by Shelt Garner
It was inevitable, given how awash America is with both racism and identity politics, that we would reach a point where all of the hot takes on The Slap were bonkers.
It’s been a few days and I’m still obsessed with what happened because of how shocking it was. As such, I keep looking at Tik-Tok and YouTube to see if there is some new angle that someone has squeezed out of the event.
The growing conventional wisdom is there is no conventional wisdom. The Slap is being processed by every little identity group in its own way. But, in general, the African American community will not brook any outside criticism of Will Smith — even if it comes from someone like Zoe Kravitz. I still don’t get why Black Twitter was filled with rage at her hot take. But, again, I don’t really think it’s my place to comment beyond that.
Anyway, it seems as though the other conventional wisdom is made up of older white and African American thought leaders who are joining forces to take Chris Rock’s side. This comes, I think, from a sense of shock that basic civility was broken in such a shocking way. Being an Old myself, the idea that basic public decorum would be violated in such a random, unexpected way is something that really bothers me.
There is a chance that as Olds — regardless of race — begin to properly process what happened that we might see some sort of accountability. This happens almost every time there is a major crisis like this. At first, people are in too much shock to take the consequences of the event seriously. Then, gradually, it dawns on people in Power, The Powers That Be, that Something Has To Be Done.
So, that seems to be where things stand at the moment. There is a shoe that hasn’t dropped, however — and that’s what Chris Rock has to say about things. He is supposed to have a standup set in Boston tonight and I think whatever he says there will open the next phase in this clusterfuck.