All the nation is abuzz with the now infamous Will Smith slap of Chris Rock. This schoolboy squabble is actually a major headline in the news this morning. It’s right up there with the war in Ukraine. The fact that this is a major news event leaves me shaking my head in bewilderment and annoyance. Sometimes, the pettiness of our nation is so glaringly apparent. Is this scandalous? Yes. Is it shameful? Yes. Is it immature? Most definitely.
I can’t help but liken it to two boys in the schoolyard. On the one hand, you have the loudmouth class clown poking fun and making a joke at the expense of an innocent target who happens to suffer from a medical condition. When we are small, like in kindergarten small, most of us learn not to make comments about someone’s appearance. It’s rude, it’s unkind, and it’s hurtful. We understand that some conditions create differences in appearance that cannot be helped. We also learn not to stare or make remarks about someone’s looks. Simply put, it’s bad manners.
On the other hand, you have a big-shot cool guy who loses his temper, has a lapse in judgment and reacts in haste and anger. He slapped the shit out of the loudmouth and called him on the carpet for his rudeness. Was it the most mature reaction? No. Could he have handled it differently? Perhaps. However, we also learn very early on in life the rule of “keeping your hands to yourself.” Most of us understand at home that it’s not okay to hit someone. By the time we attend school, this is thoroughly enforced.
So, who was in the wrong? I just had the conversation with my bean that no one party is one hundred percent innocent when conflict arises. One party may be more blameless than the other, but it takes two to create a conflict. In my simple mind, both men were at fault. They are guilty of one thing, not following the golden rule in the simplest of terms. Chris Rock should have never commented on anyone’s appearance, especially on such a public stage. If he were to put himself in the Smith’s shoes, I’m certain he would not be happy. Will Smith should have kept his hands to himself. It’s pretty simple.
Now, dear reader, if I am to be transparent, I have a soft spot for Will Smith. He saw someone he cares about embarrassed and in pain for an unnecessary comment about a condition she cannot help. Trust me, a woman and her hair is a REALLY BIG ISSUE. I think Chris Rock had it coming. We would like to believe that we have evolved beyond resorting to violence as humans. However, it is apparent we have not. Look around the world, and one will see proof that we indeed have not.
So, let’s think about how this situation could have been handled differently. Will and Jada Smith could have sued Chris Rock. However, that would tie up the court system, setting back more critical cases like rape, murder, or abuse. He could have spoken to him after the fact and reached a peaceable agreement, but hindsight is always 20/20. They handled it like schoolboys. One guy ran his mouth, the other guy slapped him for it, and it’s done. They apologized, they made up, and it’s over. It’s not dragged out for weeks or months in the court system, costing thousands of dollars, time, and resources. It’s over.
As with everything in this country, it’s now becoming a more significant issue. The proverbial molehill is being turned into the proverbial mountain. There is a call for justice; there must be consequences. How about this, we allow these two men to handle things on their own, and we all take note of the lesson to follow the golden rule: treat others as you wish to be treated. I think the embarrassment these two men have created for themselves is punishment enough. They have apologized to each other for their lapse in judgment. Let’s stop focusing on trivial fodder and pay attention to the actual violence in the world, like the war in Ukraine. Now that is an injustice and deserves a call to action.
These are just the simple musings of a goat farming soap maker. I mean no offense, and I understand and respect we all have our opinions. As always, my dear reader, stay safe, be smart, for the love of all that's holy, follow the golden rule, and keep washing your hands.