Dave Chappelle released 8:46, a powerful monologue which articulated his feelings about how a Minneapolis police officer murdered of George Floyd. Dave spoke passionately about why he needed to give the space necessary for the masses to be heard. He knew this was not the time for celebrities to espouse their values. Dave Chappelle wisely held his thoughts to himself initially. Especially, since remained silent in spite of CNN’s Don Lemon critique his silence. 8:46 was the amount of time that Derek Chauvin suffocated George Floyd.
Chappelle related George Floyd’s death to the countless other black victims of police brutality and systemic violence. Dave reminded the audience of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was a young black boy who lived in Miami Gardens, Florida. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, viciously murdered him. He reminded us of those murdered by Dylann Roof in the Charleston church shooting. There are countless others who have suffered injustice and there will be countless more. Eric Garner is another victim of racist terrorism, highlighted in Dave’s profound speech. Garner was chocked to death by police, in front of five other officers. Eric was murdered for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
These actions do not occur in a vacuum. Systemic injustice is supported and protected by more than a few bad apples. Subsequently, systemic change requires the change of the system in its entirety, not selectively. This segment by Dave Chappelle is beautiful. Hopefully, more will hear the message through Chappelle’s powerful platform.