I am sure we are all familiar with the infamous Oscar incident that occurred just a few days ago. You know? The one where Will Smith got up and smacked Chris Rock across the face for disrespecting his wife and her illness on live TV?
Well, just in case you missed it, I am glad I had the chance to keep you updated here. So, now that we have covered this, let’s discuss the public’s responses. As I am sure you already assumed, Will Smith is receiving a lot of heat for the incident. However, are we focusing on the wrong act of violence here?
Yes, slapping someone across the face isn’t great, BUT neither is the constant dismissal of the perpetual violence and harassment that Black women endure every day. In fact, one may even say this is worse. Malcom X once said that Black women are the most undervalued and neglected people in America. And I would agree.
From wage gaps to high maternal mortality rates, to hair discrimination, to blatant disrespect and hateful stereotypes, and more, Black women face more obstacles and hardships than most ever will. And despite this being proven time and time again, people still remain complacent. Some people are even play an active role in this, such as Chris Rock.
What he perceived to be a harmful joke, could be detrimental to Jada, or Will’s wife, and other Black women struggling with the same issues. Not to mention, there is already a great deal of stigma and discrimination regarding Black women’s hair. And while everyone else laughed along and shrugged it off, Will was the only one who stood up in defense of, not only Jada, but Black women.
So, maybe slapping someone isn’t ideal, but my concern is: why aren’t more people standing up for Black women? Why aren’t more people demanding apologies, respect, and basic human decency? Why are we all not re-evaluating the norms?