Darius Rucker sang the holiday classic White Christmas at the New York Rockefeller Center for the center’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event continued forward despite a mob of demonstrators protesting a grand jury’s decision not to indict a NYPD officer for the choking death of Eric Garner. Rucker’s performance was met with a firestorm of critics from social media who criticized the former Hootie and the Blowfish singer for covering an apparently racist song.
So how is White Christmas a racist song? To some, the song is racist because it has the word “white” in it. Some perceive the song as inappropriate considering that the Eric Garner case is so fresh in the minds of New Yorkers and the rest of the nation.
Apparently, those critics aren’t aware of the song’s origin and what its title means. It was written in 1940 by Israeli immigrant Irving Berlin. The “White” in the song’s title refers to snow and not to the white race.
Darius Rucker’s cover of White Christmas, though, angered some critics who apparently believe that the mere mention of the word “white” is inappropriate at a time when race relations in the nation is hanging on a thread. The fact that Rucker is black also made the choice of song even more questionable to some.
Darius Rucker is singing "White Christmas" on my television. Sooo many layers of wrong. #hootie
— Guy Bannister (@guybannister) December 4, 2014
…there's an odd irony to Darius Rucker singing "White Christmas" with #EricGarner protests only blocks away.
— glossaria (@glossaria) December 4, 2014
— Bryon Vann (@Bryon_Vann) December 4, 2014
Rucker has yet to respond to his critics, though perhaps silence is the best answer when the criticisms just don’t make any sense whatsoever. Unsurprisingly, conservative pundits are having a field day with those critics, citing it another example of the racial grievance industry taken to the extreme and demonizing anything supposedly pertaining to the white race.
Putting the whole race issue aside and judging solely on his performance, Darius Rucker’s White Christmas rendition was performed quite well and received a standing ovation from the audience in attendance.[photo credit: Larry Darling]