Chappelle in 2016 presided over SNL‘s previous post-election outing, just four days after Trump pulled off an unexpected victory against Hillary Clinton. In that monologue, he discussed America’s decision to elect its first “Internet troll.” He also said he’d give Trump a chance as POTUS, but did so with a big asterisk attached. “I’m wishing Donald Trump luck,” he said at the time. “I’m going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one, too.”
This time around, Chappelle wasn’t as optimistic. Or kind. He reflected on America at large and the fact that it doesn’t feel much safer to him, even after Trump’s defeat by Biden.
“Do you guys remember what life was like before COVID? I do,” he said. “There was a mass shooting every week. Anyone remember that?
“Thank God for COVID,” he declared. “Something had to lock these murderous whites up, keep them in the house.”
Chappelle then turned his attention to anti-maskers – specifically poor white people who don’t like wearing masks. “What’s the problem?” he asked. “You wear a mask at the Klan rally; wear it at the Walmart, too! Wear your Klan hood at Walmart so we can all feel safe.”
He then harkened back to the 1980s, when former President Ronald Reagan would stereotype Black people as “welfare” cases and “drug addicts.” Well, Chappelle said, “Who does that sound like now? Stimulus checks, the heroin… The rest of the country keeps trying to move forward, and these white n—as keep holding us back. Don’t want to wear your mask because it’s oppressive? Try wearing the mask I’ve been wearing all these years. I can’t even tell something true unless it has a punchline behind it.
“You guys aren’t ready for this. You don’t know how to survive,” he continued. “Black people, we’re the only ones who know how to survive this. Whites? Come! Hurry quick! Come get your n—er lessons. You need us. You need our eyes to save you from yourselves.”
At this point, Chappelle turned his attention to how Trump received the best possible care for coronavirus while his “friends” — including the late Herman Cain (who died from COVID-19 complications in July, after attending one of the president’s maskless rallies) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — were left to fend for themselves.
“Herman Cain’s Black ass had been dead for two weeks. Where was his secret serum?” Chappelle asked rhetorically. “That’s your leader. Think about that… What kind of man does that? What kind of man makes sure he’s OK while his friends fight for their lives and die? A white man. And I don’t mean to put this all on the whites, but I’ve been Black a long time. I notice a pattern.”
As he approached the end of his monologue, Chappelle spoke to those who took to the streets to bask in Biden’s triumph over Trump.
“I would implore everybody today who is celebrating to remember that it’s good to be a humble winner,” he said. “Remember when I was here four years ago? Remember how bad that felt? Remember that half the country right now still feels that way. Remember that, for the first time in the history of America, the life expectancy of white people is dropping because of heroin, because of suicide… All these white people out there that feel that anguish, that pain… They’re mad because they think nobody cares — and maybe they don’t, but let me tell you something: I know how that feels. I promise you, I know how that feels.
“If you’re a police officer, and every time you put your uniform on you feel like you’ve got a target on your back, and you’re appalled by the attitude that people have when you would risk your life to save them? Oh man, believe me, I know how that feels. Everyone knows how that feels,” he said.
“But here’s the difference between me and you: You guys hate each other for that,” he said, referring to white people divided across party lines. “I don’t hate anybody, I just hate that feeling. That’s what I fight through. That’s what I suggest you fight through. You gotta find a way to live your life. You gotta find a way to forgive each other. You gotta find a way to find joy in your existence in spite of that feeling. And if you can’t do that, come get these n—er lessons.”
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