by Shelt Garner
Now, let me be clear — I’m trying to pick my words very carefully so I give maximum empathy to the African American community as a middle aged CIS white male. And, honestly, in an ideal world, I wouldn’t even touch this subject, but The Slap has now officially transcended pop culture to enter the mainstream zeitgeist.
As such, it’s a subject that is both very touchy and something that we need to talk about.
Ok, here’s what I believe is happening with The Slap. From what I can tell, the African American community wants to handle this event themselves. They want to process what happened in their own way and at their own speed. And, yet, at the same time a lot of white people are using The Slap to make points, some of them racist. This aggravates and antagonizes the African American community that is still in shock and doesn’t need the help of white people to figure out what it all means.
So, in a sense, I know The Slap may now have legs because a similar dynamic to the OJ Trial has begun to swirl around The Slap. The white community’s take on what happened and the African American community’s take on what happened are now beginning to diverge greatly.
While not all of the white outrage as to what happened is racist, a lot of it is. What’s more, a lot of fucking racist MAGA New Right assholes believe they can get away with using their outrage over The Slap for a blanket indictment of not just the African American community, but the white liberals of Hollywood, too.
Another sign that we’ve entered a new phase in the discourse around The Slap is people like Zoe Kravitz have come out in support of Chris Rock and Black Twitter has attacked her, pointing out her perceived hypocrisy on assault. I think it has something to do with Alexander Wang.
The nuance of Black Twitter’s anger towards Kravitz is something I continue to struggle with. Or, put another way, there’s something going on that I as a white CIS male don’t really have the right to root around in.
But, unfortunately for everyone in envolved, now that we’re in a new phase of Slap discourse, things are going to get more and more corrosive and divisive because white America is beginning to see what happened in a totally different way than African American community and people like Ms. Kravitz are stuck in the middle.
Or something. What do I know.
Anyway, I think The Slap is now going to simmer on the pop culture front and the law of unintended consequences is going to kick in. It will be interesting to see what the ultimate endgame for The Slap will be.