In these divisive times, filled with misinformation, hoaxes, and rage bait, Chris Rock showed us the way forward. At the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night, Rock approached the microphone to announce the winner of the Outstanding Comedy Series. He said, “Um, I guess I gotta present an award…”
And then the magic happened.
“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes,” Rock said. “I know. What a waste of light skin, you know? You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be outta here! Fucking running Hollywood! What the hell was he thinking? From now on I ain’t never gonna [say] no Jussie – you’re a Jessie from now on. You don’t get the ‘u’ no more. That ‘u’ was respect. You don’t get no respect from me.”
It was hilarious. But it was more than just hilarious. It was a powerful act of defiance. In the midst of a tense night that was characterized by cover-ups and political correctness, Rock provided relief and release by speaking the truth. Rock was never good at keeping his mouth shut anyway, and for that we should be eternally grateful.
Host Anthony Anderson said that he was “happy [that] the system worked” for Smollett, and actress Yara Shahidi accepted her award by declaring, “I stand with Jussie.” But the rest of the world that hasn’t been trapped inside an intersectional, ideological bubble has been downright disgusted by the brashness and entitlement of Smollett and his enablers.
These enablers, which include powerful politicians, journalists, producers, and influencers continue to try to gaslight the public into believing that he did not stage a hate crime against himself and abuse the good faith of the American people and the resources of the Chicago police force.
Recently, Smollett’s attorney even had the gall to go on CNN and claim innocence:
Perhaps “innocence” means something else in social justice land? Perhaps it means that it doesn’t matter if Smollett committed those 16 felonies or not because the lesson he was trying to teach us all was more important than the facts? Perhaps that’s what being innocent means nowadays?
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to live in a world where words still have meaning. And so thank god for Chris Rock.
These six words say it all: “They said no Jussie Smollett jokes.” That’s what they said to him. The producers of the NAACP Awards show instructed Chris Rock to not speak truth to power. If he was anyone other than the great Chris Rock, we may have never had this amazing moment of cultural clarity.
Whether the issue at hand is based on gender, sex, race, or religion, Rock has shown us how to deal with the censorious woke scolds that thrive by dividing us: Be more interesting than the ideologues. It’s true that they seize power through fear and they rule by mob. But because they are such simplistic thinkers, they have set the bar very low, and therefore it’s easy to be more interesting than them.
All we have to do is not be scared of them anymore. If you are approached by people in “positions of power” and told to not say an obvious truth for the sake of some greater narrative, then that’s how you know you should say it.
Be like Chris Rock. Speak the truth and speak it loudly. And don’t be afraid to be funny while you do it. They hate that.