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Chris Rock's Tweet Beyond the Pale

gpeterson Wrote: Jul 06, 2012 7:48 PM
The second they stepped off the boat, they, as with my immigrant European great grandparents, benefited by white privilege and the enslavement of Black people in America. Do you think that my grandfather, though born to poor, barely literate in Norwegian cotters, could have had the education and success that he had if he had been born Black...back when slavery was still legal?

Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.

Comedian Chris Rock has stoked the flames of controversy with this Fourth of July tweet. The Hollywood comic wrote: "Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks." Rock's tweet sparked plenty of day-after fireworks. What he wrote went beyond the pale, responded many online, hurt and enraged at Rock's bitter humor.

Chris Rock's tweet was beyond the pale. It was doubtless his effort to capitalize on the 160th anniversary of that great Fifth of July speech delivered by black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Douglass addressed...