COMEDIAN, ACTOR AND writer Chris Rock’s interview with New York magazine has gone mega viral since appearing online yesterday.
He spoke about Ferguson, race, politics, comedians, his family and the film Lost in Translation over two sessions with interviewer Frank Rich.
Here are the quotes that have got people talking…
On racial progress
Rock is being applauded for his straightforward words on the ‘decline’ in racism among white Americans and the ‘progress’ made by black Americans.
He says “there are no race relations”.
White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.
On Obama’s election and the ‘progress’ it represented
There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years … There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.
Commenting on the Rock interview The Washington Post says:
In 1958, only 38 per cent of American said they would vote for a black presidential candidate [...], By 2012 that number was 96 per cent. That 58 percentage point didn’t happen because blacks somehow became smarter and more qualified relative to whites during that period, but rather because many – although by no means all – white Americans abandoned the overt prejudices that kept talented blacks from getting ahead.
Source: Washington Post
On Bill Cosby
I don’t know what to say. What do you say? I hope it’s not true. That’s all you can say. I really do. I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it’s not true. It’s a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.
Rock’s hope that the allegations against Cosby are “not true” have been problematic for some:
On Lost in Translation
We know how black people feel about Ferguson — outraged, upset, cheated by the system, all these things.
On his children
…my kids grew up not only with a black president but with a black secretary of State, a black joint chief of staff, a black attorney general. My children are going to be the first black children in the history of America to actually have the benefit of the doubt of just being moral, intelligent people.