We are Better Than That!

“Each of us is more than the worse thing we have ever done. “

Bryant Stevenson

Will Smith is much more than the slap he delivered to Chris Rock while millions of people watched on the Oscars. This was also the first Oscars produced by a Black man, Will Packard, and an all Black production crew. This was a historic night. The night was historic, but for some wrong reasons that should not have happened. The slap should not have occurred and we must act differently even we we think we are defending others, including our family and our wives.

I believe Will Smith made one of his worst decisions last night at the Oscars. It was not wise to walk on stage and smack another Black man. It was not wise to let the emotions of protecting your wife dictate your behaviors, especially when those behaviors do not resemble behaviors you would want our young people (your children) to follow. We condemn violence against kids. We condemn violence against women. We also condemn violence when there is interracial violence caused by bias or prejudice (hate crimes). Violence should be condemned at all times.

We cannot pick and choose when violence is ok. We cannot say that violence from one Black man towards another Black man is ok because he was protecting his family. There are ways that we as GROWN MEN AND WOMEN should act or react towards others that threaten our family. Sometimes a public (international) display through acts of violence is not the answer. Sometimes we must restrain and contain our emotions and realize that our actions will dictate not only our consequences, but those of others who look up to us and may immolate our behavior. As Black men, typically no one will stop us from fighting each other. If it is a public fight, we may be at times encouraged to fight each other even more violently. Some people may even videotape the altercation and put it on “World Star Videos” for further exploitation. As Black men, we also know that unlike violence geared towards people from another race, law enforcement or security may not always intervene the right away and may not be able to solve the problem of violence or throughly stop it from happening.

Will Smith is a great actor. He is now an Oscar winner as well. I do not know what kind of husband, father or son he is, but I do know this recent incident with Chris Rock, even if the worse thing he has done, does not define him or his life. We should not cancel Will. We should not, nor let others, ban him from the Oscars. We should hold Will accountable for his actions and he should apologize to Chris and not just the Academy. Lastly, our young people need an apology and also to see alternatives to problem solving and protection other than violence. Violence is not productive, and also leads to arrest, civil suits, retaliation and even sometimes needless deaths or damage to property. We are better than this, so let’s not let this happen again. Will you are better than this.



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