Culture

Twitter Jumps on Rob Schneider for 'Whitesplaining' to John Lewis

Actor and comedian, Rob Schneider (AP Photo/The Telegraph Herald, Jeremy Portje)

You likely know that Congressman John Lewis used to hang out with Martin Luther King. They sat at the same tables. They marched in the same protests. They worked together to win major civil rights victories which reshaped American society.

What you may not know is that, by doing so, Lewis attained divinity. He will live forever and speaks with unquestioned authority on all matters temporal and eternal. His lordship over creation stands unassailable, and those who question anything he says or does must be burned as heretics.

Rob Schneider stands accused of blasphemy. Having the audacity to set foot upon sacred rhetorical ground, the comedy actor suggested on Twitter that Martin Luther King might object to Lewis’s feud with President-elect Donald Trump.

“Rep. Lewis. You are a great person,” Schneider began, failing to address his holiness with appropriate reverence. “But Dr. King didn’t give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights.”

Oh my. Such brazen sin, committed without shame in the light of day. There can be but one penalty — death by tweet storm:

Responses to Schneider emerge from the absurd premise that past good deeds exempt one from criticism. John Lewis made invaluable contributions to the civil rights movement which served to unify a divided nation. That does not make his every word or deed sacred. John Lewis can do and say things that are wrong, and we mere mortals should remain free to call him on it.

This concept of “whitesplaining,” like “mansplaining” or any similar iteration, stands as its own form of bigotry. It implies that, if you are white or male or belong to any other “privileged” group, you don’t get to have an opinion. It’s Schneider’s job to join every other white male in the corner with a dunce cap on thinking about what they did. It’s a condescension based entirely on race and gender, which is explicitly racist and sexist. If a gal was accused of “womansplaining” by a man, the left would flip. If a white guy accused an African-American of “blacksplaining,” there might be an actual riot.