In a new (and surprise) Netflix comedy special, Dave Chappelle is back and as usual, has his finger on the pulse of America. In the special 8:46, which was uploaded to YouTube for free on Thursday evening, the iconic comedian discusses the national protests stemming from George Floyd’s death and a slew of other pressing topics. The special was filmed on June 6 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and the attendees adhered to social distancing guidelines, wearing facemasks throughout the set. (He has performed similar gigs around Dayton, Ohio since then.)
The comedian told the audience that he truly doesn’t have words to describe his feelings about Floyd’s murder at the hands of police this past Memorial Day. But he doesn’t mince words about the cops involved in his death and shares that not only does the special’s title reference the amount of time it took for Derek Michael Chauvin to kill Floyd, but that it’s also the time Chappelle was born.
“For some reason that I still don’t understand, all these fucking police had their hands in their pockets,” he says. “Who are you talking to? What are you signifying? That you can kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God?...That’s what is happening right now. It’s not for a single cop, it’s for all of it.”
Chappelle also shouts out young people who are protesting, leading the charge, and doing “amazing work.” (“Kids are excellent drivers, I am comfortable in the backseat of the car, so carry on, young ones.”) And in typical Chappelle fashion, he eviscerates a few high-profile people, places and things—such as institutions “that lie to us,” as well as conservative media personalities Candace Owens (who he calls “the most articulate idiot”) and Laura Ingraham (who he says is “a regular-ass white bitch with a platform”).
“[The black community] didn’t choose [Floyd] [as a hero], you did,” he says in reference to Owens pulling up George Floyd’s criminal record for a video. “[The cops] killed him, and that wasn’t right, so he’s the guy...We’re not desperate for heroes in the black community. Any nigga who survives this nightmare is my Goddamned hero.”