Comedian Dave Chappelle gave a compelling defense of the Second Amendment in front of a star-studded Washington crowd on Sunday.
The Emmy-winning comedian accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at The Kennedy Center, where he reportedly delivered impromptu remarks defending free speech and comedians he knows who are “very racist.”
“[I] don’t get mad at ‘em, don’t hate on ‘em,” he said, USA Today reported. “Man, it’s not that serious. The First Amendment is first for a reason. Second Amendment is just in case the First one doesn’t work out.”
Mr. Chappelle argued that only the U.S. “could produce this many comedians” but that comedy is needed now more than ever in such a tense political climate.
“We got to let some air out of the ball, man,” he said, The Hill reported. “The country’s getting a little tight. It doesn’t feel like it’s ever felt in my lifetime. So tonight I am honored that my colleagues are here in comedy and in music.”
“I love this job,” he added. “It saved my life.”
On the red carpet before his speech, Mr. Chappelle told The Hill that he believes “political correctness has its place” and that he’s sorry if his comedy has “hurt anybody” in the past.
“We all want to live in a polite society, we just kind of have to work on the levels of coming to an agreement of what that actually looks like,” he said. “I, personally, am not afraid of other people’s freedom of expression.”
The ceremony airs on PBS on Jan. 7.
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