Terry Crews under fire for tweeting Black Lives Matter shouldn't morph into 'Black Lives Better'

For the second time in three weeks, Terry Crews, the Black American actor, has stirred controversy on Twitter by posting a divisive statement pertaining to racial equality in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd last month.

“If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology,” the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star wrote on the social media platform on Monday, June 30.

We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter,” he added, expressing concern that the Black Lives Matter movement could result in even further racial inequality.

Though Floyd’s death, and those of many other Black individuals — including Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor — have helped renew calls to fight systemic racism and put an end to police brutality across the world, many believe that Crews has been “opposing” the Black Lives Matter movement with his tweets and focusing on “protecting white fragility” instead.

Floyd died on May 25 after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest in Minneapolis. He was 46.

As a result of the recent tweet — which many have labelled “polarizing” or “stupid” among many other things — Crews, 51, has been met with widespread backlash.

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Though Crews didn’t explicitly use the phrase, many were quick to suggest his statement was reminiscent of “All Lives Matter” — a phrase which is widely considered to be in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, as it undermines systemic racism against Black communities.

“Terry Crews is the physical manifestation of white people saying ‘All Lives Matter’ and I hate it,” tweeted one user.

“Mans really would rather stay the token Black person in America’s eyes rather than uplift the community correctly,” they added.

Here’s what some other angered Twitter users had to say:

“How fast does Terry Crews think Black equality is gonna come?” tweeted Black American comedian Travon Free.

“How in his mind do we spend 400 years under the boots of white supremacy and then all of a sudden, leapfrog white people into being their oppressor, after a few weeks of protests?” the former Daily Show writer added.

Free, 34, included a picture of former U.S. President Barack Obama — the first Black leader of the nation — in his tweet.

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This isn’t the first time Crews’ social media posts have been questioned by fans either.

Earlier this month, the White Chicks actor drew similar criticisms after writing that “defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black supremacy” on Twitter.

“Equality is the truth,” Crews said on June 7. “Like it or not, we are all in this together.”

Many people responded to Crews’ tweet, including his former Everybody Hates Chris co-star Tyler James Williams.

“I’m not trying to call you out @TerryCrews. You know it’s all love always. But we’re rightfully angry right now and fed up with anyone not with our cause wholeheartedly. I don’t want to see that energy pointed your way or diverted from the cause,” Williams wrote to his on-camera dad from the sitcom.

“I understand, Tyler. I was not saying Black supremacy exists, because it doesn’t. I am saying if both Black and whites don’t continue to work together ⁠— bad attitudes and resentments can create a dangerous self-righteousness. That’s all,” Crews responded.

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Ahead of the controversy, but following Floyd’s death, Crews posted an emotional video to Instagram.

“First of all my heart is broken,” said the actor in the three-minute, 30-second IGTV video. “George Floyd looks like me. George Floyd could be me.”

“I could easily, easily be that man on the ground with that police officer’s knee on my neck. That could easily be me,” added Crews.

His message was initially met with support and shared sentiments, however, since his recent Twitter posts, other Instagram users have taken to the comment section of the month-old post criticizing Crews and calling him things like “fake.”

— With files from Global News’ Katie Scott

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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