The Washington Post

After Grammys, ‘The Racial Draft’ 2012 pokes fun at our differences

When Chappelle's Show first aired “The Racial Draft” sketch on Comedy Central in February 2004, it was one of many bits the show routinely did based our society's differences, in the name of comedy.

Comedian Dave Chappelle, who created Chappelle’s Show, on stage. (STUART RAMSON/AP)

Today on Twitter, when the hashtag #2012RacialDraft began trending following the Grammys, hilarity ensued. There were talks of Jill Scott and future picks to be dealt for Adele, hoping to capitalize on her recent awards success. Other rumors included talk of a “Coldplay for The Roots” deal being imminent.  In the media gossip world, the whites apparently rejected a WorldStarHipHop and MediaTakeOut for TMZ trade. 

A guy who goes by @BlackCanseco seems to be the inside reporter on these 'deals,' and his acumen of the zeitgeist is impeccable. The overall joke requires a fair amount of knowledge of how sports drafts work, but the idea is the same. Who from your race would you trade for a member of another? Would it require some extra talent to sweeten the deal? 

The premise is ridiculous at best and offensive at worst, which is exactly why it's trending. But it does harken back to a day when not every joke based on race was something to scoff at, and people could recognize — and to an extent — celebrate our country's diversity in a way that made people laugh and think at the same time. 

Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.


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