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Guardian columnist writes that 'white outrage' over Will Smith's Oscar slap 'is rooted in anti-Blackness'

Before we get into The Guardian’s take on Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars Sunday night, we have to once again marvel at satirist Titania McGrath, whose tweets so very often turn out to come true. Check out her take:


A day later, along comes Tayo Bero to address the “white outrage” over Smith’s slap (white outrage meaning a tweet from Judd Apatow). And speaking of tweets, Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Ayanna Pressley, both of whom are black, deleted their tweets praising Smith.

We guess it doesn’t matter that Smith slapped another black man. Nope, it’s still anti-blackness to support Rock in this altercation.

Bero writes:

I also find it hard to believe that the same white audiences who consume violence against Black people on screen to an almost fetishistic degree (and are quite happy to have the Academy reward these gratuitously violent projects year after year) are so distraught about an open-palm slap. Again, this kind of performative pearl-clutching is only ever reserved for Black men who mess up.

But white outrage isn’t the only problem. For Black people who have been conditioned to constantly perform the most non-threatening version of themselves in order to retain white approval, the image of a Black man being “violent” in a space notorious for its overwhelming whiteness must have felt like an abomination. The ESPN commentator Stephen A Smith lambasted the actor on Twitter for “staining” the greatest moment of his career, before taking to a video to express his disappointment.


Um … again, we’re sorry for asking, but does Bero know that Smith has become a multimillionaire by starring as the guy dishing out the violence in a whole lot of his movies? Do blacks who buy tickets to “Bad Boys for Life” also consume this violence to a fetishistic degree? Being black has really hindered Smith in his career.


You did, sort of. We’re going to put Bero’s last sentence here; this is his chance to wrap it all up:

But as we await the results of the Academy’s investigation, what I hope will remain is the opportunity to truly question how society views Black men, what we see as disability, and who we see as worthy of protecting.

But where’s the “inequality in plain sight”? We were promised an explanation of the anti-blackness of the white viewership.


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