The outspoken comedian, Chris Rock is taking the heat for a tweet he posted on the Fourth of July.
“Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed the fireworks,” Rock tweeted as a joke.
Chris Rock caused some controversy—some intending to swear off his movies—but seemed unfazed by the amount of backlash his tweet caused. Herman Cain, a black Republican presidential candidate, strongly criticized Rock for the tweet, saying in an interview with CNN he was “holding on to the past.”
“I think it was Chris Rock who made fun of the fact, ‘Well, it might be Independence Day, but slaves weren’t free then’…Look at it this way, if America had not become independent, slaves might still be slaves.”
Twitter user Ben Howe had the same sentiments as Cain, tweeting, “Dear @ChrisRock: Without July 4, 1776, December 6, 1865, wouldn’t have happened.”
Despite the offensiveness in his tweets, not everybody was offended by Chris Rock’s statement. According to the Hollywood Reporter, actors Don Cheadle and Zach Braff defended Rock.
“Chris Rock was making a joke…If you don’t think it’s funny. Ok. But keep it in perspective,” he wrote.
Blog writer David Burge responded to Rock’s tweet, “@chrisrock Good one! I bet your Guatemalan house staff got a good chuckle.”
Elon James White, host of This Week In Blackness spoke to The Huffington Post— putting the situation into perspective—regarding Chris Rock’s controversial tweet:
“I find this Chris Rock 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 it’s 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 come 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 the 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.”
This isn’t the first time Chris Rock has caused a stir in what was intended to be funny. Back in 2005 when hosting the Academy Awards, Rock bashed fellow actors Jude Law and Tobey Maguire.