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Chris Rock's 'Happy White Peoples Independence Day' Tweet Stirs Up Debate (Yawn...)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
July 6, 2012 11:05 AM
15 Comments
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Chris Rock

This was and still is a non-issue for me, but everywhere I turn, there's lots of chatter about it, and I keep getting asked about it, whether for my own personal thoughts, or to post something about it on S&A.

I went with the latter, so you folks can debate it if you'd like.

The short story goes, on July 4th, Chris Rock tweeted the following:

"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."

Naturally, that caused all kinds of backlash (mostly from white people I imagine, but I could be wrong. Herman Cain probably had something to say about it).

And then some came to Rock's defense, like Don Cheadle, and at least one white dude - Zach Braff, so not every white person hates Chris Rock now. 

And 2 days later, people are still talking about it, the media continues to report on it; pundits continue to spin it; etc...

And that's all I'm going to say about it :)

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15 Comments

  • Ultimate Peace | July 7, 2012 11:32 PMReply

    Ultimate Peace will come not only when people stop fighting wars, but also when we end racism, and when people do not remain silent when they witness injustice. Live for Ultimate Peace.

    The sad thing is, people really COULD get along peacefully with each other, if they stopped to think about how similar we really are as humans, with really very little difference in what are the basic traits of humanness, when you really get right down to it. Life is short. Find peace.

  • Miles Ellison | July 7, 2012 2:21 PMReply

    What's controversial about what he said? The man who wrote that "all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights" was a slaveowner, as were many of the people who wrote the Constitution. America is a nation that trumpeted freedom and liberty while protecting the institution of human bondage. It took the Civil War to end slavery, a President was assassinated because he ended it, and the South has spent the better portion of the time between the end of the war until today trying to reinstate slavery under a different name through violent intimidation and outright disregard for the law. So I ask again. What exactly was controversial about what Chris Rock said?

  • Adam Scott Thompson | July 6, 2012 10:12 PMReply

    I'm always conflicted on Independence Day. Of course here in Texas we celebrate Juneteenth... HARD.

  • WOW | July 6, 2012 10:29 PM

    You're a wise man, Adam Scott Thompson. Texas was the first state to implement Juneteenth as a holiday. However, it's important to note that Texas WAS also the state in which federal troops had to be sent in to "enforce" the "new laws" on slavery. Many blacks did not know they were free.

  • BluTopaz | July 6, 2012 8:36 PMReply

    Faux outrage from the same caucasians who still quote Rock's Blacks vs. Nigger joke. F' em.

  • CareyCarey | July 6, 2012 6:51 PMReply

    Sit y'all's ass down and you might learn something... you too Chris Rock! Now, who understands the saying " If I let you slide, it could make a poor hustler out of you". Well, basically it's saying when a person engages in debate, a "fight" or on their grind in some fashion, if said person possesses the wrong "tools"/information, whether consciously or not, it's likely they will be less effective. Having said that, July 4th, Independence Day IS ONE OF "our" HOLIDAYS! That is, if you consider yourself an American citizen (black or white) you better believe it's something to rejoice about. I mean listen, as white America goes, we go. If they catch hell and since we're the last ones in and the first ones out "Trickle Down" would have a whole new meaning. What if the United States didn't gain their independance from the Kingdom of Great Britian? Huh, what could have possibly been the fate of slaves? Well, actually, that's a trick question because slavery was abolished in the British Empire (1833) before it was in the United States ( I just wanted to grab your attention :-). But here's my point, most Americans (black and white) have no idea of the significance/ramification of the U.S. federal holidays. Nor do they know what events in American history that actually led to the "freeing" of slaves. "Come on CareyCarey, who does not know that Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865, right after the Civil War?" Well, actually my good friend, Lincoln signed that document in 1863, but since it was considered, by many, to be solely based on his "war powers" the proclamation DID NOT free all slaves. "Oh, I didn't know that Carey, so we're not legally free?" *lol* Don't feel bad, most didn't know that, but there is a thang called the Thirteeth Amendment, it came in effect in Dec, 1865. Look it up because I don't want to make a poor hustler out of you by giving you too much :-). But check this, I know this is something most folks know little or nothing about, which concerns "slaves" -- for the most part. But first, who knows the details of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (i.e. it's purpose, who it involves, etc?). Heck, we had the 13th amendment which freed the slave and the 14th (look it up :-o), so what's the big deal about the Civil Rights Act? Lastly, did y'all know (I bet Chris Rock doesn't know this) that as of June 2011, 42 states and the District of Columbia have recognized a day in June as either a state holiday or state holiday observance? What is that day and why do blacks barbecue, dress-up and have a merry good time? Okay, that's it, the clock on the wall says that's all, school is out. But remember, when you least expect it, you could be elected, so watch what you say. And sit yo ass down if you don't know what the hell you're talking about. That includes you, Chris "pookie" Rock. LMAO

  • Ash | July 6, 2012 4:08 PMReply

    I thought this was funny. Go Chris.

  • jeni | July 6, 2012 3:39 PMReply

    Reminds me why I like Chris Rock. I hope he keeps making people of all races uncomfortable with the truth for many years to come.

  • Donella | July 6, 2012 3:21 PMReply

    Just like Ice-T said: "Freedom of speech... yeah, but watch what you say."

  • Justin D. | July 6, 2012 2:50 PMReply

    Meh... I mean, yes, Chris Rock is right; blacks were still enslaved when the United States was freed from the yolk of England, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the colorful, sequenced explosions. I can understand why whites would get their panties in a bunch about it though. They hate to have attention called to the wrongs they've committed/still commit to non-whites. Still, this isn't a topic worth deep analysis.

  • DJ | July 6, 2012 12:14 PMReply

    Now awaiting public comments from Obama, Smiley and West.

  • Vanessa | July 6, 2012 11:33 AMReply

    What did the (yawn...) mean? Anyway, I don't see why this is still controversy when we all know it's not our holiday and the joke was and is, on us: Blacks - Descendants of slaves, joining America celebrate it. Leave it to Chris Rock to say what no one else will.

  • Kia | July 6, 2012 3:53 PM

    Lol @ Vanessa M. Yes, please do :) As for Doug: Why is this comment ignorant? Independence day, like most holidays (regardless of meaning) are really just about consumers spending money: any race. And your comment is the one that is full of hate--actual.

  • Doug | July 6, 2012 2:25 PM

    Your comment shows your lack of education. You seem full of hate and ignorance. It's no wonder you misunderstand the meaning of the holiday. Chris Rock is just trying to stay in the news. His career is just about over, only people that like his movies are kids who like to watch animated animals.

  • Vanessa Martinez | July 6, 2012 12:04 PM

    Just wanted to clarify that I didn't make the comment above. I'll start using my full name from now on. That's all. :)

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