“The Slap” Is a Huge Distraction

Susan K. Smith.2 35
Susan K. Smith.

 

By SUSAN K. SMITH

Crazy Faith Ministries

 

It has not been surprising that most of the buzz for the past week has been about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.

The passion has been and continues to fan the flames of conversation, with people offering their opinion of what happened, why it happened and what should be done about it.

But in a day and age where the lives of all of us are under serious threat by a group of people who want to fundamentally change the way we live, the attention to “the slap” seems misplaced.

The process of dismantling this government is continuing, but few people have shown the kind of passion, awareness of, and commitment to, preserving our rights as American citizens. We are deeply passionate about the unjust war Russia is waging against Ukraine – and rightly so – but we are almost comatose about applying that kind of passion to the assaults against the masses that are being planned in broad daylight right in front of our eyes.

The gaslighting designed to make scared White people more afraid and determined to vote the “lefties” out of office is increasing. “They want to defund the police” is going to be heard in every state in the union, but there will be no mention of the very real plan to defund public education. Why isn’t there an outcry from the public, most of whose children would be devastated if that plan was carried out? And is anyone thinking about what privatizing education would mean for Black, Brown and other marginalized groups, whose education is already grossly underfunded by the federal government and consequently, by the states?

The radical right wants to defund other programs that help the masses, including Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Some governors are still refusing to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion, dealing a harsh blow to the many people who cannot afford health care without it. And the governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, vetoed a bill that would have forced the state to provide federal pandemic rental assistance to people who have been economically devastated by the pandemic.

Why, again, is there no outrage and deep, passionate discussions about the threat the far right proposes as concerns women’s reproductive rights? It seems pretty clear that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, but politicians are attacking a law that made it unconstitutional for states to control a couple’s rights to use contraception. In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-to-2 ruling, struck down a Connecticut law that restricted married couples’ access to birth control.

The far right is already clamping down on what our children are allowed to be taught and to read, removing books from school libraries. That is just a step away from what Nazis did when they burned books as Hitler came to power. And there is a push by many on the far right to make white nationalism (they call it Christianity) the religion that all people will have to practice in this country. Former National Security Director Michael Flynn says, “we all have to practice the same religion.”

Why aren’t people up in arms, fighting against this encroaching evil? Why is “the slap” more important than is our right to the upholding and improving our democratic republic? Why isn’t the possibility of losing our basic rights of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press bothering people? We are headed toward a society that will severely curtail the basic rights of all people which will of course affect Black, Brown and other marginalized groups in this country exponentially worse.

In the end, we cannot do a thing about what Will Smith did on Oscar night. We have no power over what happened. But we do have the power to challenge rank evil and injustice. I want Will and Jada to be OK. I have no doubt that the career of Chris Rock will only blossom because of the incident.

But Will Smith and Chris Rock don’t suffer like the masses do. They don’t have to struggle to get a living wage, they don’t have to worry about how their children will suffer if public education is defunded and they have excellent health care.

We need to leave “the slap” alone and gear up to save our own lives by fighting against powers and principalities that want nothing more than to dominate all of us, the suffering it will cause notwithstanding.

 

 

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