He convinced Netflix to pull his old sketch show from streaming by saying it made him feel bad. Funny how that works.

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Dave Chappelle. Photo: NBC/Getty Images

In a vacuum, the story of Netflix pulling Chappelle’s Show from the platform at the request of its star and creator is a feel-good story. Of course it is. Dave Chappelle left Comedy Central when he felt he was creatively compromised. After a period of relative exile, he’s now making as much money with Netflix as he left on the table before and wields enough power and respect for the multibillion-dollar company to honor his wishes.

It’s a story of perseverance, betting on yourself, and leveraging your gifts to write your own legacy. Again, in a vacuum. But Chappelle, one of the most dissected and gravitational figures in pop culture, will never live in a vacuum. And in order to properly contextualize his power move — as related in “Unforgiven,” an 18-minute performance the comic uploaded to Instagram yesterday — we have to establish its deep irony. …


Georgia is the most important battleground state since Florida in 2000

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Photo: Yegor Aleyev/Getty Images

The fate of the U.S. Senate will be decided on January 5 in Georgia when polls close for the two seats up for grabs in a pair of runoff elections, as Democrats Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock challenge incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively. The results of the elections will determine if Joe Biden gets to install the policies he’s promised and campaigned on or if Mitch McConnell will be empowered to obstruct student loan forgiveness, Covid-19 stimulus checks, health care expansion, and a bevy of other issues that Biden voters are clamoring for. In terms of electoral significance, Georgia is the most important battleground state since Florida in 2000. …


It’s time to seriously call out rappers who continue to have dangerous mass gatherings during a pandemic.

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Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Jeezy and Gucci Mane’s Verzuz battle was as stressful and dramatic as any scripted series you’ll see on Netflix or HBO. We had build-up, tension, aggression, and a moment that felt like things would go left any minute. Then we had an ending nobody could have predicted when the year started: Jeezy and Gucci performing “So Icy” together. The sigh of relief turned out to be brief, though; stress levels rose again when the duo promoted their afterparty at Atlanta club Compound.

Yes. A party. At a club. During the pandemic. The visuals from the night were just as concerning:


Whether intentional or not, the adorable movie is an introduction to a big social issue.

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Paddington 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time. I went to see it in theaters a couple of years ago simply because my son wanted to see it. I expected to take a 90-minute nap as I do for a lot of kids’ movies. But Paddington 2 was different. The movie was so damn positive and warm. It’s just a bear and a family and a community that loves him. It’s rare to feel that fulfilled in a movie theater. Parents, watch it with your kids. You’ll all feel better about life.

But there’s an added benefit. If you dig deeper, you can use the movie to teach your kids about one of the most important issues facing society today: the criminal justice system. I know this sounds like a stretch, but hear me out. …


A recurring collection of Jordan vs. LeBron memes as a reminder that the argument has jumped the shark.

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The Jordan vs. LeBron debate is the definitive sports argument of our time. It’s been going on for more than a decade now and reaches new heights of intensity with every Bron accomplishment or Jordan documentary. I’ve said it before, but here’s my take on it all: there is never going to be a definitive metric to determine which of these two is the greatest of all time, and there’s a counterargument for every argument that’s out there. And I’m not sure anyone is going to change their minds no matter what happens.

That doesn’t stop the internet from creating memes about which player is inarguably better. Every single one of these memes is f*cking stupid. The ones that call Jordan the GOAT at the expense of LeBron are dumb and ones that call LeBron the GOAT at the expense of Jordan are equally stupid. I love them. I can’t stop reading them and seeing people argue.


Well, that escalated quickly

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“Dan Purdy.” Photo: @danpurdy322/Twitter

By now, you’ve probably seen the story: Dean Browning, Pennsylvania Republican (and undeniable loser of the primary for the state’s 7th Congressional representative seat) posted a tweet yesterday declaring himself to be a Black gay man who disapproved of Obama.

Browning, in case you weren’t aware, is a White man. He tried to clarify his tweet by saying that it was a DM that he forgot to attribute. Twitter, naturally, came to the conclusion that Browning got caught posting thoughts reserved for a burner account. Those same Twitter sleuths noticed that an account by the name of “Dan Purdy” had favorited and responded to a lot of Browning’s tweets. Naturally, the assumption was that “Purdy” was Browning’s burner account. …


Acknowledging their work is a good start, but it’s not nearly enough.

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Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

I’ve spent the last month reading and writing extensively about the 1964 Democratic National Convention and the way the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party organized and fought against voter suppression, anti-Black mob violence and systemic governmental disfranchisement to shake the country and change politics in America. Black women like Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray and Annie Devine used their resources and fight to galvanize an entire country that mostly saw them as disposable. It’s hard to put into words what it was like to write about these women as I watched Black women continue that fight in real time.

Stacey Abrams, for instance, is from Mississippi. She is the descendant of the Black women who fought in 1964. But it wasn’t just Abrams. There was Latosha Brown and countless other organizations mostly led by Black women in Georgia working together to get enough Black people to vote to flip the state blue by registering hundreds of thousands of people to vote. Across the country, Black votes, largely organized by Black women, essentially removed a fascist regime from the White House. I’m in awe of what Black women accomplished, especially given what so many of us did to them in 2020. …


Donald Trump received almost 70 million votes. Some of those included people who you consider to be partners in the fight against anti-Black racism.

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A supporter of President Donald Trump and a supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden embrace at Black Lives Matter Plaza as others celebrate on November 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Joe Biden is going to be the 46th President of the United States. This is happening. It was pretty clear on Tuesday night, as the landscape of mail-in ballots started to take shape and Trump went on the first of his rants about a rigged election.

Still, Wednesday morning felt more like a wake than a celebration. When I imagined this moment four years ago, of a Trump-less presidency, it didn’t feel like this. This feels like winning a fight that was unnecessary, full of pointless, permanent scars. But another realization swept over the country like the blue wave that never came: Trumpism is here to stay in America. When all the votes are counted, Donald Trump will end up with somewhere around 70 million votes. Over half of all White people in this country, knowing exactly who he is, decided to re-up. …


On the day of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ win, the comic delivered a ‘Saturday Night Live’ monologue that was cerebral, sharp, and timely

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Photo: NBC

Dave Chappelle’s 16-minute Saturday Night Live monologue was the complete Chappelle experience. It’s honestly an intimidating task to even try to absorb and put together cogent thoughts about something so layered and massive.

So, let’s start with the Klan joke.

Chappelle opened with jokes about his own career, including stories about his White neighbors and his royalty structure. (Somehow he’s not earning anything from HBO and Netflix now syndicating Chappelle’s Show?!)

Centering himself and his fame has been a feature in Chappelle’s stand-ups for the past decade — with mixed results. At the beginning of the monologue, he eased us into the belief that he was going to continue talking about himself. But without so much as a transition, he hit us with a joke about how White people should just wear Klan costumes to Walmart to make everyone feel safe. To call it a punch line doesn’t do the joke justice. …


To think otherwise requires a gross misunderstanding of how — and by whom — history is recorded

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Donald Trump on September 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images

Ever since November 8, 2016, when Donald Trump won the election to become president of the United States, a cottage industry arose speculating about what history books would say about his tenure. Immediately after the election, TIME asked a group of historians that question — and in the years since, as Trump has presided over one calamity after another, espousing racist ideologies, and driving the country headfirst into 200,000 preventable deaths (and counting), that analysis has continued. January 2019, the BBC: “How will history judge President Trump?” March 2020, CNN: “History’s verdict on Trump will be devastating.” …

About

David Dennis, Jr.

Smoking Section Alum. Level Contributing Writer. ESPN The Undefeated, The Atlantic, Washington Post, etc. Forthcoming book: The Movement Made Us (Harper).

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