Slapgate

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I don’t watch the annual conspicuous consumption extravaganza of the celebrated class otherwise known as the Oscars. The evening of self-congratulation and obscene spending on wear-once outfits that could otherwise rescue a family in trouble triggers my gag reflex.

But I confess I did a little follow-up on the slap felt around the world. Most notable to me were public comments by people so pathologically sensitive they ought not be allowed out of doors unsupervised, and maybe on a strong tether.

One said that slap incident was about a much larger systemic issue rooted in white supremacist culture, and that the real culprit is a racist system. Well, I somehow missed that part. Another blamed Donald Trump, but that was predictable.

Janice Gassam Asare wrote in Forbes that the scandal is primarily perpetuated by “the white gaze.” Among other absurdities she wrote, “By saying that Will Smith shouldn’t have reacted that way because of how he will be perceived by the largely white audience is the perpetuation of the white gaze.”

 I guess to further prove the magazine has evolved, Forbes also ran an article by Maia Niguel Hoskin with puzzling insights like, “This is about a much larger systemic issue rooted in white supremacist culture designed to police the behavior of Blacks amongst the who’s who in Hollywood and beyond.”

Eisa Nefertari Ulen wrote in The Hollywood Reporter, “Rather than punitively discipline Will Smith for his violence, the Academy and the Hollywood machine should take this opportunity to reflect and recognize their part in fomenting it.”

In the Guardian, an op-ed by Tayo Bero interpreted media outrage as “rooted in anti-Blackness.”

I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more, Toto. But after all, with too much time to stare at their own bellybutton and hone their favorite gripes, encouraged by a culture of excuses, should we expect such pointy heads to recognize reality even if it slapped them in the face?

So to speak.

If anyone still wants to have a national and rational discussion on race, good luck with that.

[Terry Garlock occasionally contributes to The Citizen. tlg.opinion@gmail.com]