Op-ed by Howard Eagle
The following article written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar regarding the recent Oscar-awards-buffoonery between Will Smith and Chris Rock is making its rounds on all of the popular social media platforms. It was sent to me by two respective associates, asking for my opinion.
My response was/is essentially that, first of all, for the most part, I have ignored this BS, so-called “conversation.” Considering all of the dire issues and problems faced by Black folks — THE FACT THAT THIS BULL IS DOMINATING HEADLINES, AND DINNER-TABLE- CONVERSATIONS — IS CLEARLY INDICATIVE OF HOW SICK AND RACIST THIS NATION REALLY IS!!! Why don’t folks carry on like this (day-in-and-day-out) about (for example) the long-standing, decades, if not centuries-old, urban education crisis, or the decades-old, Black fratricide that has been sweeping across this thoroughly racist, white supremacist-based nation-state (in every direction — North, East, South, and West) — due mainly to SYSTEMIC ALLOWANCE OF ILLEGAL GUNS, WHICH FLOW LIKE WATER FLOWS FROM NIAGARA FALLS (VIS-A-VIS LILY-WHITE COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING THE ONES THAT WILL SMITH, CHRIS ROCK, AND KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR LIVE IN) — THROUGH PREDOMINANTLY BLACK, ECONOMICALLY IMPOVERISHED NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES, AGAIN — THROUGHOUT THIS THOROUGHLY RACIST, WHITE-SUPREMACIST BASED NATION-STATE (IN EVERY DIRECTION — NORTH, EAST, SOUTH, AND WEST)???!!!
Simply put, Jabbar ought to be ashamed of himself. I thought he was supposed to be such a well-educated, moral and spiritual man??? It is abundantly clear that living high-on-the-hog causes ‘negropeanish’ attitudes and belief systems to set in, which often results in the spewing of massa’s narrative and rhetoric. With regard to this particular clown show, there can’t possibly be any better examples or cases in point than those quoted below.
The completely illogical, ridiculously ludicrous idea that Smiths stupid behavior “perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community [,and] the Black community also takes a direct hit from Smith” is just that — thoroughly illogical, ridiculously ludicrous, and RACIST as hell. I can only wonder if it has occurred to Jabbar, and/or other supposedly intelligent Black folks in particular — that (for example), a crazy white boy can shoot up a Black church during Bible Study, kill nine people, and declare that he “committed the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war,” and no-damn-body spews rhetoric about his behavior “perpetuating stereotypes” about the WHITE community, and/or the WHITE community “also taking a direct hit.” To add insult to injury, the greatest degree and levels of atrocious violence (historically) that has transpired in this thoroughly racist, white supremacist-based nation-state has emanated from the white community.
If it wasn’t so sick, the following wild assertion would be laughable, e.g., that “one of the main talking points from those supporting the systemic racism in America is characterizing Blacks as more prone to violence and less able to control their emotions.”
WHAT???!!! Is he really saying that white folks rationalize perpetuation, reinforcement, and maintenance of systemic racism by claiming that Blacks are more prone to violence and less able to control their emotions??? The operative term is “prone.” That makes zero sense. Even many racist whites understand that they would have to come up with a better excuse than that. Anyone who would dare attempt to advance such a stupid, debunked argument would automatically and necessarily have to be a hard core, ignorant racist. Such idiocy does not even warrant debate. It can be dismissed summarily out of hand — period.
The following is an absolute, super-quantum-leap in “logic,” e.g., because Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars — “Many [white folks] will be reinvigorated to continue their campaign to marginalize African Americans and others through voter suppression campaign.”
WHAT??? Stop it. Anyone who was/is involved in a “voter suppression campaign” don’t need Will Smith’s stupidity to reinvigorate them. If Jabbar had said that the possibility of Ketanji Brown Jackson being confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice could reinvigorate those involved in voter suppression, that might have made sense, but Will Smith’s stupidity — how???
Again, it is straight-up shameful for Jabbar to attempt advancing completely unsubstantiated, fallacious claims regarding acute simple-mindedness on the part of “young boys—especially Black boys—watching their movie idol not just hit another man over a joke, but then justify it as him being a superhero-like protector, are now much more prone to follow in his childish footsteps.”
WHAT??? I wonder if the simpletons include Jabbar’s grandchildren??? Somebody should go ask him if he believes — because his grandchildren “watched [Will Smith] hit [Chris Rock] over a joke, but then justify it as him being a superhero-like protector, [his grandchildren] are now much more prone to follow in [Smith’s] footsteps???” Jabbar needs to stop!!!
Howard Eagle is a longtime educator and local anti-racism advocate, known for his campaigns for the Rochester school board and prolific political and social commentary. Eagle taught social studies in the RCSD for 23 years, before retiring in 2010, and is now an adjunct professor in the Department of African American Studies at SUNY Brockport.