Jon Stewart: Censorship Won’t End Antisemitism After Chappelle, Kanye Scandals

Dave Chappelle Addresses Kanye West And Antisemitism: Kyrie Irving was suspended from the Brooklyn Nets for endorsing an anti-Jewish movie on Twitter. The former “Daily Show” host said: “Penalizing somebody for having a thought, I don’t think, is the way to change their minds or develop understanding. 
“During a Tuesday night guest appearance on CBS‘ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart offered his opinion on the antisemitic controversy involving Dave Chappelle, Kanye “Ye” West, and Kyrie Irving.
 
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In one of his trademark nuanced yet contrasting opinions, Stewart candidly advised his former Daily Show colleague that he doesn’t “believe censorship and fines are the way to end antisemitism.” 
The Anti-Defamation League has condemned Chappelle’s Saturday Night Live monologue for “popularizing antisemitism,” yet after the show, host Jon Stewart called Chappelle a “very dear buddy.” Don’t know whether you’ve ever checked out the comments sections of popular news websites. 
In response to the charge that Chappelle “normalized antisemitism,” Stewart, who is of Jewish descent, said, “Still, it’s pretty fucking common.” In my view, censorship and punishment are not effective means of preventing antisemitism or promoting understanding. In my opinion, that is not correct. I don’t think that’s the best course of action.

He alluded to Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s suspension for tweeting about a film that was anti-Semitic. “I don’t think the way to change people’s ideas or develop understanding is to punish somebody for having a thought,” he stated.

“We’re going to put you in a time-out, and you’re going to sit in a corner and stare at the wall until you no longer believe the Jews control the worldwide banking system,” the grown-up man said. This is something that the nation must move past. People believe that Jews own Hollywood.

People believe that Jews run the banks. We will never be able to comprehend one another if we act as though they don’t exist and don’t deal with it head-on. Colbert pushed back a little, saying that while speakers, like comics, may have the freedom to say whatever they want, viewers also have the freedom to respond to and interpret their work as they see fit.

Stewart responded, “Naming things antisemitic reflexively is as simplistic as some of the things they might be saying. It ends a conversation in an instant. Comedy is condensing. Because everyone has prejudice, we utilize tropes as playthings. Comics uses these biases as a shorthand for our content.

Even the most politically aware comics use clichés occasionally. According to Stewart, the overall tenor of speech in this society “is to cover things up,” despite the fact that scars like racial disparities and antisemitism need to be acknowledged. Consider things from a Black viewpoint. It’s a culture that believes Jews and whites have taken their money unfairly.

It doesn’t matter if it’s true; what matters is how the community feels about it. You can’t sit down and explain that being a part of an industry isn’t the same as having a malicious and controlling interest in that business if you don’t realize that’s where it’s coming from.

It shouldn’t be this difficult to talk about things, Dave stated in his SNL monologue, according to the comedian, he continued. “And that is what we are discussing. I find it hard to understand that there aren’t many people who think Jews oppressively dominate the systems and use them as puppets.

Dave Chappelle Addresses Kanye West And Antisemitism

Because I oppose Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, I am accused of being antisemitic; these phrases prevent discussion. As a cudgel, they are employed. How can we move forward if we can’t confront one other with reality, regardless of whether we are engaging in comedy, dialogue, or anything else?

Colbert only regarded Stewart at this point before letting his guest speak. He remarked, “We have our tropes. “Such as: “A white person’s success is due to privilege. Success for a minority is empowerment. Success for a Jew is a conspiracy. You can feel it. I sense that. But I need to be able to communicate that to others.

Where do we go if I can’t call that bullshit and explain why? If we all shut it down, we will withdraw to our isolated dens of false information, where it will spread. Colbert’s arm was resting on Stewart’s hand. “Is that coherent? I am aware that you are against this.

“Jon, you know what? I agree with you completely, Colbert said. I just wanted to state that I reject antisemitism in all forms and stand with my Jewish friends, repeating Chappelle’s duty-read disclaimer at the beginning of his SNL monologue.

Hannah Einbinder, a comedian and Hacks star, had a different perspective on the situation earlier this week when she wrote on her Instagram stories: “Yeah, the Chappelle monologue was rife with antisemitism. He executed it expertly. In that set, he had some funny gags. People could miss his repeated emphasis on conspiracy because of the laughter.

Dave Chappelle Addresses Kanye West And Antisemitism
Dave Chappelle Addresses Kanye West And Antisemitism

No one who enjoys good humour would be willing to admit that the monologue contained antisemitism because doing so would make them responsible. “No one likes to feel horrible about themselves,” The truth is that non-Jews are less conscious of antisemitic concepts, cliches, language, etc. Most people ignore these concepts entirely and only recall laughing.

The risk is that Dave Chappelle and every other male comic who views amplifying prejudice as protected expression will be considered truth-tellers, and everyone who disagrees with them will be viewed as a whiner. I want you to reinterpret this story.

These men who target underrepresented communities are establishment bullies who uphold the current quo; this is not what a comedian does. The ones that speak out “against” them are the ones who are telling the truth.

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