Will Smith was not happy with Chris Rock’s joke about his wife, Jada, at the Oscars.
The incident was caught on camera and has since gone viral, sparking much controversy.
Well, let’s explore the problem nobody wants to talk about:
Why it’s always ok for men to berate and belittle black women!
It doesn’t matter if you believe Will Smith was right or wrong. The bigger issue is that we would rush to defend Will Smith or Chris Rock. We say, “it was just a joke. We say, “he was joking about everybody.” I even heard someone say, “Why didn’t Will punch the guy his wife had an affair with?” And my favorite, “Why would Will and Jada sit in the front row if they are so sensitive.”
Yes, Chris Rock is a comic. But let’s look at who his most harmful “jokes” were aimed at? And where do we draw the line when it comes to humiliating black women? We think it’s wrong for Chris Rock to be slapped on national tv but we don’t think it’s wrong for Jada to be humiliated?
When do we say enough is enough?
Do we continue to make excuses because someone is wealthy or because they are famous? They should have to take humiliation?
I’m not sure about you, but I’m tired of making excuses. I am tired of turning a blind eye to the public humiliation of black women.
Tired of being told to lighten up or that we are too sensitive.
Tired of our past indiscretions and less-than-perfect moments being used against us.
Tired of being the butt end of jokes that are meant to hurt and demean.
I’m done making excuses. Men like Chris Rock and Will Smith need to do better. We all do. While it was wrong for Will to punch Chris, don’t turn a blind eye to what started the party.
It’s time to hold men accountable and demand more from them. Black women deserve better.
Here are a few questions to ponder and maybe put things in perspective:
- Would Chris Rock or any other comic have made the same comment about Michele Obama? And would we be this angry if Barack were the one who slapped him?
- Would Chris Rock have made that same comment about Kevin Costner’s wife or Lady Gaga or Billie Eilish?
- And finally, if the same joke had been made about a bald white woman, and a white man punched Chris Rock, what would the narrative be?
Jokes are funny, but there is a point where it goes too far. And the line in the sand is when it demeans and degrades a black woman!
Last week we watched Ketanji Brown-Jackson navigate disrespect and humiliation with the elegance and grace that only a black woman would understand. Then we watched Chris Rock do what a black man should never do — publicly shame a woman. When will it end?
Ladies, I challenge you to stop laughing at the humiliation of other black women. Stop judging other women when you don’t know her story and haven’t walked in her shoes.
We don’t know what happens in the Smith household. We don’t know what happens in the Rock household. But what we do know is both these black men have black mothers and black daughters. No woman should have to get dressed up in an elegant ballgown on her husband’s big night only to be humiliated on national television.
And while we might say Will could have handled it better. Maybe he should have handled it in private. Isn’t that part of the problem? We allow the black woman to be humiliated in public, but when it comes time for an apology or repentance, we want that private. When it comes time for someone to stand up for her honor, we want that done in private!
I for one will be loud and proud when it comes to my beautiful brown queen sisters. I will not stand for our humiliation. I might not slap somebody on live television, but I will use my voice to say, “not on my watch.”
It’s time to hold Chris Rock and other comedians accountable for their jokes that humiliate black women. We should not be laughed at or made to feel uncomfortable in our own skin. There is no excuse for this behavior, and it needs to stop. Excuses like “he was just joking” or “it’s just a joke” are not acceptable. We deserve better, and it’s time to demand more from those who are supposed to love and protect us. And ladies, it’s time to speak up and say enough is enough. Black women deserve better. Jada deserved better.
Any man who has the courage to stand up for a black woman is alright with me.