Reggie Jackson: My Problem With How The American Public Reacted To Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock


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By Reggie Jackson, Milwaukee Independent

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars before things got heated. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

I did not feel a need to add to the overwhelming number of articles written. However, two things changed my mind. First, was the over the top remarks and headlines which would have made you think Will Smith pulled out an Uzi and sprayed the crowd. Second, the people who decided that their outrage at Smith was more important than the feelings of Jada Pinkett Smith.

The double standard when it comes to violence is nauseating. We hear people talking about “black-on-black crime” but those same people are silent about “white-on-white crime.” American movies are full of violence. Multiple, very violent American movies have won awards at the Oscars over the years.

One slap, viewed by millions is no reason for this nation to once again attack the manhood of Black men. One slap is no reason to ignore the sanctity of Black men protecting the honor of their wives. One slap will not make us forget the constant violence imposed on a marginalized community based simply on the color of their skin. One slap will not make the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery disappear from our consciousness. One slap will not define the millions of Black men in this country. One slap will not define Will Smith.

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