Could Chappelle be clearer? He is telling us that he is willing to not just destroy but be destroyed. In a culture that is otherwise full of cheap provocations, from the White House to reality TV, Chappelle is a rarity: A true comic provocateur.
Yes, he is complicated. He has been criticized for jokes dismissive of the transgender community and the #MeToo movement. But, he is asking us, is the answer to cancel him?
The best of the breed, like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, double as public intellectuals, reframing and refocusing our otherwise set ideas and beliefs about religion, profanity, racism, sex, the role of government, wealth, poverty, drugs, materialism, hypocrisy, inequality, crime, terrorism, patriotism. In pursuit of larger truths, nothing can be off-limits.