Sour Grapes Post Election 2012

Friday, April 1, 2022

admitting Will Smith: harm he’s done to others.

When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face. With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community. 

That’s a lot to unpack. Let’s start with the facts: Rock made a reference to Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, as looking like Demi Moore in GI Jane, in which Moore had shaved her head. Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss. Ok, I can see where the Smiths might not have found that joke funny. But Hollywood awards shows are traditionally a venue where much worse things have been said about celebrities as a means of downplaying the fact that it’s basically a gathering of multimillionaires giving each other awards to boost business so they can make even more money.

The Smiths could have reacted by politely laughing along with the joke or by glowering angrily at Rock. Instead, Smith felt the need to get up in front of his industry peers and millions of people around the world, hit another man, then return to his seat to bellow: “Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth.” Twice.

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Some have romanticized Smith’s actions as that of a loving husband defending his wife. Comedian Tiffany Haddish, who starred in the movie Girls Trip with Pinkett Smith, praisedSmith’s actions: “[F]or me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.” 

Actually, it was the opposite. Smith’s slap was also a slap to women. If Rock had physically attacked Pinkett Smith, Smith’s intervention would have been welcome. Or if he’d remained in his seat and yelled his post-slap threat, that would have been unnecessary, but understandable. But by hitting Rock, he announced that his wife was incapable of defending herself—against words. From everything I’d seen of Pinkett Smith over the years, she’s a very capable, tough, smart woman who can single-handedly take on a lame joke at the Academy Awards show.

This patronizing, paternal attitude infantilizes women and reduces them to helpless damsels needing a Big Strong Man to defend their honor lest they swoon from the vapors. If he was really doing it for his wife, and not his own need to prove himself, he might have thought about the negative attention this brought on them, much harsher than the benign joke. Thatwould have been truly defending and respecting her. This “women need men to defend them” is the same justification currently being proclaimed by conservatives passing laws to restrict abortion and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Worse than the slap was Smith’s tearful, self-serving acceptance speech in which he rambled on about all the women in the movie King Richard that he’s protected. Those who protect don’t brag about it in front of 15 million people. They just do it and shut up. You don’t do it as a movie promotion claiming how you’re like the character you just won an award portraying. By using these women to virtue signal, he was in fact exploiting them to benefit himself. But, of course, the speech was about justifying his violence. Apparently, so many people need Smith’s protection that occasionally it gets too much and someone needs to be smacked.

What is the legacy of Smith’s violence? He’s brought back the Toxic Bro ideal of embracing Kobra Kai teachings of “might makes right” and “talk is for losers.” Let’s not forget that this macho John Wayne philosophy was expressed in two movies in which Wayne spanked grown women to teach them a lesson. Young boys—especially Black boys—watching their movie idol not just hit another man over a joke, but then justify it as him being a superhero-like protector, are now much more prone to follow in his childish footsteps. Perhaps the saddest confirmation of this is the tweet from Smith’s child Jaden: “And That’s How We Do It.”

That's How We Do It

The Black community also takes a direct hit from Smith. One of the main talking points from those supporting the systemic racism in America is characterizing Blacks as more prone to violence and less able to control their emotions. Smith just gave comfort to the enemy by providing them with the perfect optics they were dreaming of. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro wasted no time going full-metal jacket racist by declaring the Oscars are “not the hood.” What would she have said if Brad Pitt slapped Ricky Gervais? This isn’t Rodeo Drive? Many will be reinvigorated to continue their campaign to marginalize African Americans and others through voter suppression campaign.

As for the damage to show business, Smith’s violence is an implied threat to all comedians who now have to worry that an edgy or insulting joke might be met with violence. Good thing Don Rickles, Bill Burr, or Ricky Gervais weren’t there. As comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted: “Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.” 

The one bright note is that Chris Rock, clearly stunned, managed to handle the moment with grace and maturity. If only Smith’s acceptance speech had shown similar grace and maturity—and included, instead of self-aggrandizing excuses, a heartfelt apology to Rock.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air October 5, 1994 

I met Will Smith when I appeared on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 28 years ago. And I’ve been to his house. I like him. He’s charming, sincere, and funny. I’m also a big fan of his movies. He’s an accomplished and dedicated actor who deserves the professional accolades he’s received. But it will be difficult to watch the next movie without remembering this sad performance.

I don’t want to see him punished or ostracized because of this one, albeit a big one, mistake. I just want this to be a cautionary tale for others not to romanticize or glorify bad behavior. And I want Smith to be the man who really protects others—by admitting the harm he’s done to others.

Update: Since this article was first published, Will Smith has issued an apology to Chris Rock, the Academy, and the audience. In part, he posted:

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Will Smith @ Oscars 2022

Healing is Needed

There are several layers to what happened at the Oscars during “the slap that echoed across the world” (quoting the reference to Sidney Poitier’s character slapping a plantation owner in a 1967 episode of The Heat of the Night).

Violence took on many forms last night at the Oscars. 

There was verbal violence in the form of a joke by Chris Rock. Referring to Jada’s shaved head, he said, “Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it, all right?” Then there was the physical violence in response by Will Smith when he walked onto the stage and slapped Rock before returning to his seat. There is the history of conditioning in this country that taught us as a people to be violent. And perhaps there was the violence within Will’s personal narrative that has him engaging in an inner war with himself, playing out for all to see.

Many will laugh at what happened, but laughing is a lazy approach to addressing the physical and verbal violence of the moment. Laughing allows us to not take it as seriously as it was. It removes personal, social, and culturally responsibility to look deeper and ask questions that equip us to heal ourselves and our people.

Some will talk about what they would have done if slapped. Again, that’s a cheap approach to solving a deeper problem as it relates to the stories that have shaped how we think we would have reacted. If you would have reciprocated physical violence, why is that? Who taught you to respond in that way? Who would benefit from your violence? Who loses something? Are there alternatives?

Here’s a list we need to unpack as a people:

  1. The implications for deeper internal narratives of trauma, including Will’s personal story which he talks about in his most recent book, as well as the story of trauma experienced by Black people over hundreds of years in this country. How might these narratives factor into what happened?
  2. The economics of the slap. Which companies benefited from the slap.
  3. Ideas of what it means to protect Black women. Is violence the only option?
  4. Various forms of violence. Are were viewing the situation through both the verbal violence of words used to harm and the physical violence?
  5. The global narrative of how Black men are perceived to be violent and unable to control their emotions. But who gets to determine what control looks like for a person who has experienced systemic racial violence in its many forms?
  6. Ideas of restraint and hiding inner pain to protect one’s ability to economically benefit from capitalism. Simply put, how often do we go through life wearing masks to be seen as a safe and acceptable Black person?

There are those who believe Will Smith did the right thing. 

Does that mean the only way to protect the Black woman is to inflict physical violence on verbal perpetrators of violence? Who taught us that protecting the Black woman from harm requires violence as the only option? Who taught you that the only way to garner respect is through inflicting pain?

In this country, the Black man has historically been kept from defending Black women. He has been, and continues to be, killed for doing so—especially if he is protecting her from White violence. This raises another question:

Would things have played out differently if a White man made the joke? 

Yes, they would have. Will may not have walked up there and slapped a White man. Why? Because that’s not permissible violence. But he can slap a Black man. That’s permissible violence and, for many, not even a crime. It’s expected behavior. How do we shift that narrative and demand equity in dignity humanity, and respect?

And what about the companies that benefit from the slap? 

Companies that make movies and sell advertising. Netflix, Apple, and Disney, for instance, but even the Oscars and movie studios. Companies that buy and sell advertising like The Trade Desk, Magnite, and PubMatic too. Studios and media outlets will capitalize on the moment for rating and economic gain. Will Smith made rich people more money last night. Investors are forward thinking. They understand the future economic gain of a given moment. So while the situation might not immediately convert to cash, it will definitely generate money next year. Media moments move markets. They will lean into unhealthy conversations to make it easy for us to overlook the deeper issues and engage in intellectually lazy conversations. Wealthy people could not care less about the cultural implications of Black trauma. They are looking at how the situation makes money.

We must ask bigger questions and have deeper conversations. 

This moment is an opportunity to shift the conversations so that they land somewhere productive for our people to help move us in a healthier direction. What did our culture lose, gain, and perpetuate that does not serve us well? What’s the inner work that each of us needs to do in order to heal and overcome ideas of identity that do not serve us well? What does our culture need to heal? Do we even have the right in this country to heal from our trauma? Do we give each other permission to heal from our inner pain? America has always monetized our bodies through violence, and in some cases, we have been rewarded for harming our own people to the economic gain of people who don’t look like us.

What about Jada in this situation?

What harm was done to her in addition to the verbal violence by Chris Rock? What did she expect from her husband? Is this even what she wanted from him, or did he assert his idea of what she needed that may have really just made him feel good about himself as a protector? What kind of protection, emotional protection included, did she need years before the Oscars? Do we even create space in our relationships to ask each other what we need to feel safe and protected? We don’t know. Some of us don’t even know what we need to feel protected and safe. Male or female. We often only know what we have been taught and conditioned to expect. We concede our agency and right for healthy relationships to inherited narratives from family and society that are not healthy and don’t serve anyone well.

Clearly from my litany of questions, I don’t have the answers. Perhaps the answers are that we think more deeply. Look inward and begin to find those things within ourselves that need healing in order to stop harming ourselves and others, and self-sabotaging our journey. So much harm has been done to us as a people, and there is a lot for us to heal. Healing begins with awareness. That’s step one. A genuine desire to heal is step two. Then there’s the willingness to do something about it, to create action to actually heal.

I’m not sure how to best close out this piece. Maybe it doesn’t need a conclusion because, just like what we witnessed at the Oscars, there is no clean and easy way to move on. It’s not that simple. The story isn’t over and there is a lot more work to be done—on ourselves, in our communities, within our culture, and the broader society.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

C'mon Man . . . So said the POTUS

It's time...  it's epic....   Its Election November 2016

C'mon the POTUS

It's time my dear world....   It's epic!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Michelle Obama and Melania

Michelle Obama…the most elegant, classy, sophisticated, poised First Lady in history. And tied with Hillary as the most educated — the only two in history to hold doctorate-level degrees. Only three first ladies have had graduate degrees: Laura Bush had a Masters in Library Science; Michelle and Hillary each have a juris doctorate.
And no two women have been more maligned in modern history than Michelle and Hillary.
But the ugly talk heaped upon Michelle by conservatives has been especially insidious because it centered on the racist theme that black people are “mentally inferior.”
I’ve always felt a connection with Michelle — her undergraduate degree was in Sociology, same as mine; she got her degree in 1985, same year I did; she graduated from law school and took the bar exam in 1988, same as me.
But because of white privilege, I didn’t have the same obstacles she had.
Michelle had already moved into her freshman dorm at Princeton when Alice Brown drove all night from New Orleans to drop off her daughter, Catherine Donnelly, at the front door of the dorm, while she went on to the Nassau Inn to rest. Catherine got all settled-in and acquainted with her new roommate before heading over to the hotel to report to her mother. And what her mother heard, made her head spin. Mrs. Brown was “horrified” — her word. She stormed over to the administrative office and demanded that her daughter be reassigned to other living quarters: “I told them we weren’t used to living with black people — Catherine is from the South.”
Michelle was 17; she was so intelligent she had skipped 2nd Grade; she had graduated at the top of her class from a high school for gifted students; she had been accepted to one of the top colleges in America, based on merit, not on affirmative action.
And a white woman from the former Confederacy pitched the mother of all fits simply because Michelle was black.
In 2008, we had a God-given opportunity to bridge the color divide in this country. People of color make up only 13% of the population. And only 13% of that 13% voted. Yet, President Obama received more votes than any other president in the entire history of our country. And that was because 43% of the white voters joined with the voters of color to put a black man in the White House.
And we didn’t do it just for that purpose; we didn’t do it out of “white guilt” as conservatives dismissively call it — we did it because we saw an extraordinary man of uncommon wisdom and brilliance and we knew he was exactly who our country needed to lead us out of the economic collapse and global upheaval which we had been left with after years of failed conservative policies.
So of course Michelle was finally proud of her country when 43% of the white voters in America asked her to move into the White House as the First Lady of the United States; when white people who once made her feel unwelcome in a dorm room were now welcoming her into the most prestigious living quarters in America.
But white conservative Christians couldn’t give it up. Their selfish pride prevented them from mustering even the tiniest bit of empathy that would have allowed them to see the world through the eyes of Michelle; to understand why she was finally proud of her country.
The same event which presented us with the greatest opportunity since the Emancipation Proclamation to bridge the color divide, so horrified them that they launched an eight-year character lynching of President Obama, smearing him, lying about him, robbing him of credit for his unparalleled-in-modern-history turnaround of the US economy, saddling him with blame for things which rightly belong at the feet of Bush and the Republican-controlled congress, repeating over and over and over, “he has taken over our country” and “we need to take our country back.”
And this is the problem with Melania Trump using verbatim lines from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. It’s not about plagiarism. It’s not about Melania being “dishonest” or “lying.”
It’s not about her past modeling. It’s not about her morals — liberals berating her and calling her a “tramp” should be ashamed. We can’t be hypersensitive to disparaging comments about Hillary while unleashing a torrent of hateful misogynistic attacks on Melania.
What this is about is the same thing most everything has been about in the last eight years.
It’s the hypocrisy.
The hypocrisy rooted in racism.
It’s the racist hypocrisy that allows you conservatives to laud and applaud words from the lips of a white woman, after scorning and shaming a black woman who previously uttered those same words.
It’s the racist hypocrisy that makes you heap praise and platitudes on a white woman with no degree, after denigrating and disparaging a black woman with a doctorate-level degree.
It’s the racist hypocrisy that causes you to elevate a white woman whose claim to fame is baring her bosoms, after eviscerating a black woman for wearing dresses with no sleeves.
But opportunity still awaits — it’s never too late to do the right thing.
After eight years of demonizing President Obama and claiming without evidence that he created the new racial tensions; after accusing him, without facts, of instigating violence against law enforcement, we can still fix this.
It merely requires summoning our better angels to rise above our fears and let go of our pride so we can open our hearts to others and see the world through their eyes.
And the burden of the first step lies upon white shoulders.
We broke it.
We need to fix it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The "D" . . . is silent

First night of the RNC.....T & P equal Toilet/Paper???

 Not you Stephen.......

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Democrats that Lift my Spiritual Confidence

Lord, Please let this cycle of  . . .The Truth be Told.... continue in America! Year 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Travels to DC while it's still BLACK

My golden girls are a'planning a trip

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lie Witness News - MLK Day Edition

The people who believe that MLK would endorse Trump are probably the same people who are going to vote for Trump.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Interesting Blogger Friend ....

McKinney: Where Police Turn a Pool Party into a Texas Rodeo - See more at:

By now most of the Western world has seen the sickening video coming out of McKinney, Texas of local police tunring a simple pool party into a potential riot zone. Nothing in this video represented responsible community policing. In fact, the scene more resembled what one might expect at a Texas rodeo! From the opening montage of the officer running wild and tumling like a bucking bull, it was clear that these cops did not show up to bring calm and restore law and order. They were on the hunt.

The worst moment of the nine-plus minute video is footage of Cpl. Eric Casebolt wrestling a 15 year-old girl to the ground and placing his knees and bull body weight on the small of her back. This type of treatment, usually reserved for calves in a rodeo arena, was on full display in a suburban neighborhood. We can no longer tolerate these “cowboys” with badges who, in the case of Cpl. Casebolt, deem it necessary to draw his weapon on a group of unarmed black teens who are coming to the aid of a young girl he is brutally manhandling. Someone with such disregard for young, unarmed members of our society has no business policing our communities. I am calling for the McKinney Police Department to fire Cpl. Eric Casebolt immediately! He should have no problem finding employment in another line of work. I hear the Texas Rodeo is hiring. He already shows he has the experience. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015


A good read - AntiMedia website
Another war hawk who was brutally incorrect on the Iraq War is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2002, he testified to a congressional committee between his stints as Israeli Prime Minister, billed a “foreign policy expert.” In his testimony, he said, “…there is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing toward the development of nuclear weapons — no question whatsoever…Saddam is hell-bent on achieving nuclear capabilities as soon as he can.”

As we now know, not a word of what Netanyahu uttered was correct. As the 2006 Senate Intelligence Committee Report noted—start reading on page 52 for the conclusions— Iraq was not working on nuclear weapons and Saddam was not hell-bent on achieving nuclear capabilities.

Today, Netanyahu is leading the charge against the nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “a bad mistake of historic proportions.”  This is the same person who in 2002 wrongly accused Iraq of building a nuclear weapon and heavily lobbied the U.S. Congress to use force against Iraq.

In his testimony before Congress, he said,”If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.” He was wrong then—and he is wrong now.


a rightwing populist with a strong appeal in evangelical circles, finished second in the Republican primaries in 2008 after winning the Iowa caucus. He went on to work as a host for Fox News.

Running for the White House a second time, he is lagging in the 16-strong GOP field, which was led in a CNN poll released on Sunday by Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Only the top 10 GOP candidates will participate in the first debate, in Cleveland on 6 August 2016.

In its statement, the National Justice Defence Center (NJDC) added that though “it is almost pointless to demand Governor Huckabee apologize for his remarks”, other Republican candidates should do just that.

“Republicans have fallen over themselves to speak out against Donald Trump’s outrageous rhetoric on immigration and veterans,” the NJDC said. “Will they now do the same and speak out against this unacceptable attack against President Obama that smears the memory of Holocaust victims … or will they stand by in silence and implicit approval?”

Monday, July 6, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Laying Claim to my Gorgeous Natural Hair

In the fourth episode of How to Get Away with Murder, Annalise (Viola Davis) takes off her wig and makeup before confronting her husband. It’s a scene that quickly became the show’s stand-out moment, one that showcased Annalise taking off her metaphorical armorand one that the actress says was her idea.

“I’m claiming it,” Davis said in a new interview with EssenceI’m a woman. I like to see women on TV. I like to see real women on TV. That for me is what’s inspiring and that for me is exciting.

When I see an archetype of womanhood on TV, it depresses me.”

Viola Davis went on to say that constantly being fully made-up on the show would make her seem like a Barbie, something that’s “not human.” “Human is, ‘I have to take this hair off at night,’ she said. “African-American women, we wear a lot of wigs. We take our makeup off. We don’t walk great in shoes. We’re not necessarily likeable or always a size two. Some of us have deep voices and then you’re just going to have to deal with it.”