Yesterday while folks were enjoying their hamburgers, hot dogs, and fruit salad on Independence Day, comedian Chris Rock was busy angering some white folks with a little Fourth of July humor.

Rock always pushes the racial envelope and America’s birthday was no different. Instead of sending a mundane “Happy Fourth of July!” tweet, Rock had something else in store.

“Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks,” the comedian tweeted.

While his tweet made the rounds on the black Twitterverse, getting cyber daps from many, predictably, some white folks weren’t too happy with his joke.

MSNBC has a nice round up of Rock’s haters:

Jeff Schreiber, managing editor of libertarian-conservative blog America’s Right, tweeted “Slavery existed for 2000yrs before America. We eradicated it in 100yrs. We now have a black POTUS. ‪#Go (expletive) Yourself.” Schreiber later followed up with, “I’m not saying we’re blameless for that horrid practice, but for @chrisrock to indict the US as he did is inappropriate at best.”

While some chimed in and were offended by Rock’s “unpatriotic” comment, several people of color understood his stance.

On more than a few occasions I’ve had conversations with friends about whether or not it’s even right for black folks to celebrate America’s founding, which wouldn’t have happened at all if it weren’t for the free and forced labor of enslaved black folks.

Either way, in the span of 140 characters Chris Rock was able to both push buttons and cause folks to think twice about what it means to be American.

Do you feel ambivalent about celebrating the Fourth of July? 


  1. Gregory A. James

    I don’t celebrate, just take the day off.

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