Chris Rock upset many people with just one tweet he wrote on Independence Day…
“Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed the fireworks.”
This caused some of his followers to quickly agree, while others sent him angry tweets, because they feel as if the issue should no longer be addressed.
One tweeter wrote: “Dear @ChrisRock: Without July 4, 1776, December 6, 1865 wouldn’t have happened.
Another well known blogger, Jeff Schreiber, wrote: “Slavery existed for 2000yrs before America. We eradicated it in 100yrs. We now have a black POTUS.”
One comedian and activist Elon James, star of the web show entitled This Week in Blackness, had the best response yet, writing:
I find this Chris Rock backlash 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 came 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, freed the slaves, but then 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.
The point is while everyone is proudly holding up their flags, throwing meat on the grill, and lighting fireworks to celebrate this holiday in 2012….we must recognize that in 1776, not everyone had that opportunity. There were some people still in shackles working to build this country into the prosperous land that it has become. The argument that slavery is long over is usually said by those that don’t realize, or simply won’t admit, that there are still groups of people suffering from the oppression that stems from what this country put their ancestors through long ago.
More power to Chris Rock. His delivery may have been extreme, but his message was nothing less than the truth.