I was intrigued by the Dave Chappelle skit that we watched in class today, particularly the ways in which he and his “co-hosts” define races. As is clear upon almost the very beginning of the sketch, they rely exclusively upon racial stereotypes to categorize the celebrities that they are “drafting” to various ethnicities. This is a humorous tactic, which is why it appears on something like the Dave Chappelle Show, but it also satirizes the ways in which we as a society characterize people different than us.
An example of this is when the hosts are discussing the order of the draft. They relay to the audience that the blacks have gotten the first pick, and then Chappelle says, “that’s the first lottery a black person’s won in a long time,” which is a jab at the lesser privileges that black people are awarded in a predominantly white America. It is a funny way to frame the incident, but is also the unfortunate truth: that even though something like a lottery is based solely upon luck of the draw, black people still feel at a disadvantage because they are so racially ostracized in society.
There is also another example of a similar revelation, occurring when the Jews draft Lenny Kravitz. First of all, this reveals an aspect of culture that we tend to consider Jews as their own separate race, even though religions and races are not the same. In fact, this is what Adolf Hitler did during World War II to galvanize the German people against an alleged “race” of people. In addition, after Kravitz is drafted, an announcer goes on to say that the funny thing about him is that his black mom was a star on a TV show, and his dad, Jewish, was her lawyer, which shows the stereotype that most Jews are lawyers. While this is true in some cases, as are many stereotypes, it is still a reflection of how society views Jewish people. Overall, this skit is very funny, but is also a medium for us to learn and critique the ways in which we define races. It is important for us to acknowledge our flawed views and strive to grow into more accepting people as a whole.