Damon Wayans Jr. Ignites Controversy with "Racist" July Fourth Tweet

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Damon Wayans Jr. made us laugh pretty hard during his run as Coach on New Girl.

But the actor has elicited a very different reaction from a number of Internet users in response to his sarcastic Fourth of July Tweet on Tuesday.

Damon Wayans Jr.

In celebration of the holiday (or in "celebration," perhaps we should write, with the quotation marks added and emphasized), the former Fox sitcom star Tweeted the following yesterday morning:

Happy white people proud of their racist ancestors day.

Wayans, of course, is making a joke here about how so many Americans essentially bow down at the feet of the country's Forefathers, especially on July Fourth...

... despite the fact that so many of these founders owned slaves.

Heck, Thomas Jefferson even impregnated at least one of his slaves.

damon tweet

Was this joke funny or foul, however?

Over 1,100 people Liked the tweet, while more than 1,200 replied to it.

And many of these responses didn't think Wayans was in the right for using such a patriotic occasion to play the race card in this kind of manner. 

"Just another example of Hollywood talking down to Americans. They hate this country & their fans. #FabricatedRacism sadly returns @wayansjr," wrote user @ViperNTheTemple.

The actor actually replied to this critique, stating that he was making a joke and some people just took it personally and that's okay because "jokes aren't illegal."

This is true.

It's also irrelevant, of course.

Whether or not you agree with Wayans' stance, no one is saying he ought to go to prison for expressing it.

wayans replies

"Not illegal, but offensive & hateful," wrote user @WTPatty, making this same point online.

Others, meanwhile, pointed to the men and women in the armed forces who have died for our independence and freedom and remarked that they should be the focus of all July Fourth Tweets.

This day isn't really about George Washington, they argue.

It's about the thousands of people who aren't grilling with their families because they are on the frontlines of major danger overseas.

This is the best, most rational argument against Wayans' quip.

But not many users made it. They went straight for the personal jugular instead.

Damon Wayans Jr. Image

"Enjoy what's left of your already s--tty career that your dad created for you," wrote user @JasonSMoonen, to which Damon shot back:

"Thanks Jason :) . Will do :)."

Wayans starred as Coach on New Girl from 2011 through 2016.

He also played a key role on ABC's criminally underrated Happy Endings and in the movie Let’s Be Cops.

He concluded his back and forth with critics here by writing:

“It was a joke. But feel free to be offended by it."

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