Just after it was revealed that he had a white, Confederate ancestor, it didn’t take long for the internet trolls to target LeVar Burton.
As previously reported, Burton found out he was related to a man named James Henry Dixon during his recent appearance on PBS’ Finding Your Roots. The man was described as a white Southerner who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. After leaving the service, he became a farmer. Dixon died in 1906. He was the father of nine children and he had 40 grandchildren.
Upon hearing about his ancestor, LeVar Burton had some thoughts. “There’s some conflict roiling inside me right now,” he said. However, the Reading Rainbow star said he felt the discovery was a “pathway” opening up.
“Knowing what I know about the history of this nation,” he continued. “I’ve wanted, especially in this current time frame, I believe that as Americans we need to have this conversation about who we are and how we got here.”
LeVar Burton also said he would have “fought someone” if they previously told him about his white ancestor.
After posting the clip of the show on X, Burton was quickly dealing with internet trolls. One got seriously personal with their comment. “It kinda seems super sideways that he’s got this much of an issue having white ancestors,” the troll wrote. “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.”
LeVar Burton Quickly Responds to an Internet Troll About His Ancestry
Not long after the internet troll got their comment in, LeVar Burton clapped back in the best way possible.
“Either you are an insensitive troll or you possess an acute lack of understanding for humanity,” Burton unleashed. “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.”
The troll once again came at Burton and said, “No LaVar ‘I would have fought you’ is very different from ‘surprising and wholly unexpected.’” They then said they weren’t trolling or lacking acute understanding. They also accused him of demeaning them. “Your reaction was your reaction,” they added.
LeVar Burton responded by stating the correct way to spell his name and advised to troll to not get his comment twisted. “The reaction you take exception to was colloquial and immediately followed by laughter,” Burton then added. “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.”