calling him a drug addict without proof and questioned how the Black community could make him a martyr.
“We didn’t choose him,” Chappelle said about Floyd while referring to Owens and her like-minded racist conservative detractors collectively, “you did!” He said the Black community is “not desperate for heroes” and said that anyone “who survives this nightmare” is his hero.
Recognizing that this was not his typical performance, Chappelle admitted that “this is not funny at all.”
Chappelle saved some of his vitriol for Dylann Roof and brutal police officers and addressed the law enforcement response to Chris Dorner, the Los Angeles police officer who killed cops in an apparent act of revenge for the department ignoring his attempts to report fellow cops’ excessive force against a suspect.
Chappelle briefly mentioned Kobe Bryant‘s last game, as well. But then, almost as abruptly as the performance was announced, it ended, and he walked off the stage.
Chances are that Candace Owens, who never lets an opportunity pass for possible publicity, will be responding to Chappelle. Chances are also likely that it’ll fall flat.
This is America.
Watch the full show below.