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Will Smith’s slap is the best and worst display of “protect black women”

by Brittany Wilson
Will Smith's slap is the best and worst display of “protect black women”
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Will Smith defending his wife isn’t the problem, but the impulse of his actions are.

The most shocking moment of this years  92nd Oscar night is undoubtedly Will Smith interrupting the show to slap Chris Rock in defense of his wife being the center of the nights joke.

Protect Black Women

Although the altercation was impulsive, and showed a different side to Smith,  Black women are deserving of protection the first time someone disrespects them. And many Black women fight and advocate for that type of protection everyday.

Protecting Black women isn’t just a hashtag, but a call to action that must be practiced daily. So what happens when the only times we see Black women being protected is when a person is on their last straw? Or worse, like in many everyday situations when extreme physical or emotional harm has been done.

From Hollywood’s favorite couple to pop culture laughing stock

Smith and Pinkett Smith have been one of America’s longest standing couples in Hollywood today. Spending more than two decades together can wear on any relationship.  And the public has watched the couples’ image shift from being role models of Black love, to the laughing stock of the year when rumors of their relationship style were confirmed because of Jada’s infamous entanglement in 2020.

Although both parties have gone on record to defend the openness of their relationship style, Jada became an enemy in the public eye, while Will was viewed as the victim in their relationship.  Social media pundits have made the couple the center of many jokes over the last two years.

Will Smith: the slap heard around the world

Fast forward to the Oscar night, it was clear that Will had enough of the jokes. And while many are in defense of his actions, one must question: how can we assert ourselves and protect the Black women in our lives on an everyday basis? Is there an urgency to protect the emotional and physical safety of Black women?

Many felt that Jada was an easy target, not only because of her extramarital relationship, but also because Will did not come to her defense in the height of her online bullying and criticism.

Sure, it’s easy to point fingers when someone is in the hot seat but Will has been on record saying that“You get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life,” Smith said during a 2018 interview. “There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do — ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death and it feels so good to get to that space.”

3 comments

Stanley Johns March 30, 2022 - 9:44 am

He was protecting his wife. Period.

MB March 30, 2022 - 11:35 am

It’s interesting to hear Will Smith scream ‘keep my wifes name out your mouth’ but happily several months prior talk about how he desired a harem filled with the likes of Halle Berry and Misty Copeland at his disposal for his sexual whims. Not only did he disrespect his wife in that moment, he disrespected those women and their partners all at once. Not to mention the very real gaslighting Jada pulled on Will when he spoke about her sexual affair with her son’s friend. Like Trump’s “fake news”, a new buzzword was created. But foul is foul and to sleep with your children’s friends not only interferes with your childs social circles, it has evidently been deeply humiliating for her husband.

Protecting black women in America? I’ve been standing up for them my entire life despite the abuse endured by them at pretty much at every twist and turn. Where sisterhood is a cute catchphrase but rarely a lived reality. The reality is loving Black women is exhausting. It really is. Because those who don’t have their mind right choose to make it exhausting. But defending the Smiths? Nope. Their cult of celebrity and toxicity is what it is. Between them they have amassed an absurd amount of wealth, and they chose to commodify their narcissism and dysfunction (peeks over at the Kardashians) and they have reaped what they sow. And constantly infantilising Black women and men to be the perpetual victim is insulting to their own will power and power of choice. America can choose to continue to make everything a political and social identity issue until its blue in the face. But to continue to pretend Will and Jada are victims? Y’all can miss me with that mess. It’s a no from me.

Jillian Player April 1, 2022 - 1:12 pm

He wasn’t protecting his wife. He was protecting his ego.

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