Point of View Columns

Will Smith v. Chris Rock – The Last Words

We live in a time when we actually see the leadership and rank and file of a major American political party openly espousing the demolition of the democratic processes that are the foundation of this already far from perfect country.

We live in a time when seemingly one man, in this case a man named Vladimir Putin, could come damn close to precipitating the carnage of war and destruction beyond anything seen since World War II, with the added possibility that nuclear weapons might be part of a holocaust which will have few, if any, human survivors.

And we live in a world where billionaires will spend $55 million to joy ride around in a space station while humans are literally starving to death on this planet.

Sadly, this list could go on. Therefore, this is as good a time as any to write The Last Words regarding The Slap Heard Around the World – a.k.a. the Will Smith v. Chris Rock contretemps.

Staying in the world of reality here are some real facts:

  1. Will Smith never should have slapped, punched, kicked or otherwise assaulted Chris Rock.
  2. Will Smith is fortunate that (a) Chris Rock is not The Rock and (b) Chris Rock did not suffer some serious injury resulting in Smith’s arrest and conviction along with being the losing defendant in a massive lawsuit.
  3. There is no way that Will Smith should be seen as “defending his woman’s honor”. There are enough corpses resulting from that kind of behavior.
  4. Will Smith absolutely ruined what should have been a glorious night for Venus and Serena Williams and for the entire Williams family and Questlove. They will never get that moment back – and that’s a fact.
  5. There are thousands of people who were present for what was supposed to be a memorable event, and then Will Smith turned himself into some kind of pathetic circus act.
  6. Will Smith’s apology does not remove the stench of the memory of his behavior.

Here are some other facts:

  1. Will Smith did not bring shame upon Black America.
  2. Will Smith did not become a bad role model for young Black men. Anyone who emulates his behavior has only themselves to blame. We all make choices.
  3. Chris Rock did not exceed the bounds of comedy. The point of comedy is that it really doesn’t have any bounds – if you don’t like it don’t laugh. If you really don’t like it walk out.
  4. Chris Rock will be an even richer man than he already is due to the increased attention (and attendance) for his current comedy concert tour which (quite coincidentally) began just a few days after The Slap.
  5. Will Smith shall return to some form of stardom – perhaps diminished for a while, but he shall return.

There are so many historic and existential crises and dangers that jeopardize our lives and this planet that deserve our full and complete attention.

As for this writer – these are the Last Words on The Slap.

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