Comedian Rob Schneider was criticized on Jan. 16 for explaining Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy to respected civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
“Rep Lewis. You are a great person. But Dr. King didn’t give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights,” Schneider wrote in a tweet, the Daily Mail reports.
Coming from a white man, many deemed the comment ill-judged and inappropriate.
Lewis helped organize the original 1963 March on Washington that saw King give his “I Have A Dream” speech. He also delivered his own address that day.
President-elect Donald Trump criticized Lewis on Twitter on Jan. 14, calling him a man of “all talk” and “no action” who should focus on “the burning and crime infested inner-cities.”
Trump’s comment came on the heels of Lewis’ Jan. 13 announcement that he will not be attending Trump’s inauguration, being that he does not consider the president-elect “a legitimate President,” New York Daily News reports.
Schneider is a former Democrat who began siding with the Republicans in 2013 after expressing disappointment with his former party’s performance in California.
Schneider’s tweet, posted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was ridiculed and stirred up public indignation.
“Rob Schneider lecturing [Rep. John Lewis] is the most embarrassing thing he’s ever done. Yes, this includes The Animal,” actor Wil Wheaton tweeted.
“[Rob Schneider] shouts to you for making The Hot Chick but maybe don’t explain the struggle for civil rights to people who were actually in it,” editor Richard Lawler wrote.
“Don’t whitesplain MLK to the man who literally sat at the table with MLK,” research fellow Oliver Willis told Schneider, referencing a photo of Lewis and King.
“Gotta love ignorant white people who white wash Dr King’s legacy,” another Twitter user said.
“I’m late to your stupidity, but it’s never too late to remind an idiot to read history books. Or, y’know, Google John Lewis,” said another commenter.
Sources: Daily Mail, New York Daily News / Photo credit: Adam Ginivisian/Westword