Well by now, everyone has taken a stance on the WIll Smith Chris Rock situation. Now I am very aware that I don't have any skin in the fight, I don't know them personally, I don't know what was going on behind the scenes, but I wanted to address the issue of praising the "smack."
I think there is a segment of people out there that looked at the actions of Will and praised him as a measure of taking up for his wife! To each its own, BUT I think this represents another major problem! Now I am a firm believer that you cannot do something to a person and then control their actions. For instance, you talk about my grandma and I knock your teeth out of your mouth.
There will be a segment of people that will say I went way too far, but there would be a segment of people that know the relationship that I have with her and totally get my reaction! So I understand that in the heat of the moment Will could have lost his cool, but that smack was not just for Chris and I will explain.
Will has experienced over a year of being the butt of everyone's, his manhood was talked about and so many people were calling him soft, etc. Now we are not in their household, maybe Will knew the whole time and it wasn't until it hit outside of the house that the embarrassment set in. Regardless of the situation, Will was hurt and never had the chance to heal.
We as black men have been taught that we have to be above being in our feelings and because of that, we have many hurt men that go on to hurt women. This is bringing me to my major issue with all of this. We have now equated physical assault with showing love.
I read many statements of women saying how Will did his thing protecting his woman, how what Will did was protecting black women. Now let's take Will out of the equation, lets's say Ray and Lisa are in a relationship. Ray loves Lisa, but he loves her to his knowledge and what he has been taught what love is.
Lisa works at Dollar Tree, and Ray has always thought that her manager had a thing for her, his friends would call him when they visited the store and tell him that they saw them whispering and being very close. Ray had become the running joke in the neighborhood because he had not done anything about it. One day Ray is picking Lisa up from work and he walks in while Lisa and her manager are talking. Ray loses it and walks right up and yells at the manager. The manager is taken aback because Lisa has not told him how Ray felt. The manager was trying to calm the situation down, which made Ray even madder because he felt as if he was taking him as a joke. Ray punches the manager who then falls backward, hits his head on the floor and he dies.
Now the news will report it was a cold calculated murder, BUT they don't know that Ray was being talked about among his peers and he felt that he had to show Lisa how much he loved her and he punched the guy, but that punch also was to show the neighborhood he is protecting his woman. Those same people then turn around and call him stupid, they say he threw his life away for a girl, he shouldn't have gone to her job.
Let's look at the other side of that situation, Lisa could have addressed the issue herself, she could have told the manager that her man wasn't cool with the relationship, but Lisa had been brought up to think that a man shows his love by what he was willing to do for her. Lisa heard the jokes, she saw Ray was struggling with it but she kinda like him being jealous, she could have protected him but simply stopped the whole thing.
The moral of this is we have to be very careful about what we applaud. What is cool for WIll isn't cool for the average person. Will slapped because he knew the ramifications of a closed fist, he didn't follow up with another swing because he didn't want to embarrass the Oscars, another person might not have that restraint. Another person instead of smacking might have just shot.
Will could have addressed him man to man backstage and used conflict resolution, my question is though, why did Jada allow him to walk up there? I believe if a woman cares for her man, should protect him too right? She could have grabbed his arm, tell him not right now or anything. It's like the average person getting into it with someone in front of his wife and she understands the bigger picture with a simple touch of the arm letting him know it isn't worth it!
So we have to be very careful about what we applaud as what protecting women is, we have to be mindful of what showing love is, and we have to provide spaces for men to heal and be vulnerable. Will was laughed at for staying with Jada during the "entanglement" but he was praised for the assault of another man!