Dave Chappelle Was Attacked On Stage Last Night. Who’s To Blame? (Hint: It’s Not Will Smith)


Controversial comic Dave Chappelle was attacked on-stage last night by a member of the audience as he was performing for a Netflix comedy festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Isaiah Lee, 23,was carrying a replica handgun with a knife blade inside, authorities said. Lee was wrestled to the ground by security as well as comedian Jamie Foxx, then arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

Chappelle is considered a political correctness villain because of his jokes about transexuals as well as other segments of the LGTBQ collective. The obvious reaction would be to blame his attack on Will Smith’s Academy Awards broadcast assault on Chris Rock for making a joke Smith (or his wife) didn’t find amusing. (Indeed Rock, who was also on last night’s program with Chappelle, reportedly quipped, “Was that Will Smith?”).

After that unprecedented episode at the Oscars, many comedians expressed concern that Smith had placed a virtual target on their backs. (The Oscars didn’t help by allowing Smith to go back to his seat and later collect a statuette as the audience stood and cheered.)

However, the cultural permission to resort to violence and intimidation as a response to to words, opinions and even jokes that seem to counter what those with superior sensibilities and values (or so they assume) want to hear arrived well before “the Slap.” It was given when the Left’s antifa began advocating “punching Nazis,” leftist students on campuses threatened violence to goad universities into shutting down (and up) conservative speakers, and Rep. Maxine Waters, among others, encouraged opponents of the Trump administration to harass conservatives and members of his administration when they and their families appeared in public.

It is this cultural shift, ludicrously injected into society in the name of “social justice,” that endorsed violence or the threat of it as a legitimate means of controlling speech and dissent. Indeed, there were many progressive defenders of Will’s “slap” on the grounds that he was reacting with “understandable” fury in defense of black women.

Similarly, the position is still being advanced that violence in response to a “legitimate” grievance (rioting because of “systemic” racism) should be accepted and tolerated, while violence—rioting—for what progressives consider illegitimate grievances should be punished to the full extent of the law.

The attacks on Rock and Chappelle were the result of this cultural permission, which came from the true enemies of expression, freedom of thought, pluralism, civil discourse, and democracy.

I just wanted to make sure that was clear.

Addendum: About a minute after I posted the above, Instapundit, weirdly on the same train of thought, posted these links:

Nancy Pelosi tells 2020 Dems, “You have to be ready to take a punch. And therefore you have to be ready to throw a punch—for the children.”

Sen. Rand Paul had part of his lung removed this weekend because of damage from 2017 attack.

Actor Jeff Daniels to CBS’s Stephen Colbert: ‘We Need Someone That Can Punch Trump in the Face.’

Ilhan Omar Retweet Suggests Rand Paul Deserved to Be Assaulted.

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to 2020 Dems: Don’t Run Away from Trump — ‘Punch Him in the Face.’

Parents cheer as kids bash an ICE agent piñata and throw balls at the painted image of President Trump.

Joe Biden: I Want to ‘Beat the Hell Out of’ President Trump.

Patti LuPone defends violent attack on Rand Paul.

CNN Host Palled Around with, Promoted ICE Firebomber’s Antifa Group.

Leftist Thug Caught on Video Assaulting Conservative Berkeley Student While Fellow Students Laugh.

Journalist Andy Ngo Beaten Up at Portland Antifa Rally.

18 thoughts on “Dave Chappelle Was Attacked On Stage Last Night. Who’s To Blame? (Hint: It’s Not Will Smith)

  1. Antifa is a big cause.

    However, anyone who argues for criminalizing offensive speech (like bad jokes) is also to blame because one assumption underlying arguments for censorship is that people who say the wrong things deserve to be punished by the state, and if you argue the state has the right to punish, you believe the state has the right to use violence against you.

    The a large part of the left basically wants the state to do a nicer version of what this guy did.

  2. The guy who attacked Chapelle definitely deserves blame. Ultimately, it was his decision to attack.

    The initial response to the attacker should also be talked about, I think. Approximately ten people surrounded him, and were steadily beating on him until police arrived. There’s video of this as well; people standing around the attacker and occasionally trying to get a strike in.

    Do these people also deserve to be charged? The attacker at least appeared to be subdued, and he had to be taken to hospital for his injuries. If that was required to keep the guy subdued, that would be one thing. I think the videos captured showed those people going too far, though. Granted, the attacker wouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place, if he hadn’t attacked Chapelle. However, does that mitigate those roughly ten people seemingly going too far in their actions?

    • That goes without saying, so I didn’t say it. The point is that the idea is being planted in the culture that physical violence is fair tit for tat for dubious metaphorical “violence.” Nobody had ever attacked a stand-up comic in a high profile setting before, and it suddenly happens twice in three months? It’s not a coincidence.

      Prosecutors tend not to charge people who react to a criminal act in their midst by beating up the offender. Think of it as community self-defense. This attacker was briefly hospitalized; if he had been blinded, maimed or killed, maybe Chappelle’s defender would have been charged, but the truth is that juries are notably unsympathetic in such cases.Richard Ramirez, “The Night Stalker,” was captured by an angry mob. I’m not sure anyone would have been prosecuted if they killed him. As it was he had to be rescued by police.

        • No, blended. They were just about to stick his hand in a blender when the cops arrived. They were also about to “blond” him, humiliating the Mexican-American by making him look like the monk in “The Di Vinci Code.” The peroxide was just about ready.

          Yes, I meant blinded. Fixed.

      • Au contraire, Jack, that idea has been knocking aroung at least since I was a kid. There was always the underlying understanding when I was a kid that if someone went too far with insults or teasing, it was all right to teach them a lesson physically. Most of us in my hometown can point to at least one ER or doctor’s visit that resulted from fighting with a classmate or teammate. I know I sent at least 2 classmates to the ER at Hackensack Hospital with concussions, and I’ve still got two scars from where I got stitches after being thrown down on rough ashphalt and slammed into a dumpster. No one was ever punished that badly, including me, because the thought was that whoever got hurt must have done something to piss the attacker off.

        • But that’s all fighting words stuff, and involves kids. The police have related attitudes with bar fights and domestic disputes, but that doesn’t extend this far, or didn’t.

          • It probably should extend to that, but that’s a separate discussion. I would probably disagree with actor Patrick Stewart on most issues, but I do remember him telling some pretty powerful stories about cops and medics telling his mom “Mrs. Stewart, it takes two to fight,” and “you have to learn not to provoke your husband.” There is nothing worse that feeling abandoned by those who are supposed to help you.

  3. You couldn’t be more wrong, Jack. There’s only one person to blame, and obviously that’s Donald Trump. Never mind how, just remember that he’s always the root cause of anything bad. That will save you a lot of time performing tedious analysis of complex issues.

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