Chris Rock has made a career of comedic quips about race relations in America, but a recent Tweet on Independence Day has sparked a controversy. However, we at Common Sense Conspiracy think that people are looking at it the wrong way. Instead of taking a humorous approach or even a historical approach, people just simply took offense. First of all, let’s look at the Tweet in question. This was posted by Chris Rock on his validated Twitter account on July 4:
“Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed the fireworks.”
Now, I could go on a treatise about his punctuation and capitalization skills, but good grammar skills is not synonymous with Twitter. But as for the content of his Tweet, well, as we like to say around here, sometimes it is what it is.
People, probably white people, I’m guessing, were quick to respond to his Tweet, some accusing him of endlessly playing the “race” card or reminding him that without July 4, 1776, December 6, 1865 would never have happened. That last date is when the slaves were freed. In our humble opinions, though, Chris Rock isn’t really playing the race card. You can’t be playing the race card when stating fact. Playing the race card is a simple concept. It is when a race uses past discrimination to try to explain a current situation. Usually frivolously. In this case, Rock is simply stating a historical fact.
Let’s face it people. If you were an African slave owned by white people in the colonial colonies, did America declaring its independence from Britain make a whole lot of difference to you? Of course not. The slaves were still slaves before and after the war for independence, and they would remain that way for close to another century. Chris Rock’s Tweet is obviously meant to be humorous. He even comments on the idea that the slaves would have enjoyed the fireworks. But fireworks are a modern celebration of the big day that America became a nation. Rock is simply pointing out that Independence Day is technically a holiday for white people because they were the ones that immediately benefited.
Now, obviously, America becoming a nation did set the stage for what would eventually lead to freedom for the slaves as well. And I think most African Americans do celebrate the Fourth of July as an authentic holiday without giving a lot of thought to whether it is a black or white holiday. As well they should. Citizens of the United States today live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world with almost infinite possibilities for all people, black or white. Now that would have never been possible without July 4, 1776, and it is reason for us all to celebrate together.
Bottom line — sometimes it is what it is. Chris Rock’s Tweet may have been in poor taste, but it was certainly not inaccurate, and we at Common Sense Conspiracy thought it needed to be said. So, there.