It was the summer of 1996, and I remember it like it was yesterday. HBO aired Chris Rock in concert, “Bring the Pain” the one-hour special was titled, and I was sure after it was over that the future of standup comedy was in the best of hands. Rock stalked the stage like a leopard about to pounce and his gazelle was most every sacred cow in the area of race relations there was at the time: O.J. Simpson, Marion Barry, white bigots, prison, and most famously… “I love black people, but I hate niggas.”
At the time I had just turned 30 and had also just dropped out of college after only three semesters (it was time to pick a major and I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up), but what an eye-opening experience those three semesters were. Political correctness was everywhere, infesting everything. I actually had a professor who used the term “herstory” instead of “history.” There was the criminal justice professor who insisted we abolish prisons and enough enviro-nonsense taught as fact that I sometimes wondered what country I was living in. Nice people, just not very bright. Well, that’s exactly fair. They weren’t all dumb, but they weren’t all nice, either.