While Americans were watching fireworks displays and enjoying barbecues, Chris Rock was stirring up some fireworks of his own with a controversial July 4 tweet.
"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks," Rock tweeted.
Reactions came fast and furious, with some fans telling the actor/comedian they were now swearing off his films for what they considered an unpatriotic comment.
Wrote David Burge, "Good one! I bet your Guatemalan house staff got a good chuckle."
And Jeff Schreiber, managing editor of libertarian-conservative blog America's Right, tweeted "Slavery existed for 2000yrs before America. We eradicated it in 100yrs. We now have a black POTUS. #Go (expletive) Yourself." Schreiber later followed up with, "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."
Yet some jumped in on Rock's side. Actor Don Cheadle retweeted Rock's message with a simple "Haha," which put Cheadle on some Twitter user's enemies lists.
Cheadle later jumped into the Twitter fray, debating the comment with others. "Where exactly is the bigotry in that joke? Who is the victim? 18th century whites?" Cheadle wrote in a later tweet.
Actor Zach Braff also joined the fray, tweeting, "Slaves weren't freed for another 90 years. So maybe just enjoy some of the fireworks..."
Politics flew fast and furious, of course. Bradford Jones tweeted back at Rock and Braff, "u bashed July4th as "White peoples independence day." Know who gave u urs? Republicans. ur welcome."
Rock, however, didn't seem to be bothered. His next tweet was about a potential New York Knicks trade. But one reader found a connection even there. Lincolntf wrote to Rock, "White men trading black men amuses you these days, eh?"