Dave Chapelle’s “Comedy” Is Endangering Jews

I have a monologue for Dave Chappelle after his recent monologue on SNL: It’s getting a little bit tiring now, having to address these antisemitic comments that are happening more and more frequently by respected celebrities. People who have large platforms and are not crazy types that no one listens to. The more celebrities with large followings normalize antisemitism the more antisemitism becomes normal.

The first point I want to make to Dave Chappelle is when you say, “you can’t say two words together, ‘the Jews,'” the truth is that you can’t say “the,” with a lot of other groups. You can’t say “the blacks,” “the gays,” “the trans.” Saying any of those things would get you in trouble because it’s a rude way to talk about a minority group.

The next thing you say is that you only get in trouble if you make antisemitic comments. But Don Imus, Roseanne Barr, and Donald Sterling are just a few examples of people who made racist comments against black people and their careers were ended or badly affected for those comments.

Now, do you do education or cancellation in such cases? I’m not here to debate that, but to simply point out that saying that cancellation only happens when someone says something against Jews is not true. You’re spreading false information about our community and making it seem like we have an imbalance of power. And speaking of power, you notice that there are a lot of Jews in Hollywood. And you’re right, there are a lot of Jews in Hollywood.

There are also a lot of Jews in banking. In both of these cases we got to these industries because of antisemitism. In terms of Hollywood, we weren’t allowed into the more prestigious fields like publishing. At the time the Jews came to early Hollywood, one hundred years ago, it was considered a debased industry. In terms of banking, Christians were prohibited from charging interest, so Jews were assigned this task. We were relegated to these fields due to Jew hatred, not power or privilege.

Jews in general are in positions of spotlight in many cases. I made a video about that recently. Dave, you say, “Look around. There’s a lot of Jews.” What you are implying is: There seems to be a cabal. They seem to be running the place. When you say things like this or you give cover to the movie that Kyrie Irving shared, which talks about Jews stealing black identities and black people being the real Jews, which talks about Jews having a disproportionate role in the slave trade, which they did not. When you normalize these ideas you put Jewish lives at risk. You voice a concern that no Jews have: that black people were involved in the Holocaust.

It was a strange distraction to note that. What we are concerned about are casual attacks happening every single day in the New York area and other major cities. These are attacks on visible Jews, Hasidic Jews, Jews that wear their Judaism publicly.

These are real concerns that are as little as petty assaults to murder. Jews being gunned down in a kosher store in Jersey City, a few years ago, as well as a machete attack in Monsey a few months after that has many Jews increasingly concerned and increasingly fearful of the black community. And so when you normalize this type of hate, when you normalize these conspiracy theories, when you blame Jews, for being too powerful, you are putting us in real danger.

Our communities have had such a beautiful relationship throughout the generations. We have marched together. We have fought for equality together. We have so much shared experience with histories of slavery, with intergenerational trauma. We should lift each other up. There is a time for humor and hey, Jews do love to laugh, but we’re not finding this funny because what you may not realize is that we don’t feel safe and we don’t feel secure, and we don’t feel like there is any place for Jews that is truly home, except for our land. And that’s something we’re not even allowed to talk about.

Dave – normalizing antisemitism is not a joke, and you need to stop.

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  • Avatar photo Eve says on November 17, 2022

    Thank you for the article. This case isn’t so clear. I was interested to see that Aish posted an article arguing that the Dave Chapelle’s routine was not anti-Semitic. The Aish article makes some good points- it’s quite nuanced.

    • Avatar photo Yael says on November 20, 2022

      Allison, this was excellent and so clear and so true. Thank you.

  • Avatar photo Jokshan says on November 25, 2022

    Sarah Silverman is known for having done Blackface routines and anti-Black humor. JITC I haven’t seen you stand up against that. Instead you have referenced her in more than one article, ironically one of the articles about “Jewface” vs “Blackface.” How is she any different in this situation than Dave Chappelle? If you say, “She apologized,” then why do you keep bringing up Nick Cannon (in your other articles) who also apologized and went a step further and educated himself on the Holocaust with a Chabad rabbi? Do you really think referencing Sarah Silverman helps Jewish and Black relations? Truly, it’s a slap in the face.

    Please, stop with the hypocracy.

    • Avatar photo Allison Josephs says on November 25, 2022

      I have posted on social media the positive updates from Nick Canon. He’s a wonderful example of someone making a mistake and taking the time to learn and improve.


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