Comedic actor Rob Schneider, who starred in “Waterboy” with Adam Sandler, made a post to Twitter directed at Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a hero of the Civil Rights movement and the left, on Martin Luther King Day. On Twitter, Schneider wrote: “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 and won civil rights.”
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.— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) January 16, 2017
On January 13, Lewis said in a television interview that he does not consider President-elect Donald Trump as a legitimate president, while he suggested that Russia had sabotaged the candidacy of fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump responded on Twitter that Lewis should instead work to resolve crime in his congressional district and invited him to cooperate. Lewis said he does not believe there is any common ground with Trump.
Later on, Schneider posted again, writing "Now is a good time to love your countrymen and countrywomen." He quoted Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who is one of two black men in the Senate: "Patriotism is love of country. But you can can't love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don't always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good."
Some of the responses to his tweet, which pointed out that Schneider is white, questioned its appropriateness.
One tweet pointed out that Lewis is the last surviving speaker of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech. Lewis was an associate of King. Another twitterer, KB -- who is a senior writer at the Jezebel website -- wondered, “Imagine being Rob Schneider and thinking you can lecture John Lewis about Martin Luther King Jr.”
@KaraRBrown IMAGINE BEING ROB SCHNEIDER AND THINKING YOU CAN LECTURE JOHN LEWIS ABOUT MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.— KB (@KaraRBrown) January 16, 2017
On writer KB's Twitter page, she explains: "I don't hate y'all. I just only love us."
A tweet by Oliver Willis, of the leftist Media Matters website, read: “Rob Schneider: don’t whitesplain Martin Luther King to the man who literally sat at the table with Martin Luther King.” The latter tweet included a photo of Lewis seated near Martin Luther King Jr.
Schneider has identified with the Republican party since 2013. After his tweet, liberal Late Night show host Stephen Colbert tweeted: "I stand with John Lewis." British commentator Piers Morgan wrote a column on Martin Luther King Day, which said that "the people who are determined to delegitimise Donald Trump before he even takes the oath are undermining democracy and America.". Morgan tweeted,"MLK would have tried to help Trump unite America, not divide it even more."