Chris Rock’s ‘bet he white’ joke about mass shooters slammed as ‘racist'

A joke Chris Rock shared in reference to the latest mass shootings — and featuring a play on Betty White’s name — has riled up some fans, who are accusing the comedian of being “racist” against white people.

“The first thing people say when a mass shooting is announced,” the meme posted by Rock read, with a photo of the Golden Girl star underneath. The punchline is a pun inspired by her name: “Bet he white.”

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The post fetched mixed reactions, with many cracking up, some expressing relief that the beloved 97-year-old White hadn’t died, and quite a few critics slamming Rock for linking the mass shootings to white men. (Last weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton were both committed by white men, one of whom had expressed white supremacist beliefs, though there have been mass shootings, including the Aurora, Ill. and Virginia Beach, Va. ones earlier this year, perpetrated by men of color.)

Some of Rock’s followers said it was unfair to assume shooters were white.

“If a white person posted this about black people their career would be over but when it’s the other way around nobody gives two s***s,” read one comment. “You can’t fight racism with racism, you’re just contributing to the problem. Sad a 17-year-old kid has to say this.”

“This is racist,” complained another commenter.

62 PHOTOS
El Paso shooting: Community, family, friends mourn the victims
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El Paso shooting: Community, family, friends mourn the victims
Mariana Cordero cries as she visits a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man hangs up an "El Paso Strong" sign at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman cries as she visits a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman leans over to write a message on a cross at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People crowd around a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman is reflected in a picture as she looks at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Saturday's mass shooting at the Walmart left multiple people dead and more than two dozen others injured. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
En esta imagen tomada de un video en abril de 2019, migrantes se entregan a agentes fronterizos en El Paso, Texas, después de cruzar hacia territorio estadounidense desde México. (AP Foto/Cedar Attanasio)
Flags fly over crosses at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The border city jolted by a weekend massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief Monday as the death toll climbed and prepared for a visit from President Donald Trump over anger from El Paso residents and local Democratic leaders who say he isn't welcome and should stay away. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Gloria Garces se arrodilla el martes 6 de agosto de 2019 en un memorial ubicado cerca de la escena de un tiroteo en un centro comercial de El Paso, Texas. (AP Foto/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Catalina Saenz wipes tears from her face as she visits a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A list of the people who died in the weekend shooting rampage at the Walmart, shows that most of the victims had Latino surnames and included one German national. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman leaves flowers at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Gloria Garces kneels in front of crosses at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rene Aguilar and Jackie Flores pray at a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Catalina Saenz wipes tears from her face as she visits a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People crowd around a makeshift memorial near the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting at a shopping complex over the weekend, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man cries beside a cross at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The border city jolted by a weekend massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief Monday as the death toll climbed and prepared for a visit from President Donald Trump over anger from El Paso residents and local Democratic leaders who say he isn't welcome and should stay away. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man cries beside a cross at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The border city jolted by a weekend massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief Monday as the death toll climbed and prepared for a visit from President Donald Trump over anger from El Paso residents and local Democratic leaders who say he isn't welcome and should stay away. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend, at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend, at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Angie Attaguile rests her head on her husband, Ray Attaguile's shoulder as they embrace their children during a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Personas visitan un altar improvisado el lunes 5 de agosto de 2019, en el lugar de una masacre en un centro comercial de El Paso, Texas. (AP Foto/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team visit the site of a mass shooting over the weekend, at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The team visited to hang a banner that reads "El Paso Strong." (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team from El Paso huddle around, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, as they visit the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Christina Pipkin cries as she visits a makeshift memorial, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, at the site of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, in El Paso, Texas. "It's hard to see it, it's heartbreaking," said Pipkin about visiting the memorial. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team from El Paso carry an "El Paso Strong" sign into place near the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team from El Paso carry an "El Paso Strong" sign into place near the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Mayte Santiesteban visits a cross dedicated to her best friend's aunt, who was killed in the weekend shooting, at a makeshift memorial at the site of the mass shooting at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Daphne Rosas, a former sixth grade student of teacher Elsa Mendoza de la Mora, one of the victims of the shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, shows her class photo with Mendoza in the center, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Mexico’s government said it considers the shooting that left eight of its citizens dead an “act of terrorism” against Mexicans and hopes it will lead to changes in U.S. gun laws. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)
Personas oran frente a un altar improvisado en honor a las víctimas de una masacre en un centro comercial de El Paso, Texas, el lunes 5 de agosto de 2019. (AP Foto/John Locher)
Greg Zanis prepares crosses to place at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Maylin Reyes, right, and Isela Reyes prepare to hang a Mexican flag at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rene Aguilar y Jackie Flores rezan en un memorial para las víctimas de un tiroteo en El Paso, Texas, el domingo 4 de agosto de 2019. (AP Foto/Andres Leighton)
Greg Zanis prepares crosses to place at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People comfort each other during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cathe Hill wipes tears from her eyes during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. "There's no such thing as a stranger here in El Paso," said Hill about the impact the shooting had on the community. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Children of a youth sports community participate in a vigil for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Unas flores y una imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe adornan un monumento conmemorativo improvisado en honor de las víctimas de un tiroteo en un centro comercial en El Paso, Texas, el domingo 4 de agosto de 2019. El letrero dice: "El Paso es una familia. Permanecemos unidos". (AP Foto/Andrés Leighton)
A man leaves flowers near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Someone left a couple of signs outside Del Sol Medical Center after a mass shooting occurred at Walmart early Saturday in El Paso, TX on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Carmen Roldan brings some flowers to honor the memory of the victims of the mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Jessica Luna hugs her son Julien Lucero, 6, while both of them cry during a vigil at Ponder Park in honor to the victims of a mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Family members hug to each other outside the family reunification center at MacArthur Elementary-Intermediate School in El Paso, Texas on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Amanda Beltran holds her cell phone flashlights up as she wipes her tears away during a vigil Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, at Ponder Park in honor of the victims of the mass shooting that occurred in Walmart on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
People march in silence holding sunflowers and sings in honor to the victims of a mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Satuday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
CORRECTS NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED TO MORE THAN 20 - Muralist Manuel Oliver, whose son was killed in the Parkland Florida shooting, at center in red, is flanked by his wife and daughter, left, in black, and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, right in blue, during an unveiling ceremony for Oliver's mural, in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. The mural, which advocates for humane treatment of immigrants, became a memorial after more than 20 people were killed on Saturday in an attack that officials are investigating as a hate crime. O'Rourke is holding a sunflower as a symbolic gesture to Oliver's son, who is said to have carried sunflowers the day he died. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke walks next to his wife Amy Hoover Sanders and Rep. Veronica Escobar Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, during a silent march holding sunflowers in honor to the victims of a mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Houston Astros players bow their heads during a moment of silence in remembrance of the the mass shooting victims in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio before a baseball game Sunday, August 4, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Three-year-old Andrew Malagon observes a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Employees of Walmart cry as they attend a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting who were killed at the store inside a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A Virgin Mary painting, flags and flowers adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Clockwise from left, Gabriela Lopez and her husband Roberto Lopez comfort their children Santi Lopez and Max Lopez during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People raise their arms in the air during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Lupe Lopez holds a picture of a victim during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People pray during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of a youth sports community participate in a vigil for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
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“Don’t ya love how this is racist but nobody cares because he is black,” one person wrote. “We all need to unite instead being toxic on social media and solve the problem.”

“Stay out of politics clown,” read another angry comment. “The rich need to stop this.”

“Although it’s comedy, it’s still racist,” added a commenter. “Flip the races and say, ‘When we hear somebody was mugged, we think... ‘“

“Do you not like white people? Not all of us are bad people,” one asked Rock.

But Rock’s fans told the comedian’s “pressed” critics to “stop taking things so seriously.” Many also argued against the claim that Rock was being “racist” against white people because of the power dynamics at play.

“Black people can’t be racist because they have never exerted and forced their power and will over other people deemed lower than their race,” a Rock fan fired back at a commenter upset with the star. “You don’t understand and just wanna cry about the unfairness of your privileged life.”

“You’re about to trigger some conservatives,” one predicted.

“I am white and I approve this post,” added a follower.

“It’s a stereotypical fact,” wrote a Rock supporter. “A gag done by a comedian. What’s a comedian’s job again!? To make inappropriate jokes/gags. This one just happened to be a little too true, to the point that it stings.”

Rock hasn’t responded to the negative reactions. The comedian and former Oscars host has, however, devoted many of his recent Instagram posts to calling out the El Paso shooter’s ties to white supremacy and comparing his treatment by law enforcement to that of black men.

25 PHOTOS
Chris Rock through the years
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Chris Rock through the years
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Chris Rock speaks at the 2016 MLK Now at Riverside Church on January 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Publicity still portrait of American comedian and actor Chris Rock, 1985. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)
Portrait of actor and comedian Chris Rock, wearing a large gold ring across the fingers of his left hand that spell 'Gusto' and a large gold dollar sign as a necklace, while in costume for his movie CB4, Los Angeles, CA, 1993. (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
Publicity still portrait of American actor and comedian Chris Rock in the rap music spoof 'CB4' (Universal Pictures), 1993. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)
MET LIFE PRESENTS THE APOLLO THEATRE HALL OF FAME -- Pictured: Chris Rock -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Publicity still portrait of American comedian and actor Chris Rock from the comedy television show 'The Chris Rock Show' (HBO), 1997. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK Ã OCTOBER 1997: American comedian and actor Chris Rock poses for a portrait in front of a fun house mirror in October 1997 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images)
369098 03: Actor And Comedian Chris Rock And Film Director Spike Lee Watch The Action During The New York Knicks Vs. Miami Heat Playoff Basketball Game May 9, 2000 In Miami, Fl. (Photo By Marc Serota/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 02: Actor-comedian Chris Rock at the Essex House Hotel. (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, United States: Oscar host Chris Rock (L) and actor Adam Sandler present the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay during the 77th Academy Awards show 27 February, 2005, at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 23: (U.S. TABLOIDS OUT) Actor Chris Rock makes an appearance on MTV's Total Request Live to promote the 'The Longest Yard' on May 23, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor Chris Rock accepts the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Theatrical Film at the 2005 BET Comedy Icon Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on September 25, 2005 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: Actor Chris Rock and daughter arrive at the 19th Annual Kid's Choice Awards held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on April 1, 2006 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Stand-up comedian and actor Chris Rock speaks at the 49th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles 11 February 2007. AFP PHOTO/Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 13: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actor Chris Rock appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on March 13, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 16: Actor/comedian Chris Rock performs during The Comedy Festival at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 16, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Actor/comedian Chris Rock attends Variety's 15 Minutes of Fame on January 20, 2009 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor/producer Chris Rock, winner Outstanding Comedy Series for 'Everybody Hates Chris,' onstage during the 41st NAACP Image awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on February 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP)
BERLIN - JULY 30: Actor Chris Rock attends the Beach BBQ for the German Premiere of 'Kindskoepfe' (Grown Ups) at O2 World on July 30, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actors David Spade and Chris Rock arrive at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
US actor Chris Rock takes part in the TV show 'Le Grand Journal' on the set of French TV Canal+ during the 65th Cannes film festival on May 17, 2012 in Cannes, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)
TODAY -- Pictured: Actor/comedian Chris Rock appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Actor/Comedian Chris Rock attends a game between the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2014 in New York City. The Warriors defeated the Knicks 126-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0074 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Chris Rock during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on June 12, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 03: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters.) Actor Chris Rock attends the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Festival Awards Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 3, 2015 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for PSIFF)
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