Enigmatic comedian Dave Chappelle activated an Instagram account In the middle of the night Friday and released “8:46,” his poignant new special that addresses the killing of George Floyd. The special, which is also streaming on YouTube and Netflix, was taped just days ago at a socially distant, invite-only event in Yellow Springs, Ohio, just outside Dayton where he lives.
It was the first show Chappelle had done in 87 days and one of the first events to be held since the coronavirus lockdown.
The audience wore masks and sat in pairs, but six feet away from others in attendance, for the 27-minute surprise special, during which Chappelle discusses 2020 and the history of how black people have been treated in America, first touching on Floyd.
The name of his special, “8:46,” is in reference to the amount of time a police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck as he begged for his life, repeating “I can’t breathe” and calling out for his mother.
“People watched it, people filmed it, and for some reason that I still don’t understand all these f***ing police still had their hands in their pockets,” he said. “What are you signifying? That you can kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God? That is what is happening right now, it is not for a single cop, it is for all of it.”
Chappelle noted that some pundits have asked where celebrities stood on the Black Lives Matter movement and why many have not commented.
"Do we give a f*** what Ja Rule thinks?” he joked. “This is the streets talking for themselves, they don't need me right now."
“Don’t think my silence is complacent,” he said.
The special also came with a disclaimer which read, “From Dave: Normally I wouldn't show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand. To find out more about how you can support the Equal Justice Initiative go here: https://eji.org.”