Prove your humanity

I spent my Friday night “putting a black kid through school,” and Chris Rock thanked me for it.

This is the year Chris Rock dives back into the world of stand-up comedy and don’t ever forget it.

Kicking off his Total Black Out Tour in Perth, the American comedian completely satisfied fans by delivering fresh new content with his classic Chris-Rock-touch. However, this show was for more than just the pleasure of fans as the comedian made certain to acknowledge – it was also for needed monetary gain after his difficult divorce from Malaak Compton Rock.

Raw honesty is this Grammy Award winning comedian’s specialty, but his frank and vocal content isn’t for everybody.

As one would expect from such an accomplished star, Chris Rock selected class-A comedians, James Smith and ‘Jordan’, to open the show for him. Although their jokes were simple, both of them managed to evoke immense laughter from the thousands in the crowd. During those first thirty minutes, tears of laughter left the ink on my ticket to the show smudged. Both comedians kept the crowd well-entertained in preparation for the main event: the man himself, Chris Rock.

While many comedians tend to steer clear from politics and difficult topics, such as racism, Chris definitely isn’t afraid to take it on. We all think about it but try embarrassingly hard to seem politically correct – but Chris Rock honestly doesn’t give a fuck, tackling the topic of racism head-on without holding back.

Of course, Chris Rock and his advocacy to directly address racism is nothing new – we’re talking about a man who took the time to address politically-charged topics during his speech at the Oscars. Chris confronted the issue of racism and completely seized the nation’s attention.

During his performance in Perth, Chris made sure to address this all again as he highlighted the subliminal racism in America, but drew parallels with issues in Australia. In fact, he openly stated that it was absolutely horrifying to see the manner in which Australians treated Australian Aborigines.

He had the crowd cheering as he inevitably touched on the topic of the current US President, Donald Trump, and postulated that if George W. Bush was able to inspire the era of Barack Obama, just imagine the endless wonders that Donald Trump could spur on.

Chris Rock tackled other topics too, such as the subject of gun control, as well as parenting, and even bullying. It was extraordinary listening to him delve into more personal topics too, as he discussed his flaws – including  acts of unfaithfulness, how his career, and the constant travelling that came along with it, wore his marriage out — he knows he’s only human and he’s “just trying to find God before God finds him”.

As one would expect from a ‘Total Black Out Tour’ audience members were required to place their phones within Yondr pouches before entering the Perth Arena, to ensure we were unable to access our devices until the end of the show. It seems that despite his remarkable youthful appearance, Chris Rock is an old soul, who believes there’s a time and a place for the misuse of technology – his show not being one of them. However, being able to commit your complete, undivided attention –  without subconsciously watching the show, you paid for, through someone else’s smartphone in front of you –  was amazing.

Much like a standard black out, you tend to follow the sole source of light, and there it was, Chris Rock. Not only did he have the audience laughing, and relating to, a variety of content, but he encouraged the audience to think about the issues that matter, about how we’re going to acknowledge them, and how we feel about them.

Like Chris, we should say what we mean, address the issue at hand and be honest about how we feel. The first step towards change is acknowledging that we need it – only then can we make a difference.