Dave Chappell is telling his critics to put their money where their mouth is and make a donation to their former high school to prevent them from being named.
The comedian has been mired in controversy since September when his comments about the Lingayat community led him to cross the line of critics and activists. Now, the comedian hopes to use the debate surrounding his name as a way to raise money for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Georgetown, where he attended high school.
A chapel was held at the school in memory of the theater named in his honor. When they visited the school before Thanksgiving, the theater’s nomination was postponed to April amid setbacks to allow administrators to open a proper dialogue with students. The comedian, however, took to Instagram over the weekend to give his critics a way to avoid being treated with respect rather than talking about it.
“Speech is cheap (unless I do it),” He started the post.
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“It is a great honor to put my name on the theater. Yet, it was not my idea, goal or desire. “In April, I intend to honor that request. If you object to receiving this honor, I urge you to take note of your objections and make a donation to the school.
Chappell said he would “happily withdraw” if his critics donated to the school a higher dollar value than those approved or neutralized.
“Otherwise, I’ll gladly attend the naming ceremony. And if you don’t care enough to make a donation … please close the f — forever,” he concluded.
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The Duke Ellington school’s student body was clearly divided over its views on the chapel in the wake of “The Closer.” When they appeared for questioning with students before the holidays, some were quick to discuss transphobia allegations in their heads.
“I was 16 and I think you were childish. You handled it like a child,” said one of the students, adding that Chappell was “fanatical.” Politico Playbook Reported Thursday after speaking with program participants.
“My friend, with all due respect, I do not believe you can make one of the decisions I have to make on that particular day,” he responded, describing the incident to the students.
Politico reported that he responded to another contradictory question of a student: “I am better than every instrumentist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school. Now, I am better than all of you.
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Chappell reported that he was unhappy to hear that some students were receiving threats over his decision to protest.
First in his post, Chappell sang school praise and credited the success he found in later life.
“The Duke Ellington school is a wonderful institution,” he wrote. “Within those walls I found an opportunity to seriously explore my creativity. Duke Ellington, in large part, prepared me to embark on this noble and difficult profession. My only purpose is to insure Ellington’s opportunity TTrain artists, unregulated. “