Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Will, I know you're from Philly, but you're not ROCKY.

 I didn't want to blog about the slap heard around the world, but since everyone else has given their opinion I will throw in my two cents worth as well.

First, I am not a fan of Chris Rock, never have been. There is a houseish (my word) element to his comedy and to him that I have always found to be a bit disconcerting. He is the kind of brother that comes to the cookout and tells those other folks all of our secrets.  But I digress. 

On to Sunday night, and my homie, Will Smith, doing the unthinkable. (At least for someone in his position.) My first thought was that it was all an act, but then I saw Smith going on about "keep my wife's name out of your f****g mouth", and it hit me that it was all very real.

The commentary from various sectors of society has been interesting. Listening to right-wingers, for instance, condemn the violence at the Oscars, but refusing to condemn the insurrectionist on January 6th who tried to overthrow the government was rich. The hypocrisy of it all. But shame on Will Smith for acting out in such a manner and allowing certain folks in society to say: "See, I told you so, that's how they are". 

Look, I get wanting to defend your wife's honor (Pay attention Ted Cruz) but there were other ways that he could have handled that. Back stage comes to mind. The show of toxic masculinity was not a good look. Sadly, that is what a lot of people have come to expect from black men, and Smith played right into that stereotype. He did it in primetime no less, for all the world to see. I would hope that Will is way past the trying to impress Jada phase of their relationship, but apparently not. 

There is a reason that a look or a verbal diss can get you killed in many of our neighborhoods. As a criminal defense attorney, I have had to defend a countless number of young men who let their emotions get the better of them at the wrong time. Many of them were from poor broken homes, and they were raised by the streets, so striking out was all they knew. Will Smith is worth millions of dollars, and he  was living his best OJ life (when white folks don't see you as black) so he had no excuse for acting out in such a manner. I say was, because that has changed. Now, to folks in the majority population, he is black again. 

Will Smith should dedicate the rest of his life to helping young black men keep their emotions in check and checking their toxic masculinity at the door. 

One night at the Oscars that went sideways might actually end up being a teachable moment. 

I know who is already over it: Chris Rock. His upcoming tour has already sold out all the cities he is playing in, and tickets are going for double what they were before he felt Smith's pimp hand.

"My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," Smith wrote. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong."

Everybody doesn't hate Chris now. He can thank Will Smith for that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Being "woke" means never having to fear being "canceled".

If you want a good read check out the article from about the New York Times bothsideism hit piece on "cancel culture". 

Memo to the Times: If you can't see the difference between ordinary citizens rejecting homophobia, racism and other forms of ignorance, to actual politicians passing laws to ban books and other forms of free expression, then there is no place for you in this debate. :

If a collective group of individuals choose to shun someone on social media or not to spend their money supporting an artist they find offensive, that should be celebrated, not condemned as cancel culture run amok. 

I consider myself "woke" and I am proud of it. That's not something to be ashamed of. Being respectful of others and their differences, and standing by your beliefs is what we should all strive for.  I am not out to "cancel" anyone, but if the shoe fits.

Just look at the people who whine about being canceled and ask yourself what they all  have in common. I guarantee you that it's not the traits that I mentioned above. 

"Woke" has become a dirty word, and it shouldn't be. But the folks who control the media narrative in this country are not good actors, and it goes to something deeper: A  fear of something that they have no control over and don't know how to stop.   

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Another World War?


There is a war now raging in the Ukraine, as the word's most evil leader flexes his (what used to be) muscles at the Ukrainian people. War is ugly, and no one wants this, but here we are.

I know that people in places such as Africa and the Middle East have suffered a similar fate with less sympathy than the Ukrainians. And I understand the sentiment that says that we should be equally outraged when human's have their lives disrupted in this way no matter where they are. But if you don't understand that Russia, as a country with nuclear capabilities, has the ability to change our lives as we all know it, you have been living under a rock. 

These are dangerous and scary times, and they call for serious thinkers and leaders. Unfortunately, here in  America, we have had to deal with a right-wing that believes that this is a time to ramp up the culture wars, score cheap political points, and articulate Russian talking points. When we consider that most right-wingers view Putin more favorably that their own American president, it should give us all cause for pause. 

Of course we understand why they have taken this posture. For four years tfg  played best buds with  Putin, tried to weaken NATO, and pretended that Russia could become one of our closes allies. Now that we are seeing Mr. Putin's true colors, it's hard for them to let go of the narrative and face the reality of what we are dealing with.

It wasn't that long ago that the world was at war, and that war ended the way that we all wanted it to. Now, as history starts to repeat itself, we find ourselves wondering if this will be different, and if it isn't, what then? 

Our fellow right-wing citizens who have been acting as Putin cheerleaders better think long and hard about that.