Why I Cheered When Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock  – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Melina Abdullah (photo courtesy)

I haven’t watched the Oscars. I traveled, worked and organized.

I admit that I was a little annoyed when my group chat started to explode on Sunday night … People in my circle gasped, exclaiming, “Oh, my God!” Finally, one shouted, “Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars!”

I still didn’t care, I thought it was stupid to waste energy. I’ve never been a big fan of any of them. Nor were they big supporters of the Black Lives Matter or the movement.

There’s a lot of work to be done on how Chris Rock introduced our people to Pride March years ago. Will Smith was never available or hugged. I don’t care how stupid they were. Until the intricate details of Jada made me watch Chris joke about Will’s lack of brown-haired, radically free, unexcusable, brilliant black wife, the mother of his children.

As Chris nodded, Will joined in the laughter for a moment … then Jade’s pain cut through the air, patted him on the shoulder, lifted him from his seat, and carried him to the stage to banish the daylight from Chris, then he returned to his front seat and warned, “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth.”

He said those words twice. Tears welled up in my eyes, my heart danced and I rejoiced in the depths of my soul. Then I watched Will’s Oscar for Best Actor and talked about the need for “protection” and “protection” – he didn’t say “Black Women”, but called Aunjanue Ellis, Venus, Serena and the Black Girls who played them. King Richard.

He called Jada. And the tears that flowed in my eyes became more abundant. As I soaked them up, my Spirit cried out, “Me too! Me too!”

The experiences … new and old … rushed forward … I had just been in federal civil court, which I inexplicably lost because a jury (including no black woman) refused to believe me … or any from supporting videos or testimonies, over a lone white cop who accused me of assault.

I had spent a week watching videos from the Senate confirmation hearing of future Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson … watching Ted Cruz attack her for children’s books, Fox News challenging her intellectual status, and random Republicans grabbing her over coals for everything from child pornography to critical racial theory.

I was in the midst of developing a strategy on how to protect one of our most revered and ingenious intellectual leaders, whom a white supreme and patriarchal system dares to attack in an extreme act of hypocrisy. And we are in the midst of a month when police violence claimed the lives of Breona Taylor, Migan Hokkaido and Wakisha Wilson. A month claimed by black women to celebrate our divinity in the midst of a world trying to turn us into mules.

When Will Smith hit Chris Rock, I put my own being in Jada’s shoes and felt the imperfect-perfect love of two black men who share partnership, children, intimacy, life, care, and pain. While black women have never been defenseless, I long for the love and protection of our brothers, especially when there are too many examples of betrayal … like that of Chris Rock that night.

When Will Smith punched Chris in the face, I felt that someone was finally standing by us and for us. In addition, Jada was replaced by my mother and daughters, my sister and my friends, my mentors, black women who are “strong and fragile.” Black women who work and love black men and the world.

Black women who are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder and are considered “Sapphires” because they dare to scratch and save to support our children. Black women who are told to smile politely through abuse … to “persist.” Black women, whose unlimited gifts and talents are constantly being appropriated by white women and profited from a capitalist system, especially the entertainment industry, which allows black women to be insulted by Oscar scenes.

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to unpack a little, to think … more than just to feel. I wondered how my own pain and experiences could color my vision. I thought about the contradictions as I contemplated and worked to build a world of peace, as I welcomed the slap.

I thought about how the slap could be used to fuel a story about blacks and violence. I thought how much more satisfying it would be if Will Smith slapped Ted Cruz.

I also thought about what it means that white people are constantly interfering – that 300 of them “stopped studying” on Instagram, punishing me for applauding the “violence.” I thought of white feminists challenging my brand of femininity ки dragging me for a story about a “girl in trouble.”

I understand that it is complicated. I understand that my initial answer is not the same as the one I had time to sit down with. I also know that I am not the only one who longs for more slaps to heal. For more Will Smiths to stand up when black women are disrespected and neglected.

What Will did was an act of protection and defense. I rejoiced and cried because I was very tired of standing alone, being told to swallow my grief and pain and accept them.

Take it from the system of white race-patriarchal capitalism and take it from the black men who stand on stages, big and small, and mock black women with bald heads in front of white audiences.

Melina Abdullah, Ph.D., is a co-founder of the Los Angeles department of Black Lives Matter and a former chair of the Pan-African Studies department at CSU-LA.

Why I Cheered When Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock  – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Why I Cheered When Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock  – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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