Netflix aired two comedy specials upon new years day, 2018, by American comedian Dave Chappelle. The first one titled; “Equanimity”, a traditional hour long special stationed in a large theatre or stadium. As with his other routines, Chappelle delved into complicated social and political issues; Transgender rights, the recent Presidential Election, the current President and most importantly- Race.
The latter of which he would delve into deeper with his second special; “The Bird Revelation” which was filmed in a small comedy club, creating a more intimate atmosphere. In the special he talked about the whole kneeling for the flag fiasco and how much horse shit it was. He then proceeded to praise NFL player Colin Kaepernick, the man who initially started the protest.
He suggested that the people, supporters of Kaepernick, ought to pitch in for some kind of fund so that if he loses all his money he can be well off. Chappelle saying that Kaepernick was in a position of privilege, he didn’t have to risk his position by raising his voice on issues such as police brutality- an issue that disproportionately affected the black community and often went without justice being served to guilty parties. He could have turned a blind eye to it all and lived care free.
But he didn’t. He chose to raise his voice, use his platform to protest in the most respectable format- kneeling during the national anthem before the game would begin. For some reason a lot of people got angry by this, citing that kneeling is an act of disrespect to the nations Veterans.
But again, the form of protest was approved by Kaepernick’s friend and fellow team mate, a former Green Beret. So…is that argument mute or is there something else going on? Honestly, I can’t tell.
Everything has gotten muddled up with Race and Identity Politics that it’s just fallen down into a mucky Culture War. Which the President continuously rattles on about to his chuds to distract against their opioid addictions and their medical bankruptcies- “LOOK, A BLACK GUY KNEELING” he says as he exports 100,000 jobs to China.
Chappelle makes a point of sympathising with Kaepernick. Hammering in on that financial aspect; “What if in the Bible they were like; ‘Hey, remember that time they was going to kill Jesus but then he got all that money” even went as far as to suggest that someone give Kaepernick a sneaker deal. An idiotic idea, I thought at the time.
But we live in strange times, and nine months later Colin Kaepernick signed a deal with Nike. Developing his own clothing line for the company and even appearing in a commercial, which he narrated.
Now as you would expect, a lot of Americans did not like this and they expressed it in the most American way possible; destroying shit. For an entire weekend there was videos circling of dumb fuck Conservatives burning their own Nike shoes, cutting off the Nike logos from their socks, shredding their Nike sweatpants- so on and so forth.
There was a boycott launched, which lasted about two days. After which, Nike’s profits skyrocketed 60%. Now I’m not one to be judgemental, but it seems to me that Trump supporters are just too dumb to boycott.
A few weeks passed and Nike’s profits still soared, despite the horde of angry MAGA chuds bemoaning an inevitable crash. It appears that Charlemagne Tha God was right; the first person to sign Colin Kaepernick on for a clothing deal was going to make a fortune. What wasn’t expected was the sheer and utter stupidity of the American left.
You had people acting like Nike was the new Black Power symbol, you had Jim Carrey parading his newly bought Nike’s as an act of “Resistance” and the worst offence given in this entire parade of dogshit was given to Jesse Williams for posting a picture of Emmitt Till, a fourteen year old kid who was brutally murdered by White Supremacists after he allegedly whistled at a white woman earlier that day. His death, alongside many others like them, helped inspire the desire for change campaigned for by the Civil Rights movement.
The picture was of his funeral and said; “Believe in something, even when it means sacrificing everything.” A Nike logo resting beneath his bruised and broken body.
As you can expect, a lot of people were rightfully angered about this so eventually the moron removed it and apologised. Because Emmit Mill was not a sacrifice, he was not an activist- he was just a kid going down south to visit his family only to be brutally murdered for something he didn’t even do. This is a topic so serious that even a comedian such as Dave Chappelle treats it with such brevity it rivals a politician.
Now Charlemagne, after about three weeks from the initial commercial, gave the Donkey of the Day to all the morons who believed that Nike was their ally, citing; “There are no permanent enemies or allies in the world of business”. An apt statement. Nike may profit off Kaepernick and let on that they support social change, but they still fund Republican candidates, they still support the NFL which caused the fiasco in the first place and they still abuse their workers in third world nations, most of whom live in severe poverty.
This level of fake sympathy in mainstream voices in regards to social issues is not new, the LGBT community has been quite vocal in its criticism of corporations taking advantage of their strife for profit and it was only last year that Katy Perry sat down with a black lives matter activist to talk about how she was guilty of Culturally Appropriating in one of her music videos and it was just so obvious from her temperament that she was only using this interview to appear more Woke. But this whole Kaepernick situation sets a dangerous precedent.
A Corporation taking a side, or at least giving the impression of taking a side, on a social or political issue can get very dodgy very quickly. It may start out at first as simply advocating for equality, which is the bare minimum of what you could ever possibly do, but they’ll try and slip in their own agenda along the way.
They’ll try and score points with impressionable lefities by “championing diversity” while simultaneously trying to lower the minimum wage so they can pay those same employees less. Garnering empathy will become a marketing strategy, the best way to be evil is to look as selfless as possible.
An opinion will no longer be an independent thing obtained in an original or organic process by a real and authentic person, it will be a commodity bought and sold. A symbol of status. A world view mass produced; Woke on Demand.
I talked about how the Russian Government uses Troll Farms to spread their propaganda and how various other governments, political movements and intelligence services incorporated similar techniques. I also hypothesised that one day we may see corporations incorporating such troll farms, drowning out negative criticism with their own positive reviews. Shutting down critics by constantly harassing them, exhausting the consumer until they are broken.
Now? I don’t even think they need to hire trolls. If they keep at playing woke, they’ll have a loyal base of “activists” who’ll defend their allies to the death. Human rights violations? Pfft, who cares! They have rainbow coloured laces!
Social Justice, and by Social Justice I mean exclusively the community of whiny little pricks on the internet, is in itself an off set of Neo-Liberalism, the internet activist more commonly referred to as a Social Justice Warrior is a lazy and ill informed liberal. It’s easy to call Joss Whedon a Misogynist and complain about not enough women in Marvel movies, but it’s hard to end the tipping custom in American restaurants which literally financially impoverishes and enforces a culture of sexual harassment upon waitresses. It’s easy to complain about shit that doesn’t matter, because the real shit is hard to change.
The so called Social Justice Warrior will be the Corporations useful idiot. Like poor racist white people are Trump’s.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “But Des, you’re an Irishman- why do you care what these Americans are about?” and believe me- I’d give anything not to have to care about what America is about. But unfortunately America is one of the most powerful nations in the world, particularly in the West. It’s the modern Roman Empire, it establishes the norms.
If it weren’t for America, the Myanmar Government wouldn’t have dodged questions about the genocide against Rohingya Muslims by saying it’s “Fake News”. And while we in the West believe ourselves superior to Americans way of…living, we can’t deny that Consumerism has it’s effect on us as well.
Our only respite is that our behaviour and the media we consume is drenched in realism, while America is completely fictional. You only have to watch two different episodes of the UK and American versions of Undercover Boss to see the difference in the people, in the way they see the world. We treat politics coldly, with humour and with restraint. An American will treat every so called pwnage as if it was the battle of Gettysburg.
To understand the American political landscape, you must imagine everyone simultaneously posing triumphantly for a picture in the history books.
It’s a strange thing, in my mind at least, for Dave Chappelle to advocate for a corporation to support Colin Kaepernick. Because if anyone were to know how untrustworthy the corporate agenda can be, it’s Dave Chappelle. He abandoned his show due to studio interference, often so extreme that they even tried to get him to take narcotics to make him more mellow and suggestible- literally turning him into an addict to more easily control him.
Chappelle eventually walked away from the network, away from a £50 million deal- abandoning which had essentially ostracised him from the entire Hollywood community for years on end. But he eventually made his return, because there is no permanent friends or enemies in the world of business. There is only money, and the illusion that you actually care.