Chris Rock may have been aiming for a joke, but his July 4 tweet is creating controversy instead.
The comedian and producer of the FX show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” sent a message to his followers that said: “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.”
Some of followers apparently got the joke, with Don Cheadle replying with a simple “Haha,” MSNBC reported. Cheadle later defended Rock by writing, “Where exactly is the bigotry in that joke? Who is the victim? 18th century whites?” Some even chided Rock back, like David Burge who responded, “Good one! I bet your Guatemalan house staff got a good chuckle.”
But many others didn’t find it so funny. His twitter account was bombarded with angry messages and others telling him they would boycott his films for what they considered an unpatriotic comment. Jeff Schreiber, managing editor of the conservative blog America’s Right, claimed that “for @chrisrock to indict the US as he did is inappropriate at best.”
Schreiber also tweeted:
“Slavery existed for 2000yrs before America. We eradicated it in 100yrs. We now have a black POTUS. #Go (expletive) Yourself”
As the Huffington Post pointed out, Rock is no stranger to racially charged commentary. His 1996 special “Bring the Pain” featured a bit called “Niggas vs. Black People,” though Rock told 60 Minutes he has not performed it since then as “some people that were racist thought they had license to say n—–.”
Rock didn’t seem too bothered by the mess he created. His following tweet was about a potential trade for the New York Knicks. But his twitter followers wouldn’t let it go too easily. Lincolntf tweeted to Rock, “White men trading black men amuses you these days, eh?”
Do you think Chris Rock’s tweet was funny or did he go too far?