Dave Chappelle: Russia didn't make us racists

"Is Russia," the comedian jokes, "making us racist?... Oh my God, thank goodness," he says in mock jest. "I thought it was us." He spoke with Christiane Amanpour alongside Jon Stewart at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 8:19 AM
Updated: Oct 31, 2018 8:35 AM

Almost two years after President Trump's victory in the 2016 election, and just weeks away from the midterms, comedy legends Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart laid bare their thoughts on the state of their nation, and warned against ascribing racial or class divisions purely to President Trump's election, or Russian meddling.

"Even when they say that Russia influenced the election," Chappelle said, "it's kind of like, is Russia making us racist? Is that who's doing it? Oh OK, oh my God, thank goodness -- I thought it was us."

"If they killed the country that way then we're the murder weapon," he joked.

In an exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour for her program on CNN International and PBS, Chappelle said President Trump gets "too much credit" for defining the era.

"He's not making the wave, he's surfing it."

The 'right thing at the right time'

Just days after Election Day 2016, Chappelle delivered "Saturday Night Live's" opening monologue.

"I'm going to give him a chance," he said at the time. "And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one, too."

It was the "right thing at the right time" to say, he now opines.

"I'm a black American, so we've -- these feelings that people felt right after the election, we've felt them, many elections consecutively. And to some degree, people overreacted. The alternative to giving him a chance was storming the street."

But two years on from that olive branch, the comedian spoke with less optimism.

"Is he doing a good job? Am I happy with what he's doing? No, it's been very difficult to watch the last couple of years."

After an impromptu joint show last year on the day of a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the two comics have teamed up for a global comedy tour tackling some of America's darkest challenges, including gun violence and the opioid crisis.

Stewart, too, said "there was a part of me" that hoped being in the White House would transform the person Trump had been as a candidate.

In reality, he now says, "I imagine he walked in that room -- he's like, 'Take that down, take that down, put up dogs playing poker. Can a fellow get some French fries around here?'"

"Oddly enough, he transformed the White House, and the White House wasn't able to transform him."

Trump versus the press

Stewart did not reserve his criticism solely for the President. Pointing fingers at the press, the former "Daily Show" host lamented the ongoing clashes between the White House and the media, arguing that reporting on their own war of words with the White House distracts Americans from the damaging consequences of his policies.

"I'm less interested in his insults and more interested in his injuries -- in the people that are being hurt, not the people that are being insulted," Stewart said.

"They are personally offended and wounded by this man. He baits them and they dive in."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 25870

Reported Deaths: 1097
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8738633
Ramsey3189134
Stearns204714
Nobles15585
Anoka147073
Dakota138859
Washington67033
Olmsted65411
Kandiyohi5051
Rice4802
Scott4552
Clay43529
Mower3662
Wright3322
Todd3300
Sherburne2482
Carver2242
Benton1813
Steele1670
Blue Earth1480
Martin1325
Freeborn1300
St. Louis11814
Pine900
Nicollet8810
Winona8015
Watonwan780
Cottonwood770
Carlton750
Crow Wing754
Unassigned7411
Lyon711
Otter Tail710
Goodhue704
Chisago641
Polk612
Itasca5610
Dodge530
Chippewa511
Morrison480
Le Sueur461
Meeker450
Douglas440
Becker410
Jackson400
Murray390
McLeod370
Isanti350
Waseca270
Rock230
Mille Lacs221
Pennington210
Faribault200
Swift190
Wabasha180
Beltrami180
Brown172
Fillmore171
Sibley160
Norman140
Kanabec121
Marshall120
Cass122
Pipestone120
Wilkin113
Aitkin110
Wadena100
Pope90
Koochiching90
Big Stone80
Lincoln60
Mahnomen61
Yellow Medicine60
Redwood60
Renville50
Traverse40
Grant40
Red Lake40
Clearwater30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Houston20
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20264

Reported Deaths: 574
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4406134
Woodbury281737
Black Hawk175946
Linn96779
Dallas92924
Buena Vista9181
Marshall90118
Johnson6169
Wapello60714
Muscatine56341
Crawford5422
Tama40828
Scott36810
Dubuque35121
Louisa34611
Pottawattamie29610
Sioux2900
Jasper26317
Wright1940
Washington1928
Warren1530
Plymouth1392
Allamakee1204
Story1181
Mahaska9712
Poweshiek918
Henry722
Bremer696
Boone670
Des Moines661
Clinton651
Clarke640
Taylor590
Guthrie533
Cedar491
Hamilton450
Benton441
Webster441
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones370
Cherokee360
Marion340
Clayton343
Osceola340
Iowa330
Buchanan330
Jefferson330
Cerro Gordo301
Madison292
Lee280
Davis270
Fayette270
Dickinson270
Harrison260
Sac250
Lyon250
Monona250
Winneshiek240
Clay210
Grundy200
Mills200
Floyd191
Emmet190
Hardin190
Lucas191
Delaware191
Humboldt181
Butler171
Hancock160
Franklin150
Page140
Pocahontas140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Appanoose143
Audubon131
Jackson130
Greene130
Kossuth130
Carroll130
Chickasaw120
Cass120
Howard120
Winnebago110
Adair90
Union90
Van Buren90
Montgomery81
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Calhoun40
Fremont40
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned00
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