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March 31, 2022

The Slap Heard Round The World

The Slap Heard Round The World

Celebrity gossip? Just two millionaires behaving badly? None of our business? Will Smith slapped the sh*t (using Chris' word) out of Chris Rock on live national TV. And, the country can't stop talking about it.

As you know, I disagree with all of the above. Everything is a teaching and a learning moment. This one is rich with things to contemplate:

  • Toxic masculinity
  • Feminism
  • Black men stereotypes
  • Trauma response
  • Should we judge
  • Violence in our society
  • Comedy- what's off limits
  • Compassion

In this episode, I explain how I think this incident is something we should all be interested in.

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Brian Smith:

Hey everybody, I just had to say something about the the slap heard round the world, the slap of Will Smith on Chris Rock. It's really interesting. I know people are tired of hearing about it already. But I have to say something anyway, because I find it really fascinating how different people have reacted to watching the same event. And sometimes it's hard to even understand how people react so differently. So I want to, I want to break some of that down. The first thing is, should we be discussing it all at all? I know several people on social media, I'm on Facebook, for the most part, are saying, why are we talking about this when there are other much more important things going on the world? We've got wars going on, we've got we're on the brink of a nuclear war, we still got COVID, you know, inflation, etc. This is all just a distraction. So I think my answer that is we can do both. We can do more than one thing at a time, we can talk about various issues. But some people have kind of, I'd say I would say over simplified this or reduces to the point of where it's ridiculous. And saying it's just one millionaire, slapping another millionaire for insulting that millionaires, millionaire wife, and it's all about so that bring about millionaires. If you know me at all, you know, I couldn't care less about celebrities. I don't talk about celebrities that much. I don't know who is married to who or who's sleeping with who or, you know, whatever. That's not my thing. I don't really care. But when something like this comes up, I think it's an opportunity to talk about the bigger thing. This is not just about Will Smith. This is not just about Chris Rock. This is not just about Jada, this is about a number of issues. And just to list off a few of them. Toxic masculinity, feminism, stereotypes of black men, should we judge people or not? Violence in our society, the role of comedians? Should we talk about body, you know, body types or body appearance. And everybody has different opinions on all these different things. But I do want to kind of tick off and go down through those and talk about them. First of all, let's talk about you know, what I call toxic masculinity. You know, Will Smith and I think a very old fashioned way, thought that he needed to get up and quote defend his wife, Jada, against this perceived attack by Chris Rock. And I've heard some people say, or Chris Rock has made jokes about Jada before, because I guess he made a joke about her in 2016, or something at the Oscars. But this idea that a man has to defend his woman, and even the way he referred to her as keep my wife's name out of your mouth, he didn't even use her name. He was referring to her almost as if she was property notes. This is a phrase we use all the time, my husband, my wife, but I just find it interesting that he used that phrase. Now, the other thing about Will Smith that may people may or may not know and I didn't know until this point until this happened is he watched his father abused his mother. So I have to wonder, did he take a vow within himself to say, I am going to protect I couldn't protect my mother. I'm going to protect the women in my life or the people in my life. And maybe something was triggered in him when Chris Rock made the joke about Jada. So I call that toxic masculinity. When you feel like you're so hyper masculine that you've been your wife has been disrespected, and you've been disrespected that you have to jump up on stage, and slap somebody who literally was making a joke. This was I would say it was a joke. You can say it's a good joke, a bad joke. What's off limits, we can talk about that. But it was a joke. The other thing is feminism. Now I brought this up the other day and I got kind of slapped down by a woman saying why are we bringing feminism ended this but I think it's important, because I would think a lot of feminists would say I don't need a man to defend me. And especially Jada Pinkett Smith is a very outspoken, very well spoken, articulate, fiery woman. So Jada can take care of herself and a verbal confrontation. And this was verbal. Now if someone attacked, physically attacked my wife or my daughter, would I jump in 100% I would jump in because I'm a lot bigger and stronger than they are and I wouldn't allow that to happen. But when it's a verbal attack, as it is, in this case, I don't feel it will have any need to do anything. And if he had done something it should have been with his words. You know, we talked kids and kindergarten, use your words and that that's the thing you know, that really kind of gets me as anyone defending Will Smith's actions. If you saw two kids on the playground, and you walked up and Bobby had slapped me, and you said Bobby, Why did you slap Timmy? And Bobby says well, because he called Susie stupid. You would say no Bobby we use our words. We don't slap people because they they said something. So to me that's very clear. That case of Will Smith being, you know, in the wrong, which brings us to the other thing. That is a big issue with this, and that's, quote, judging people. And I've been told by people, mostly Christians, but other people's well, we should not judge anyone you know, and Jesus said, Judge, you know, as you judge, so should you be judge, and we're not supposed to judge people. And, you know, someone even said, Well, what is right and what is wrong? You know, it's not for us to say what's right or wrong for someone else. I totally push back on that. I totally disagree with that. Because it's take that to its logical extreme. That means that we can't have laws, because a law says a behavior is wrong. And if you do this behavior, we're going to punish you so that you might call judging someone, we even have people in our society, we call them judges, and we realize that's necessary. When we when our children do things that are wrong. We discipline them as societies, we say to people, that's rude. So if you say to someone that you should never judge anyone, and judging is condemning a person's actions, that means we can never say that anything anybody did offended us, is wrong. We can't We can't write speeding tickets. We can't people put people in jail for murder, because that's quote, judging the person. I here's where I think the difference is between judging someone and using discernment. judging someone is when you talk about their character, I would be judging Will Smith, if I said Will Smith is a terrible person. That Will Smith, as just, you know, evil, that would be judging someone will be judging. Well, I'm very careful when I talk about this incident to say that Will Smith, what he did was wrong. I am saying his behavior was wrong. You want to use word judging fine. I am judging his behavior, sniping someone for verbal assault, even if it was a verbal assault is wrong. This is very dangerous. And this brings me to the next point I want to make about violence in our society, we are so quick to escalate in a society that you can you have to be scared to blow your horn at somebody or someone you're driving in traffic. And so you flip somebody up because they will take it to the next level. Couple of quick examples. There was a guy that got into with an older guy in a movie theater, I forgot what the initial thing was about. But the younger man threw popcorn at the older guy throws popcorn at him. The older guy pulls out a gun and shoots him and kills him. That guy is now dead because of that altercation. There's an example of a patron in a fast food restaurant was getting unruly, and call the person behind the counter the end word, it was a 27 year old guy, the guy, the 27 year guy punched the patron, he fell back hit his head and died. So now he's got to live with that on his conscience for the rest of his life. Also, he's been convicted of manslaughter. In our society, we seem to think it's okay to take things to the next level all the time. So I believe in you know, fighting right with what we are fighting, which, you know, with the right amount of resistance, right. So, if someone's using verbal assaults on me, I could walk away, I can verbally assault them back or I can verbally respond or verbally defend myself, Will Smith could have, you know, yelled out, he and Jada could have just sat there stone face and shown their lack of appreciation. They could have gotten up and walked out. Jada has a platform, she has the read table talk, Jada could have excoriated Chris Rock on her platform, but no will chose to punch someone I think that's absolutely wrong. So that's violence our society. The next thing I want to talk about is what the impact is has in the black community. Now Will Smith stood up and gave his acceptance speech for King Richard for the Best Actor, which I think he well deserved. And he talked about how he's a river to his people. I don't even know what that means. But I will say this, when the thing is whether it's fair or not, black people represent other black people. It's a fact of being a minority, when we behave badly, it reflects on all of us. And you know, sometimes I think white people don't understand why we take such pride when black people like Will Smith have excellent people like Tyler Perry, the stuff that he's been able to do Oprah Winfrey because it breaks some of the stereotypes, and shows that we can be excellent to ourselves as role models and also to the wider community. The flip side of that is when someone behaves badly, when a black man slaps another black man, it reinforces that stereotype that black men can't control their temper. It reinforces that stereotype that black people are violent. And I don't like that so But Will Smith did reflects on all of us like it or whether we like it or not, whether he likes it or not. If we're going to take the positive from what he does, then we have to be responsible for the negative too, which is why I feel like I have a special a special responsibility, I guess to respond to this I can't just just ignore it. So the thing is, another thing to talk about is comedy. And I'm going to talk about bad people talk about other people's bodies. I've heard some people say, well, we should never talk about anybody's body that's off limits. So, Chris Rock should not have made the joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair. Now, it's not clear that Chris Rock knew that she had a medical condition has alopecia. Jada has cut her hair short, many times over her daughter's hair is actually very short right now. For whatever reason, we don't know maybe inside of their solidarity with their mother. But Janus hair has been short in the past. Some women do choose a bald hairstyle, they choose a bald house hairstyle. So I don't know if Chris knew what was going on with Jada or not. But Jada. Also a few weeks, I guess a couple weeks before I put out a tic toc saying that she didn't give two craps about people people thought about her head, and that she loved her bald head. And the other thing about comedy, whether you like stand up comedy, or you don't like stand up comedy, there are these things called comedy rose. And the Oscars are kinda like that. Amy Schumer made a lot of jokes that were borderline that night, Regina Hall, I think her name is was a black comedian there, she made some jokes, she made a joke about willing Janus open marriage, which I don't think will really appreciate it. But there is a certain type of humor that you may or may not like, but it's humor. I happen to love stand up humor. And I happen to love people that can laugh at themselves. Amy Schumer made some fat jokes some about ourselves, some about about ourselves and about other people. Some people might say that's off limits, that's your choice. But the thing is, I don't think that the violent response was right in any way. And the last thing I want to say is someone said to me today, you know, I have compassion for Will Smith. And to me, I took that as implying they don't have compassion for Will Smith, I want to say this. I have compassion for wills. But I'm a big fan of Bill Smith. And I found out recently that he was lived in an abusive home. And I understand that he's triggered by anger. I know he grew up in South Philly, which is a rough place. And maybe it's a place where you defend yourself with your fist. I don't know, I didn't grow up in that environment. I have compassion for him. But I can still say what he did was wrong. At the same time, I can have compassion for will. And I can talk about his behavior as being wrong, and I can actually want consequences for his behavior. Now I understand he was asked to leave the theater that night, which I thought he should have been escorted out, it should not have been allowed to receive his award. But I understand he was asked to leave the theater and refuse to leave the theater. The other thing is I also have compassion for Chris Rock. Chris Rock was abused as a child, physically abused, sexually abused, he's talked about it openly. Chris Rock has some sort of a, I guess, autism or some type of he's on the spectrum. He has very, very low self esteem. He was picked on a lot. This triggered him to he had a concert we spoke Wednesday night, which is three days after the event where he broke down in tears. So there are multiple victims in this. But I think Chris Rock is a victim as well. And it's because of wills bad behavior. Now Will and Jada chosen to take the high road and talk about this verbally? To get up and walk out? Are they did we be talking about Chris Rock joke today, instead of talking about Paul Smith. So that went on a little bit longer than I wanted to. But there's a lot in there. And I think this is a teaching moment. This is a learning moment. This is not trivial. This is not discussing celebrity garbage, why more important stuff is going on in the world. This is very important. These are the things that are at the foundation for our society. And these are things that we need to agree on. We need to agree on what's right and what's wrong. We need to agree on what's the appropriate response to things. But this is why we have laws and have a civilized society. We need to discuss these things so far from saying this is something that I'm tired or talking about. This is something I hope that we all learn from. And we all come to our own conclusions as to how we want to moderate our own behavior going forward. So thanks for listening in. Have a great one.