Comedian, author, D. L. Hughley finds nothing funny about racism

Donna Crane
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First of three parts – 
Comedian and author D.L. Hughley has made the rounds to promote his new book “How Not To Get Shot and other advice from white people.”

Hughley has a wonderful sense of humor which he exhibited on shows, but it saddens me that as a society some individuals are still filled with prejudice which affects so many residents who are living with the fear of getting shot.

Shannon McCollum writes: “At 55, D.L. Hughley has a lot going on. He’s got a new book out, a satirical collection of advice for black people from white people called How Not To Get Shot. He hosts a daily commercial radio show. Soon he’ll be out with a new stand-up special on Netflix.

“‘It has been such a creative space, and I’ve never felt clearer, which is the closest approximation as I can come to happiness,’ he told Sanders.

“Hughley is meeting a moment. Since the days of his starring role in Spike Lee’s The Original Kings of Comedy, which featured Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, and Cedric the Entertainer, Hughley has talked about race, policing, and social justice.

‘“Now, he says, audiences are ‘more inclined to at least pretend like they care’ about those topics.

‘“You have social media movements, and everything’s a hashtag, and people are ‘woke’,’ he says. ‘They’re more tuned to that frequency.’

“But time doesn’t discriminate. When Sam and Hughley spoke, barely two weeks had passed since Hughley lost his father to lung cancer.

“DL Hughley: ‘My father has passed! He was there and held me when I took my first breath, I was there and held him when he took his last! I’ve never known a stronger man! Love u old man!

“On Twitter (Hugley) he sounded happy to have been there, yet he told Sam that he regretted going, seeing his father struggle through his last breaths. He didn’t want to, but his wife and sisters had urged him along. He was still having nightmares about it.

“‘I wish I’d listened to me instead of them,’ he said. ‘That wasn’t worth it to me,’ Hughley said.

“‘That study in contrasts, and Hughley’s inability to be anything but publicly honest about them, was a theme in his conversation with Sam. Hughley said he supports the MeToo movement, but that accusers should not remain anonymous. He said Roseanne Barr is racist, but that ABC should not have fired her. He said he loves his wife of 32 years, but that he ‘never felt guilty about having other women.’

“‘I’m a flawed individual,’ he said, adding he’s always given his wife and daughters ‘the courtesy of not pretending to be something I’m not.’

“Hughley has spoken about all these subjects and more before. He is clearly not afraid to do so. But to hear him and Sam really unspool these contradictions, turn them over, examine them, and to hear Hughley’s comfort with the shape of each of them in his life, it’s hard not to come away feeling a bit contradicted, yourself.”

Interview Highlights:
“On his first interaction with police, when he was eight, with his father in Los Angeles:

‘“So we’re coming from getting some free lunch, you know, because in the Summer they would give you free lunch, sheriffs screech up. They tell us to come here, to put our hands on the car. And they ask about this older cat in our neighborhood: ‘Where is he? We’re looking for him.’

‘“We’re like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, we’re just coming from lunch, I don’t know.’

“And [the police officer] said, ‘Keep your hands on the hood.’

‘“I said, ‘Officer, this is hot.’

‘“He said, ‘Nigger, if you take your hands off this car, I’m gonna blow your head off.’

‘“And I remember going home and talking to my mother and telling her what happened, and she called down to the station or whatever. But there was a look that she had that I think a lot of people of color have had with their interactions with their children. Which is to say: I hoped I could protect you. But I couldn’t.’”
Continued next week

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