A New England Kind of Racism

Sep 12, 2013

We all heard the story. Dave Chappelle had a bad night in Hartford. He got heckled, he walked offstage. He later called the audience “evil”.... “an arena full of suburban torturers” and “young, white alcoholics” as he joked about North Korea dropping a bomb on the Capital City.

We may be a laugh line for Chappelle, but does Hartford deserve the bad press? The label as a place filled with racists?

A lot of the national media seemed to miss the fact that it’s a poor city, 76 percent black and Hispanic. It's a place that struggles with a high achievement gap and extreme income inequality. But was Dave Chappelle onto something? Did he get us talking about something that’s hidden in our state? Today, a conversation about race and racism in Connecticut and in New England.


  • Leah Wright, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and History at Wesleyan University
  • Tiffani Jones, Writer and Blogger, CoffeeRhetoric.com
  • William Dyson, Co-chair of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board at Central Connecticut State University, served in the Connecticut House of Representatives for 32 years, has worked in the New Haven school systems for 36 years. 
  • Ann-Marie Adams, Founder and Editor of The Hartford Guardian