Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chris Rock Put His Black American Foot In His Mouth

Comedian Chris Rock tweeted on July 4th, “Happy white peoples Independence Day, the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks”.  

In this era of Americans attempting to show that they are more patriotic than those in with different political beliefs, Rock's somewhat dated tweet from a wealthy and usually foul mouthed black comedian was not well received. 

His written Tweet  could have been viewed as funny if delivered before a live audience, but his comedic timing was off  the day he delivered it.

So, let’s discuss Rock’s tweet and why many find it in poor taste.

Two hundred thirty six years ago, in 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were composed of white, wealthy, businessmen, politicians and farmers.   Most definitely the slaves at the time, probably saw little advantage to an American Revolution.   

It was not until the Civil War did former black slaves at least have the beginning of achieving some form of equal opportunity and that would take an almost additional 100 years after the Civil War to get rights fully guaranteed.

So, Chris Rock’s statement was historically accurate, but hopefully he did not tweet to lessen the very significant event of 1776.

In 1776, there were historical events and philosophies occurring in Europe that the Founding Fathers used to justify the thirteen colonies to making a break from Great Britain.   When the war ended, and the nation was formed and laws codified in the United States Constitution, the appearance of the United States on the world stage was a most significant historical event. 

Today the ancestors of those groups of people who were not allowed to sign the document---women, blacks, gays, Muslims, Hindu, Latinos etc., ---you get the point---all have benefited from a nation that was formed just over 200 years ago---a very short time in total human history.

At just over 40 years old, black, and wealthy and an American citizen, Chris Rock made his money due to the rights of free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Rock has grown up in a nation that allowed him to achieve his goals and keep his wealth.

Perhaps, for a moment, Chris Rock should step out of his comedic shoes and reflect on his comment and see why his remarks could be viewed offensive to many Americans regardless of race.  

Rock should just take the time to recognize he has been afforded many more opportunities because he was born in a nation that albeit not perfect is still growing and evolving.   

Americans should not boycott Chris Rock because of his comments. 

Boycott Chris Rock because you don’t like his body of works---not because he voiced an opinion that is thankfully guaranteed and protected in this very free society. 

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