The Academy Awards Rewards Violence

by | Apr 2, 2022 | CULTURE

The distinction evaded in the condemnation of Chris Rock's joke and the apologetics for Will Smith's act of violence is the difference between speech and physical force.

On Sunday, March 27th, 2021, actor Will Smith walked on the stage of the 94th Academy Awards (“the Oscars“) and violently slapped comedian Chris Rock, in response to a joke the comedian said:

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it, all right?” [audience laughs]

The joke was funny enough that Will Smith laughed at it … until he saw his wife’s reaction.

“Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth!” Smith twice shouted as he left the stage after the slap. The audience was silent as the shocked comedian Rock piped “I just got the s- slapped out of me by Will Smith.” Smith was not ejected from the event, and a short time later accepted the award for the male actor of the year for his performance as Richard Williams in the Serena-Venus tennis documentary “King Richard.” It was like the incident never happened.

What followed when the event was over was even more bizarre, as the Hollywood chatting classes engaged in making apologies for Smith’s behavior and some even tried to blame the victim. The comments were to the effect of “To be clear, I don’t condone violence, but…”

The “but” negates any claim of not condoning violence.

Here is a sampling:

“You just got to witness in real time what happens in a man’s soul when he looks over to the woman he loves and sees her holding back tears from a ‘little joke’ at her expense. This is what any & every real man feels in that instant. while y’all seeing the joke he’s seeing her pain.”

So if one’s wife is insulted by John the Baptist– off with his head?

“To be clear, I don’t condone violence, but [Will] defending Jada showed strength in my eyes and was very comforting to see a man stand by his woman when she has alopecia.”

According to Will Smith’s apologists, his wife has a health condition that is causing her to lose hair, and Chris Rock should not have been joking about her shaved head. Therefore according to this twist of logic, Smith was justified in slapping Rock as he was ‘defending his wife’, (“black men don’t do this enough!!”)

Rock’s joke made no fun of her non-life-threatening, cosmetic condition, but was stating that her haircut made her look like Demi Moore in the heroic GI Jane. If anything it was a compliment given the plot of GI Jane.

Yet, all this chatter misses the essential point. Even if Rock’s joke was an insult – and it was not – this does not justify Smith’s violent actions whatever his wife felt. [1]

The distinction evaded in the condemnation of Chris Rock’s joke and the apologetics for Will Smith’s act of violence is the difference between speech and physical force.

It’s in the nursery rhyme “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” It’s actually what Richard Williams ingrained in his daughters Venus and Serena when he had a group of kids shout expletives and racial slurs around her as she hit tennis balls. (On the tennis court, Serena Williams could be verbally abusive in her on-court tennis tirades, but she never resorted to physical violence against her opponents or anti-Serena fans.)

Words can emotionally ‘hurt’ you. But there is a difference between a joke and a fist; a word and a bullet; the Declaration of Independence, and a nuclear bomb. The way to respond with words we do not approve of is with more words, not physical violence.

Writes philosopher Ayn Rand on those who start the use of physical force:

Man’s rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from pursuing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgment.

The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.

It’s a lesson that unfortunately a large number of people have not learned.

Such is the case in today’s government-run schools of miseducation (though the problem is not just limited to state schools). Schools seem more concerned with “socializing” children in alphabet ideologies (LBGQT…XYZ) and Marxist-styled racist “anti-racism” theories than to teach children how to think rationally and deal with disagreements without resorting to violence. So rather than learning rational rules of behavior children develop an ethical code known as the “code of the schoolyard.”

What is ignored, is like Will Smith, a large number of these young men don’t know how to use their minds to reason and discuss issues but choose to resort to violence. Only two years ago in the 2020 Election season, while people were rioting for months over the murder of George Floyd, being ignored was the fact that 90% of black homicides are committed by black criminals. The result is the decimation of Black “inner cities” as regressive Democrat mayors defund the police and Democrat District Attorneys refuse to prosecute and release violent thugs who beat up, rob, and murder black men, women, and children. The results of such a culture of violence in large segments of black America have been devastating. According to the late black economist and former head of the prestigious GMU economics department, Dr Walter Williams,

“In recent times, there is an average of 9,252 black-on-black murders every year. Over the past 35 years, that translates into nearly 324,000 blacks murdered at the hands of other blacks.”

Actor Will Smith is the new poster boy for this pro-violence movement.

The lesson to be gathered from Will Smith’s indecent behavior is that when someone says something you don’t like, you need to violently attack them until they stop speaking. Because if you do engage in violence, like Will Smith, you won’t even get a hand slap, with fellow movie stars even applauding such behavior (and white or black people who condemn such behavior being called racists or “Uncle Toms“). [2]

In response to Will Smith’s actions, the Academy released a Twitter statement:

“The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

Later they said, “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”

According to a governor on the Academy board, Whoopi Goldberg (recently off her suspension from ‘the View’ for her anti-Semitic, Nazi-like remarks on the Holocaust), has pre-ordained that Smith will keep his award. Of course, this ‘review’ could take weeks. So it seems that the Academy is just waiting for this incident to leave the news cycle and move on as if nothing happened, as it has done with child rapist Polanski. (Smith cleverly has preemptively resigned from the Academy, eliminating the possibility of throwing him out.)

What if Will Smith took a nonviolent approach and went up, and being a comedian himself said “Hey Chris, maybe if you shave your microscopic balls you could be GI Jane?” He had a podium for good, and instead of imitating Martin Luther King, he chose the principle of democratic dictators like Vladimir Putin: to initiate physical force to silence his critics. (It was the victim Chris Rock who imitated the legacy of Martin Luther King in choosing not to retaliate.)

Smith is no Putin in practice, but in principle, he was operating on the same ethic of evil: I may start the use of physical force to achieve my ends. Yet, the only acceptable use of violence is in self-defense or in retaliation against those who first commit violence. So a moral use of force would be for the L.A. county DA to file charges and physically arrest Smith, and in the case of Putin’s war against Ukraine, Ukrainians are completely justified in using force to defend themselves. Similarly, the Academy would have been justified in using force to physically remove Smith from the grounds, and Chris Rock would have been justified in slapping Smith back and perhaps punching him a few times for good measure. [3]

That slap never came from the professional Chris Rock, but it should come from the Academy which claims that it does not condone violence. That ‘slap’ should come in the form of rescinding Will Smith’s award and sending a message to all Americans – especially the young ones who look up to actors and movie stars [4] – that even someone of Smith’s success, money, privilege, and power is not above the law, and more importantly above moral and ethical principle.

Anything less than rescinding Will Smith’s award is to condone Will Smith’s actions and reward violence. Actions speak louder than words and the Academy’s inaction is another slap, this time at the principle of justice.

 

Notes

1. The NY Post reports that there is a history between Rock and Smith’s wife, “Rock poked fun at the Smiths back in 2016 when the A-list couple boycotted the Oscars due to all white acting nominees. “Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” Rock joked.”

2. A derogatory term used by “lynch mob” racist Democrats against blacks who do not tow the “progressive” line such as the highly intelligent black supreme court justice Clarence Thomas.

3. “Chris Rock praised for not hitting Will Smith back after Oscar slap: ‘We need to applaud his professionalism’ https://t.co/ArslUVn1m0

4. Will Smith’s son reacted to Chris Rock slap with a ‘And That’s How We Do It’ https://t.co/k0FTVJwVFU

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Mark Da Cunha is the editor of Capitalism Magazine and creator of capitalism.org. Twitter: @1MarkDaCunha

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