Comedian Chris Rock is facing backlash after he tweeted Wednesday that the Fourth of July was "white peoples [sic] independence day" because the slaves had not yet been freed.
"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks," Chris Rock tweeted July 4 in what has become a controversial remark in some circles, while others have come to the comedian's defense.
Chris Rock is taking heat for calling the Fourth of July "white people's day," and it's not the first time the acerbic comedian roused controversy with his words.
The tweet was the talk of Twitter, where "Chris Rock" was a trending topic Thursday.
Former pizza executive and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who is black, was one of those who admonished Rock, saying the comedian was "holding on to the past" in an interview with CNN.
"I think it was Chris Rock who made fun of the fact, 'Well, it might be Independence Day, but the slaves weren't free then,'" Cain said. "Look at it this way, if America had not become independent, slaves might still be slaves."
Conservative radio show host Joe "Pags" Pagliarulo called Rock "an idiot" for the tweet.
"Dear @ChrisRock: Without July 4, 1776, December 6, 1865 wouldn't have happened," Howe tweeted.
For the most part, Twitter users sided with Rock. Some accused those who took offense to the tweet as suffering from "white guilt."
"White people spazzing about Chris Rock, your over privileged white guilt is showing," said user @Frankeyz.
"So are folks mad at Chris Rock for being historically accurate, or for reminding you of your crappy history? I don't get it. fill me in," tweeted user @Miss_Talie.
"I have not seen any evidence regarding how slaves felt about fireworks," wrote user Joe Lostrangio, Jr. "The rest of Chris Rock's comment is an irrefutable fact."
Twitter user @MeSharona agreed with the tweet, but she said the significance of the Fourth of July made the tweet inappropriate.
"chris rock may have been *right* but i thought that tweet was a terrible message to send on a day that celebrates unity #shrug," she wrote.
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