Chris Rock's tweet about Independence Day set the Twittersphere ablaze with criticism, defense of the famous comic's statement, and, in some cases, a more introspective look at July 4.
Chris Rock tweeted: "Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."
Almost immediately, the reaction to his inflammatory words was felt across the microblogging service, with many emerging on both sides of the issue to give their opinion. Many were not amused at the actor's jab at America's dark past.
"@chrisrock Slavery existed for 200yrs before America. We eradicated it in 100yrs. We now have a black POTUS. #GoF---Yourself," tweeted Jeff Schreiber, who is the managing editor of the America's Right blog.
"I'm not saying we're blameless for that horrid practice, but for @chrisrock to indict the US as he did is inappropriate at best," Schreiber added, deleting the tweet soon afterwards.
Similarly, right voices like Breitbart.com called Rock a "once-interesting and once-edgy comedian," labeling the decidedly liberal comic a "divisive racialist."
All the responses to the 47-year-old actor's tweet were not negative, however. Don Cheadle responded with a "haha" on his Twitter account. Zach Braff of "Scrubs" also responded to Schreiber's assertion that the slaves were freed with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865, pointing out the vast inequalities African-Americans still faced at the time.
"Slaves weren't freed for another 90 years," posted Braff, referring to the landmark legislations birthed from the civil rights movement. "So maybe just enjoy some of the fireworks."
Rock, throughout the controversy, has remained uncharacteristically silent on the issue. Tweets after his "white peoples independence day" one referring to Knicks trades and other things. While some dismissed his language as unpatriotic, others found it poignant and meaningful.
"Should the shortcomings of America, the blemishes on our past- which are numerous, but acknowledged, investigated and debated- always outweigh its great achievements?" wrote The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin.