Dave Chappelle dropped in on the students at the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts to smooth things over but it didn’t go as planned. Marzz, a Queer 21-year old emerging artist has a standout performance at the Soul Train Music Awards.

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Our first story for today is about Dave Chappelle again. This time it was at his alma mater the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. Now he’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the school over the years and the school is planning on renaming the theater after him in 2022. Now this was supposed to happen in 2021 but after that transphobic comedy special “The Closer” they decided to postpone it. Well that was smart. Now, this surprise visit was meant to be a time for him to smooth things over with the students and discuss the fallout but it didn’t go the way he thought. 

He showed up with his camera crew and was greeted with cheers & some boos. During the Q&A one student called him a “bigot” and said “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled [criticism over your transphobic remarks] like a child.” Chappelle replied, “With all due respect, I don’t believe you could make one of the decisions I have to make on a given day.” Students said that Chappelle belittled their questions and comments by laughing at them and responding with jokes.

Chappelle later told the students, “I’m better than every instrumentalist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school, right now, I’m better than all of you.” At one point he used the n-word too in response to one student saying “Your comedy kills.” Chappelle responded by saying, “N—– are killed everyday.” Then he asked, “The media’s not here, right?” It was reported that he calmed down a bit and softened up toward the end of the talk as some students have received death threats for protesting against Chappelle. Turning to the camera, he spoke out against the death threats some students have received since protesting him. One of the students said, “His whole tone changed,” Chappelle said, “This is my family and whether they know it or not I love these kids. … I don’t want to hear about any threats to these kids. These kids don’t deserve that.” A student added, “He was really kind,” … “If [only] he [had] acted that way the whole time. … There was no reason to be mean to us. He was just laughing at kids.” On his way out, Chappelle gave three tickets to each of the students for the screening of his documentary “Untitled” at Capital One Arena that night and 600 Thanksgiving meals for students and staff.

A spokesperson from the school said that Chappelle does have some supporters but they remain the “silent majority”. They went on to say that the comedian’s critics were prioritized during the Q&A chat and his supporters were not given ample time. It’s reported that the students who do support Chappelle went to the administration afterwards to voice their concerns. Overall, it sounds like the Q&A was a big mess. He went to the school to explain himself but wasn’t ready for them to have real opinions it seems. On his IG he posted a picture of him at the school on stage with a student, administration (possibly), and the student body behind him. Part of the caption reads, “It was a fine institution before any of its current occupants got there.” Why are the students who oppose you occupants? Why can’t they be young people with opinions who were clearly harmed by your transphobic rhetoric. 

I also want to sit for a moment in the “Black people are killed everyday.” comment. This frame of thought and logic is so incredibly dangerous. We ought not be in the business of ranking oppressions and definitely not murders. Black people being killed everyday is just as tragic as a trans person being killed. Period. There is no hierarchy. There are activists and advocates fighting daily for justice. People who aren’t on one side or the other but working at the intersections. People who are affected every single time someone loses their life because of the ridiculousness that is racism or transphobia. Lordt I wish these comparisons would stop and people could see the lack of humanity in all of it. Family, this ongoing story is exhausting and it’s important because our trans siblings deserve advocates. A voice. That’s what we’re here for at E3 Radio. Period. 

Our last story for today is about the Soul Train music awards last night. Tichina & Tisha were funny, witty, and entertaining hosts as usual. I expect absolutely nothing less. They opened the show with their vocal and performing talents on full display okay. Now, the Queer highlight for me was the performance by Marzz. She’s a 21 year old out soul singer who was discovered by Timberland. Who doesn’t want to be discovered by Timberland. Her vocals were hitting and her style was on full display. I downloaded her EP, Love Letterz, this morning and you should too. 

We have to close out with a word of the day. You know Anna always has a word. Today the word is “Be Unreasonable”. If there is something you want to accomplish. If there is a vision you’ve been given or a goal you want to attain. Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way. You will fail. That is without a doubt. You will have missteps. That’s okay. Fail forward. Don’t allow that to stop you, be unreasonable and go get it. Do it with humility, a grateful heart, and see where the Divine will take you. 


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