If you’re my age, you may well think of Dick Gregory, 82, as a prominent health activist in the 1980s and 1990s who used to help morbidly obese people lose weight and change their lifestyles, using sometimes-controversial methods.
If you’re older, you might remember him as a popular comedian from the 1950s and 1960s.
And if you’re younger, and you’re not a black political activist, chances are you haven’t heard of him at all — or you may know him as a conspiracy theorist, 9/11 truther, and frequent guest of Alex Jones on his Infowars radio program.
There’s a veritable cornucopia of unintentional comedy to choose from in the Gregory-Jones oeuvre, but I’ll confine myself to this clip, in which Gregory and Jones discuss Malaysian Air flight MH370, which went missing in the Indian Ocean a year ago. At the 1:18 mark, Gregory explains that the base on the island of Diego Garcia isn’t just a big military base; it’s a “big, nasty, vicious military base where they do all kind of dirty things”:
It kind of goes downhill from there.
It’s actually hard to find short clips of Gregory online. His devotes seem to like posting complete sessions with him, which tend to run to 40 minutes, an hour, or more than two hours. If you’re interested in seeing him comment on 9/11 “truth,” at the “historic” 9/11 Truth Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2013, check out the video here, about an hour and a half in length.
Gregory does still have some comedy chops, as demonstrated in this rare short clip from a Martin Lawrence stand-up event in 2009:
But all in all, it isn’t clear why the U.S. Census Bureau paid him a speaking fee to address Census employees during Black History Month in February. Couldn’t they have just gotten Alex Jones, a lot cheaper?
NY Post‘s John Crudele tracked this down, and recounts the following:
“We understand [Gregory’s] comments offended some members of the audience,” Census said in a statement to me that appears to have been sent to irate workers. “Gregory’s statement and opinions were his own and do not reflect the Census Bureau’s commitment to an inclusive workplace environment free from discrimination and harassment.” …
There is no YouTube video of Gregory’s speech that I could find. But included in Gregory’s nuggets of wisdom was apparently criticism of the “crackers” in Census management for not showing up for the talk.
Yeah, yeah. For a flavor of what the Census Bureau workers were probably treated to, I present one last video, in which Gregory argues that white people, through the occult force of racism, control how black people’s brains react to other black people.
Worth a speaking fee of $15-20,000 paid for by the U.S. taxpayer? You decide.