Dave Chappelle Surprises With a New Netflix Special, Refuses to Back Down, and Keeps Showing Us How It’s Done – Opinion

An unannounced release includes a show filmed just weeks ago at Dave Chappelle’s alma mater, following his latest controversy.

In what is a curious surprise arrival from Netflix, on Thursday the streaming service offered up a new stand-up special from one of our most important comedians – “Dave Chappelle: What’s In A Name?” Chappelle tackles the controversy surrounding him head-on, as usual with his notorious inflexibility. It isn’t just the way he deals with things that makes this release special, but how and where he does it.

It was announced that the Duke Ellington School for the Arts would honor the comic. An announcement was made last fall that the theater would be named in his honor. But, Chappelle then staged an interview with students at the school. This led to significant resistance. This was a result of the then swirling social outrage to his Netflix release “The Closer.”

They had challenged him over his show and echo many of the statements made in the media by offended activists. Chappelle felt affected after the session. On the night of the ceremony for the re-naming announcement, Chappelle came out to say that he refused the offer. 

Dave takes a long time to talk about his childhood and how the school influenced him. In one portion, he poignantly talks about the difficulty of leaving a rough institution in the era of the crack epidemic in D.C., describing the array of strange faces at Ellington as “refugees from the neighborhood schools.” He also touches on the time he quit his Comedy Central program, and rebuilding his career in the name of the art.

At 30 minutes, he starts to talk about the latest news concerning his beloved school. In discussing that Q & A session he explains how he fielded the criticism about his special and asked the students, “I remember I said to them, ‘what do you think I did wrong?’ – and a line formed.” He then describes what transpired, and what the problem specifically had been.

“These kids said everything about gender and this, that, and the other, but they didn’t say anything about art. But that one, that day – boy, that day, they hurt me. When I heard those talking points coming out of these kids’ faces, that really, sincerely hurt me. Because I know those kids did not come up with those words – I’ve heard those words before. These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression.”

Dave then moves onto the most important part of his job. Why?That is what’s so crucial. He instills a cold fact that the auditorium would be wise to digest–that they should be doing the opposite of constricting expression because they are actually constricting art.

“The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. It has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right – my freedom – of artistic expression.”

After he speaks of making an announcement on stage, he decides to not allow the building to be rechristened. He said that he wasn’t giving the building his name but was instead giving his message to students. He announced that, instead, the building would be referred to as The Theater For Artistic Freedom & Expression. Standing ovation followed his unveiling of this new title.

This special of 40 minutes is not your typical stand up; instead, it’s a lesson plan. Chappelle shows how to handle the left’s hyperbolic social reactions. It is not necessary to hide behind your back or shrink. It takes strength to stand up for your rights, freedoms and position. However, the ultimate victory is doing the right things that defeat the hoards. 

Chappelle shows that the hordes have only their outrage, they don’t have weight. The hectoring masses will shrivel if they see your content and character.

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