Why Chappelle is in ‘Yang Gang’

Why Chappelle is in 'Yang Gang'

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AMES, Ia. – Dave Chappelle said in Iowa Tuesday that Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is the first presidential candidate he’s endorsed – and it’s because he thinks policies like universal basic income would do the most to help people he knows.

“If people listen to me, so be it, if they don’t, so be it, but I know I’m doing my civic duty by just saying the thing I believe in,” he said. “This is without irony or a punchline, I’m just telling you – this guy’s got some great ideas, you should check it out.”

The stand-up comedian endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate earlier this month, saying he was a member of the “Yang Gang” in a campaign news release. Tuesday night, Chappelle spoke alongside Yang about why he endorsed the candidate before his Ames show.

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Chappelle, who lives near Dayton, Ohio, said Yang’s universal basic income proposal called the “freedom dividend,” was a selling point for him getting into the campaign. He said a universal basic income would help people buy groceries and pay their bills – and start addressing the massive wealth gap that exists in places like Ohio and Iowa.

“The wealth disparity between me and my neighbors is immense. It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “And if you know a third of the people up the street can’t buy groceries, then you start to feel an imperative concern. It’s not the kind of thing I could just see and hope for the best, I should probably say something.”

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Chappelle first was interested in Yang after hearing about Yang’s debate performances from friends and eventually reading his book. Chappelle’s wife got in touch with the campaign and eventually they met in Los Angeles.

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