Dave Chapelle’s The Dreamer: Hatred without Significance

The latest comedy special from Dave Chapelle, The Dreamer, has only brought more of what is already known about himself to the limelight. Concerning his jabs against the transgender community, he stated, “It wasn’t worth the trouble. I ain’t saying shit about them. Maybe three or four times tonight, but that’s it. I’m tired of talking about them” (Chapelle, 2023). Of course, as promised by his contradictory speech, he later joked about them anyway. He waxed on about how he wrote a play “for them”, utilizing the same tired joke of someone having a wacky, unconventional pronoun. The transgender community has heard all of this before, and unfortunately, will hear it again.

What’s more important, however, is how such things are seen by the public. From articles on Variety to discussions on Reddit, the thoughts and comments remain the same: those who believe it to be distasteful hate it and those who adore the offensive love it. This is nothing new; there will always be two sides to the argument and people who take those sides. Even on the Rotten Tomatoes scores, four critics rate it negatively while only one is positive. The audience scores tell another story, though, with an 83% rating with over 500 votes at the time of writing. An audience, whether with or against him, is still an audience. 

Herein lies the problem: like it or not, so long as his name is on people’s minds and tongues, Chapelle will have a platform to make these jokes. What the comedian says is methodical; he claims to be tired, yet he still speaks. At that point, it becomes nothing but a means to an end. His jokes grab people’s attention, attention drives controversy, and controversy is a very lucrative business for income. The hatred that is spread as a byproduct of this mess is nothing but a void; a miserable waste where your own breath is taken to fuel the people you hate. Fighting it is not worth a second of your time. 

As much as it may hurt to admit, there is no fixing this problem with argument. The best way to stop vicious cycles such as these is to not give sprawling hatred your time and move on. There is so much better out there worth fighting for. There is meaning in all that you do; spend it wisely.


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