I seldom watch the Academy Awards, but my primary interest is the fashion worn when I do. So, I became curious about what the ladies would be wearing this year. Therefore, Sunday night, I watched for a while because another program I wanted to see was also on simultaneously, so I went between programs. As I switched channels, I noticed when Mr. Will Smith slapped Mr. Chris Rock across the cheek, and immediately it sent shockwaves through me. That was a very low moment, and for me as a woman of color with an intense awareness of my history, I was flabbergast by Mr. Smith’s actions. It was a low point for him, his family, and us who watched his rise from obscurity to become a household name. He should have handled it better! He could have dealt with it later in a different setting.
Kudos to Mr. Rock for how he responded, and even better, for not pressing charges against Mr. Smith. The whole situation was uncalled for and avoidable; it might have been different if Mr. Smith had thought it through and felt he had a lot to lose by such action. The unfortunate thing also is his childish actions take away from his winning. What if everyone goes around slapping others during disapproval of something that was said they considered offensive? There wouldn’t be enough space in the jails. And what examples are being set for the younger folks? Mr. Smith, you disappoint us, and for anyone to justify such action failed to see the ramifications and the underline message that it sent!
We are in 2022. and it was in the sixties, we were pigeonholed and struggled to have a place at the seat of progress with representation, so do the math! If we forget and become complacent, our memory will become jolted by harsh lessons that will take us back. Dear Mr. Smith, I am pleased that you have apologized to Mr. Rock, but you need to do more! You should do some public service for schools explaining to youngsters why violence isn’t cool because someone hurt our feelings or that of our loved ones. I usually don’t weigh on what’s trending or public figures, but this one really got to me. We expect more from those who have gotten into the door of opportunities and are more than role models. When I think of Sir Sidney Poitier’s hard-earned struggles, upon whose shoulders people Like Mr. Smith stand today, please, show control and respect. I have already said my piece; I am curious what you think? Marjorie Delores