Comedian Chris Rock says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats dropped the ball on the coronavirus pandemic by focusing on impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
The “Fargo” television series star spoke to The New York Times for a wide-ranging interview this week when the conversation turned to the pandemic, race issues, and former President Obama.
“Did you ever see that movie ‘The Last Emperor,’ where like a 5-year-old is the emperor of China? There’s a kid and he’s the king,” Mr. Rock told writer Dave Itzkoff for Wednesday’s piece. “So I’m like, it’s all the Democrats’ fault. Because you knew that the emperor was 5 years old. And when the emperor’s 5 years old, they only lead in theory. There’s usually an adult who’s like, ‘OK, this is what we’re really going to do.’ And it was totally up to Pelosi and the Democrats. Their thing was, ‘We’re going to get him impeached,’ which was never going to happen. You let the pandemic come in. Yes, we can blame Trump, but he’s really the 5-year-old.”
The comedian pivoted to Mr. Obama after admonishing both political parties.
“Republicans tell outright lies,” he said. “Democrats leave out key pieces of the truth that would lead to a more nuanced argument. In a sense, it’s all fake news. … I said this before, but Obama becoming the president, it’s progress for white people. It’s not progress for Black people. It’s the Jackie Robinson thing. It’s written like he broke a barrier, as if there weren’t Black people that could play before him. And that’s how white people have learned about racism. They think, when these people work hard enough, they’ll be like Jackie.”
Mr. Rock summed up his thoughts on race relations with a pessimistic metaphor about an abusive relationship.
“Humanity isn’t progress — it’s only progress for the person that’s taking your humanity,” he said. “If a woman’s in an abusive relationship and her husband stops beating her, you wouldn’t say she’s made progress, right? But that’s what we do with Black people. We’re constantly told that we’re making progress. The relationship we’re in — the arranged marriage that we’re in — it’s that we’re getting beat less.”
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