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Chris Rock's Fourth of July Joke Angers Twitter Followers

Wonderwall, Thursday, July 5, 2012, 9:12am (PDT)
  • By Wonderwall Editors

    "Happy white peoples independence day," Chris Rock tweeted on the Fourth of July holiday before adding the zinger, "the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."

    As quickly as the pithy line went live, Twitter exploded with commentary over it. A handful of Rock's followers declared they would never watch any of his films again because of what they deemed to be his anti-American sentiment.

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    Blogger David Burge hit back at the comic, quipping, "Good one! I bet your Guatemalan house staff got a good chuckle."

    While other conservative bloggers blasted Rock's tweet as "inappropriate at best," Zach Braff suggested that Rock simply chill out, writing, "Slaves weren't freed for another 90 years. So maybe just enjoy some of the fireworks ..."

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    The holiday joke did get a few backers, though.

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    Don Cheadle, who re-tweeted the comment with a "Haha" in front of it, later defended himself against critics. "Where exactly is the bigotry in that joke?," he asked. "Who is the victim? 18th century whites?"

    And, as HipHopWired.com points out, Rock is hardly the first African-American person to question the validity of Independence Day. The site quotes extensively from a letter written by Frederick Douglass back in 1852 in which he asked President Franklin Pierce to consider why and how the Fourth of July represents the "sham" that promises American freedom -- despite the reality that the country's economy was built on slavery.

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