After comedian Chris Rock posted a tweet on July 4th, saying, “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks,” a furious reaction followed with many condemning his statement as offensive.
The controversial African-American comedian, producer of the FX show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” is widely acknowledged as not being a stranger to controversy, and he must have anticipated that his comment would ruffle many "white" feathers. He is known for his often racially charged commentary. According to The Inquistr, his 1996 special “Bring the Pain,” featured a hilarious but racially charged performance titled “Niggas vs. Black People.” Rock later said he would stop performing it because “some people that were racist thought they had license to say n—–.”
The controversial comedian came under fire mostly on conservative blogs. Many did not think the "joke" was funny, and his Twitter account was besieged with angry messages. Some threatened they would boycott his films for his "unpatriotic comment." The Libertarian-conservative blogger Jeff Schreiber, managing editor of the conservative blog America's Right, tweeted: “for @chrisrock to indict the US as he did is inappropriate at best.”
Jeff Schreiber attempted to give Rock a history lesson, saying: "Slavery existed for 2000 yrs. before America. We eradicated it in 100 yrs. We now have a black POTUS. #GoFuckYourself."
Blogger David Burge, fired at Rock: "Good one! I bet your Guatemalan house staff got a good chuckle."
The Inquisitr quotes a critical comment that said: “Chris Rock says ‘happy white people’s independence day.’ Racist lefties keep throwing gas on the fire to keep the hate alive. #tcot #loser."
However, many thought Rock's joke was relevant. Webpronews comments: "If anyone is shocked that Rock issued a racially-oriented tweet at the nation’s expense, they obviously aren’t very well-versed in the actor’s brand of biting, hot-button comedy."
The Inquisitr's Kim LaCapria, responds to the comment that "Racist lefties keep throwing gas on the fire to keep the hate alive," saying: "Yes, you guys! Racism is like Voldemort. We can only summon it by mentioning it, and acknowledging it did exist and still exists, and if we simply pretend it did not happen, and that the kid who got shot right in the chest for going to the store was really asking for it because he was suspended from school (even though George Zimmerman could not have possibly known that), then all racism will not only magically never occur, but it will also never have happened."
Comedian and activist Elon James White tweeted: "I just wanna ask everyone who's mad at @ChrisRock--Is he wrong? IS. HE. WRONG?"
White told The Huffington Post:
"I find [the] backlash absolutely ridiculous. Really? Someone tells the truth and you mad? I'm American. I never claim otherwise. I never give the 'We didn't land on Plymouth rock' speech unless its in a really funny way. But part of being American, to me, is that I have to acknowledge all the bullshit that comes with it. Basically some folks came over, stole other people's land, killed them, then started a country on the backs of my people, while killing them, and then at some point they freed the slaves but then oppressed them and killed them some more. Do I have the ability to do things here that I wouldn't in some parts of the world? Yes. But my family paid the price for that in actual blood, sweat and tears. If more people were like Rock and acknowledged the truth maybe we'd be in a better place as a Nation."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, actors Don Cheadle and Zach Braff also defended Rock. The Inquistor reports Cheadle tweeted in response to accusations that Rock is a bigot, "Where exactly is the bigotry in that joke? Who is the victim? 18th century whites?" When Cheadle was criticized for retweeting Rock's remark, he responded: "Chris Rock was making a joke. If you don't think it's funny. ok. But keep it in perspective."