Comedian Chelsea Handler Under Fire For Tweet On Arresting Racists

Handler tweeted “2 Chinese guys were arrested in Berlin for making nazi salutes,” Handler tweeted Sunday. “Wouldn’t it be nice 2 have laws here for people who think racism is funny?”

My first reaction was that it would be nice if we had one for people who think it is okay to use the number 2 rather than the word “to.” (Yes, even on Twitter)

My second response was that it was not clear if this was a joke. If so, Handler has not said it was meant as a joke.  If so, it was not very funny.  If it were not a joke, Handler is an example of how some are increasingly embracing the criminalization and regulation of speech.

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws. Ironically, we have even seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here).

What is also strange is that race is a common feature among comedians who often push the envelope of social commentary.  Bill Burr is a popular example.  Comedians have the most to lose from the trend of the criminalization of speech in the West.   Indeed, Mitchell and Webb made Nazis a common source of comedy, including a question censoring, a loving comedian might ask “are we the baddies”:

49 thoughts on “Comedian Chelsea Handler Under Fire For Tweet On Arresting Racists”

  1. Jonathan Turley, you say you had until now never heard of Chelsea Handler. I’m impressed, adding that to my admiration for your even handed, sensible posts, clearly written, well reasoned, accessible and understandable, without a hint of dumbing things down, by lawyers and non lawyers alike. To my taste, Ms Handler is an excrescence one is better off not knowing. I get it that none of this is your point. But what’s life without the odd sidebar, even if very odd. 🙂

  2. Chelsea Handler is guilty of sloppy thinking and poor comedic talent in the same vein as Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham.

  3. Chelsea Handler said nothing about racists, she spoke only of people who think racism is funny. In other words SHE doesn’t think racism is funny. How could you have missed her intent so profoundly? Most of the commenters also missed the point, but that’s to be expected.

    1. Louise said, “She doesn’t think racism is funny.” We got the point. This bimbo wants to suspend the 1st Amendment. HOW COULD YOU HAVE MISSED THAT POINT??

        1. The greater threat to free speech currently is Trump’s desire to change the libel laws to allow Trump to sue The New York Times and The Washington Post for criticizing Trump. Did you know that Trump is one of the foremost practitioners of Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation in America today?

          Congress shall pass no laws infringing the right of any politician to criticize his or her political adversary. That is why Trump could freely say that “She [you-know-who] should never have been allowed to run.” That is also why She [what’s-her-name] could freely say that Trump was pandering to a “basket of deplorables.” The people need to learn how to tell the difference between criticism versus the restraint of free speech.

  4. She is not a “comedian” unless she had a sex change. She’s a “comedienne.” Calling a comedienne a “comedian” is problematic. It’s a sign of having been infected by radical feminist propaganda. Please be more careful in the future.

    1. Do you also refer to a female doctor as doctoress? Or even a woman doctor? Do you refer to a female lawyer as a lawyeress or a woman lawyer? It has less to do with feminism than common sense and fairness. For millennia women in professions were looked down upon as pretend professionals becaus they weren’t men–who, of course, were the “real” professionals, so they devised words to make sure that everyone knew they whenn theynreferred to a woman they were not referring to a “real” professional. . It’s time people stopped denigrating women as “less than” the male standard. A doctor is a doctor, a lawyer is a lawyer, a comedian is a comedian.

      1. And “Affirmation Action Privilege”

        is unconstitutional while it creates

        artificial status and unwarranted confidence.

        People must adapt to freedom.

        Freedom does not adapt to people.

      2. But the whole construct is justified by “executrix” regardless of anything else.

      3. Louise, what you’re saying is feminist nonsense. The “enne” ending is not a sign of denigration. It’s a recognition of her femininity. If we were using traditional language, her job title would be “fool”. So if you want to call her that, it’s okay with me.

      4. Louise, your detractors can’t handle criticism; they can only dish it out. Don’t let them push you around with their wallowing in self-pity. Keep up the good work, Louise.

  5. I wonder if a clear difference on the principle (not loopholes) could be established between a law banning the burning of the flag and a law banning racist speech? Why would one be OK and the other not? The answer would have to presuppose that both acts could be objectively determined for the only thing of interest would be, “the principle” of such a distinction, not legal gotchas or rhetoric too clever by half.

    1. Agreed. In principle, too. The law must define its terms in the narrowest manner possible. Such narrowly construed legal definitions cannot constrain ordinary vernacular speech without doing violence to The First Amendment. Conversely, ordinary vernacular usage of terms such as racism and hate cannot be inscribed in Law without putting the lion’s share of speech acts into legal jeopardy. Even such a relatively narrow definition of racism as “a belief in the superiority or supremacy of one race over another” would have to be connected to an underlying criminal act in order to avoid nullification of The First Amendment. Congress shall enact no laws respecting the policing of free thought.

  6. I watched her show a couple of times, but seemed to always being going downhill. And she did not appear to be sober. However, she should be the first to worry about speech codes. If you clean up her act, she will not have an act.

  7. JT mentions Bill Burr. I’ve been a fan for awhile. He is an intelligent, thought provoking, comedian. He pushes the envelope on many hot button issues. I saw him in concert last September in Madison. He talked some about the election, making it abundantly clear he liked neither of the mainstream candidates. But, Burr is no obsessed w/ politics like all the PC comics out there. Like all great comedians, the focus of his comedy is human nature and our struggles w/ it. Although Burr rarely mentions it, his wife, who helps him write his material, is black. And she obviously is not a PC person.

    I decided to focus my comment on a real comedian. Regarding the person highlighted in this post. I will take advantage of our 1st Amendment while it still exists and simply say she is an ignorant b!tch.

      1. slohrs, Yes it is. So is the mass murder hall of fame bit, the sandwich bit, and many more.

  8. 2 for “to”, 4 for “for”, ur for “your” etc. are common on Twitter and quite acceptable because they’re often necessary to make your tweet fit within the 140-character limit.

    1. Don, The ignorant b!tch Handler was not even close to the 140 limit. However, she probably can’t count past 10.

  9. News flash: the capacity to entertain others is not well correlated with general intelligence (see this woman) and when conjoined to it it is commonly not attended by common sense (see Matt Damon).

  10. I’ve never thought of Handler as a liberal. She is really an opportunist who will say just about anything to get attention. As to whether her suggestion is anti free speech, of course it is just like warning journalists to stop covering what the president says or jailing journalists or protesters. Free speech is the cornerstone of a democracy. The good thing about Handler is that she isn’t in government unlike say KellyAnne Conway, Donald Trump or some other anti free speech stars.

    1. I’ve never thought of Handler as a liberal.

      Oh, how very conveeenient.

    2. Protesters ought to be jailed; if they are destroying other’s personal property, tax-payer funded property, injuring others, or inciting violence, as do Loretta Lynch, Mayor DeSleazio’s G20 Scum, MAD MAX Waters, Deval Patrick, V. Jarrett, Welfare Bernie and Osama Obama’s ilk. As for the current administration, I don’t think they want to jail those who voice their 1st Amendment rights, just those mentioned above. I’m for that. And by-the-way, didn’t the last admin’s DOJ want to jail those who are “Climate deniers”? And other dissenters of their “What woot Karl Marx, George Soros ant Saul Alinsky do to America?” mentality. $20T he put on US. And nothing to show for it…..1T for his shovel-ready jobs that didn’t develop like so much of his scheme to destroy America, etc, etc. Truly Un-Patriotic. Un-American!…/college-professor-jail-climate-change-deniers

      The LEFTIST-PROGRESSIVE-COMMUNISTS are just as SCARY as Lil Kim Jung Un, Nazis, Obama, and his friends, CONVICTED TERRORISTS, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn…O.O started his 2008 campaign at Billy’s house according to Bill and a few other sthat claim they were present. O.O. always said, (Bill) “He’s just a guy in the neighborhood.”

      Dohrn has been a prominent fundraiser for Barack Obama[2] and close family friend.[3]
      William Charles “Bill” Ayers (born December 26, 1944)[1] is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the counterculture movement who opposed US involvement in the Vietnam War.

      ‘Lil Kim? Oh, he’s just a guy in the neighborhood, too…I’ll help him attain his “goal” of getting NUKES, like Slick Willy and G.W.. Heck, ‘Lil Kimmy a goot dute!

      I don’t believe the current Pres has friends like these DIRTBAGS! And these I.D.d above are just a drop in his CUM Bucket.

    1. antonio

      Hate speech laws are already here. When’s the last time you read/heard any well-known pundit criticize
      Israel’s treatment of Palestinians? Or question any aspect of the Jewish holocaust?

      1. Looks like Professor Turley just allowed your freedom of speech in all its aspects.

      2. Billmcwilliams, your use of the phrase ‘Jewish holocaust’ is an instance of hyperbole–with a Kremlin provenance, to boot.

    2. I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that it is illegal, by way of being unconstitutional, for anyone, from the Compton City Council to the Supreme Court of the United States, to be “…abridging the freedom of speech,…”

      Amendment I

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  11. I hope that there will be a time in the near future where idiocy such as that expressed by Ms. Handler will be simply ignored and provided no audience.

    1. I agree. I do not even comprehend what it was that she said or meant. Nazi is beyond race. Hiel or Heil Hitler in front of the Reichstag could have been a joke.

      1. FP, Nazi ideology was specifically based upon an Aryan race myth. They even went so far as to claim that Jesus of Nazareth was not a Jew but an Aryan freedom fighter because the people around the Sea of Galilee spoke Aramaic, which, in turn, Nazi linguists misclassified as an Indo-Aryan language rather than a Semitic one like the closely related Assyrian language.

    2. Darren, I, too, worry about enabling the attention-seeking behavior of people other than myself. But I’m far too busy giving them a healthy dose of their own medicine to lose any sleep over it. Criticism is irresistible.

    3. If America has to survive the future generations will have to look at the democrats and liberals of this time as laughing stocks !

  12. Oh how precious! Ms. Handler has virtue-signalled what a wonderful White person she is, and not a mean old racist White person like us people who go around b*tching about the 72% Black illegitimate birth rate.

    Which, is the whole point of stunts like this.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeaky, did Handler poke you with that sharpened stick which was formerly known as a spit? If not, then why would you feel personally spited by Handler? Can you not yet tell the difference between virtue versus spite? So much more mere rubber/glue schoolyard playground taunts. Grow up already, Squeaky

  13. “Affirmative Action Privilege,”



    and a birthrate in a “death spiral”

    must be reversed and terminated with extreme prejudice…”one fell swoop.”

    Repeal the 19th Amendment.

  14. Ms. Handler has a pretty face and a pair of large hangers.

    A comedian who isn’t funny, a pretty lady who isn’t attractive (or a lady), an aggressive pinko.

    Other than the boobs which she displays as often as possible, why are we wasting time on her?

    1. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. Have you seen pictures of her without makeup? When she first had her late night show a few years ago, she was mildly entertaining, but in an effort to stay relevant, she has gone so extreme that the humor is gone.
      She has a reputation as a drinker. Maybe she was drinking at the time of the Tweet.

      1. Voltaire is still right; we ought to defend with our lives one another’s right to speak words that we’ve spent our whole lives opposing. There ought not to be any laws against hateful speech. The hate crime currently known as intimidation, formerly battery, involves an actual threat to do harm to someone. Intimidation is not ordinary, everyday distasteful speech. Criticism is the best and only permissible defense against hateful speech. Germany may be a special case, if the Nazi party is still outlawed there. Even so, they ought not to apply that law to foreign guests visiting Germany.

Comments are closed.