Chapelle's Conscience

A reader points out that not everyone is comfortable with being post-PC and Dave Chapelle may even have stopped working because not everyone was in on the joke:

While I do agree that post-PC is a sign of a healthy and tolerant culture, I believe that there is a segment of the population that in fact is not in on the joke. Instead, I think that some see the over-the-top prejudice so common in post-PC humor as reinforcement of their own prejudices and in the worst cases, hatred.

In fact, Chappelle himself cited this phenomenon as one of the contributing factors to him leaving his show midway through the 3rd season. Below from Time:

The third season hit a big speed bump in November 2004. He was taping a sketch about magic pixies that embody stereotypes about the races.

The black pixie—played by Chappelle—wears blackface and tries to convince blacks to act in stereotypical ways. Chappelle thought the sketch was funny, the kind of thing his friends would laugh at. But at the taping, one spectator, a white man, laughed particularly loud and long. His laughter struck Chappelle as wrong, and he wondered if the new season of his show had gone from sending up stereotypes to merely reinforcing them. "When he laughed, it made me uncomfortable," says Chappelle. "As a matter of fact, that was the last thing I shot before I told myself I gotta take f______ time out after this. Because my head almost exploded."

It's difficult to quantify, but the best example I can give is when I watched some Chappelle skits with some southern relatives of mine who would be charitably described as racist. I couldn't figure out why they were laughing at what was clearly a sketch written to make fun of people with attitudes and beliefs exactly like theirs (The blind, black KKK sketch). I noticed they were laughing not only at the wrong time, but for what appeared to be for the wrong reasons. Later, when they were quoting what they considered the "funny" parts of the skit, it wasn't what everyone "in on the joke" was quoting.

Point taken.