Chris Rock: Racial Progress Is Really 'Nicer White People'

Comedian talks Ferguson, Cosby, Obama
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2014 12:51 PM CST
Chris Rock: Racial Progress Is Really 'Nicer White People'
Chris Rock accepts the Hollywood comedy film award on stage at the Hollywood Film Awards at the Palladium on Nov. 14, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Chris Rock, whose new comedy Top Five comes out on Friday, spoke recently with Frank Rich for New York magazine, offering his blunt take on a range of topics. Highlights:

  • On Ferguson: If he were a journalist in Ferguson, Rock says that he'd only interview white people through a white reporter that he'd be feeding questions to through an earpiece: "We [already] know how black people feel about Ferguson—outraged, upset, cheated by the system, all these things. … I would ask [white people] questions that you would never come up with, and we'd have the most amazing interviews ever."
  • On why he doesn't say "racial progress": "When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. 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. ... 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."

  • On Bill Cosby: "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."
  • On President Obama: "[Obama's] cooler than most politicians, not as cool as actual cool people. He's not cool like Jay Z's cool." Obama may have erred in not letting "the country flatline" when he took office: "You get credit for bringing somebody back from the dead. You don't really get credit for helping a sick person by administering antibiotics."
  • On the midterm elections: Republicans have "no problem playing victims," Rock asserts, expressing confusion at why citizens are "voting against their own self-interests," adding, "If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets."
Read Rock's entire interview. (Read more Chris Rock stories.)

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