Forbes Contributor: White Supremacy to Blame for Will Smith Controversy

Will Smith (Elisabetta Villa / Getty)
Elisabetta Villa / Getty

Forbes contributor Maia Niguel Hoskin has written that white supremacy is to blame for the controversy over Sunday night’s altercation at the Oscars in Hollywood, when actor Will Smith hit comedian Chris Rock for joking about Smith’s wife. Both men are black.

Hoskin, who focuses on “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” for the publication, wrote an article on Monday titled “While Talking About Will Smith’s Behavior, Don’t Forget To Also Talk About The System That Helped Create It. She said:

[P]erhaps the larger question that should be asked is why Blacks in Hollywood have routinely been expected to grin and bear embarrassment and degradation without expressing any discontent or risk being viewed as angry? Furthermore, why is it permissible for a Black woman’s health condition to be made content for a few cheap laughs at an award show and how will this incident overshadow the hard work of Will Packer, the Black man who produced the award show along with an all-Black team for the first time in history.

Some argue that while violence should never be condoned, perhaps there is space to hold empathy for a man who works in an industry that promotes stepin and fetchit politics and asks for Blacks and other people of color to grin and bear experiences of embarrassment and degradation or risk being labeled as angry or aggressive.

Some argue that this is not about Will Smith and Chris Rock being Black or Will Smith “setting Black people back.” 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. Respectability politics suggest that equity and fair treatment require that Black people — both inside and outside of Hollywood — conduct ourselves in a manner deemed acceptable to whites. Furthermore, expressing any emotion other than complacence, apathy, or agreeance directly violates those norms, disqualifying Black people from receiving the same equitable treatment that whites enjoy as a birthright. And sadly, there is a large group of Blacks who have internalized this toxic messaging.

Hoskin did not mention that the target of the violent attack, Chris Rock, is also black.

Read her full article here.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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