‘Roots’ Actor LeVar Burton Gets Into Heated Online Feud After Receiving Backlash For His Reaction To Learning He Has White Ancestry: ‘Either You Are An Insensitive Troll Or You Possess An Acute Lack Of Understanding Of Humanity’
LeVar Burton is not the one to play with in these internet streets!
‘Roots’ actor LeVar Burton recently set the record straight for an online user who wasn’t too fond of how he responded to discovering his Caucasian ancestry.
If you didn’t know, LeVar Burton appeared in one of the latest episodes of ‘Finding Your Roots’ with host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
While tracing his family tree, Burton shockingly discovered that he had a white family member. According to the hit PBS series, the 66-year-old’s maternal great-grandma was half-white. Her biological father was a man named James Henry Dixon, a white farmer whom she didn’t find out about until the latter part of her life.
Apparently… Dixon served in the Confederate Army as a teenager and later conceived a child with a woman born into slavery, to which Burton replied,
“Are you kidding me? Oh my God, oh my God. I did not see this coming.”
“I often wonder about white men of the period and how they justify to themselves their relations with Black women, especially those in an unbalanced power dynamic. There has to be a powerful disconnect created emotionally and mentally.”
However, it wasn’t what he said there that (seemingly) had social media in arms. Instead, the backlash came from a comment he made when seeing a photo of his white great-great-grandfather for the first time.
Burton uttered with a chuckle,
“Now… I would’ve fought you, five minutes ago, if you told me that I had a white great-great-grandfather.”
The ‘Reading Rainbow’ icon continued, referencing his enslaved character Kunta Kinte in Alex Haley’s classic project, ‘Roots,’
“What? Kunta… got white ancestry?! What? Come on, now!”
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) January 16, 2024
Upon sharing the promotional clip for his segment on his X profile, an individual wrote in the thread underneath it:
“It kinda seems super side ways that he’s got this much of an issue having white ancestors. Like dude you were on a show completely constructed around saying we get past petty things like that. There is nothing wrong with having white ancestry. ‘I’d have fought you’ yikes dude.”
Burton then wasted no time getting the person together and shot back with,
“Either you are an insensitive troll or you possess an acute lack of understanding of humanity. It is one thing to know something on an intellectual level, another matter entirely to be introduced to an emotional truth that is both surprising and wholly unexpected.”
Of course, it didn’t end there. The male commentator followed up by claiming that he wasn’t trolling and accused Burton of “demeaning” him. He stated:
“No LaVar ‘I wouldn’t fought you’ is very different from ‘surprising and wholly unexpected.’ Not trolling or lack of an ‘acute understanding’ as you tried to demean me. Your reaction was your reaction.”
The argument (seemingly) concluded with Burton correcting the poster’s misspelling of his name as he dismissed the subject.
“First of all, my name is spelled LeVar. Don’t get it twisted. Secondly, the reaction you take exception to was colloquial and immediately followed by laughter. You see what you want to see. Your focus is on that which you feel you can criticize from a place of superiority. I see you and will waste no more of my time on you.”
Subsequently, the user’s mentions were flooded with Burton’s fans and history lessons on the oppression that Black people have suffered at the hands of whites.
It’s safe to say… you may want to choose your battles wisely if your opponent is LeVar Burton.
What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below!