Actor Isaiah Washington has some advice for Chris Rock when it comes to racial profiling. That advice is “adapt.” While the 50-year-old Rock, who recently documented being pulled over by police for the third time in seven weeks, has not yet responded to the former Grey’s Anatomy star’s recommendation, quite a few Twitter users have taken up the comic’s cause for him.
Washington, 51, later appeared in a CNN interview in an attempt to explain his advice, which was widely interpreted to mean that African Americans should simply accept that they will be unfairly treated by police and should adjust their own behavior and lifestyles accordingly.
The controversy started with a Twitter posting by Washington on Wednesday.
— Isaiah Washington (@IWashington) April 1, 2015
Washington did not just tweet and run, however. He engaged in a lengthy Twitter debate with followers who responded to his controversial tweet.
@IWashington You seem to be under the illusion that ‘behaving respectfully’ will avert police from pulling you over. US stats say otherwise
— Dele Adams (@DeleMage) April 1, 2015
But outside of the Twitter thread started by Washington’s message, responses to the actor’s advice to Chris Rock took on a life of their own, where numerous Twitter users responded with sarcasm.
— Margaret Kimberley (@freedomrideblog) April 2, 2015
— Cirque du SoBae (@brownandbella) April 2, 2015
“I agree with Rosa Parks, riding in the back of the bus is terrible. That’s why I purchased a bicycle” – Isaiah Washington in 1955
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) April 1, 2015
Appearing Wednesday on CNN, Isaiah Washington — whose contract was not renewed with Grey’s Anatomy after he allegedly made derogatory remarks directed at a gay fellow cast member — said that he was simply attempting to “excite a conversation,” a mission at which he felt he was successful.
Washington also said that the meaning of “black” as a racial category should also be up for discussion.
“If we’re looking at this term ‘black’ and we’re looking at this term ‘driving while black’ maybe we really need to look at the term ‘black’ itself and start having a different kind of holistic conversation,” Isaiah Washington told CNN anchor Don Lemon in a on-air discussion of the racial profiling of Chris Rock.
[Image: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]