Smith? Check. Now Clean Up the Rest of Your Hot Mess, AMPAS.

Will Smith is banned from the Oscars. CREDIT: Reuters. Halle Berry reacts to Adrien Brody’s non-consensual Academy Kiss. CREDIT: YouTube. Adrien Brody accepts the Academy Award for Best Actor. CREDIT: ©

“Choose this time to not be silent. Choose this time to be the groundswell instead of just hoping there is one.”

Should we not demand, with force and clarity, that AMPAS universally apply its rules of conduct, standard of review, and range of consequences?”

This issue — two tracks of American accountability — has legs. I encounter it often. We disparagingly call this kind of exchange a bunch of “whataboutisms,” and I get that. But there is a genuine fear here that needs more time in the light.

Black Americana can be diligent about not providing cover for bad black behavior. But when moral Americana fails to push back at over tolerating bad non-Black behavior, accountability cants too far the wrong way. The net effect is that White America gets justice’s tolerance, while Black America gets justice’s teeth. That’s a hard no.

Unfortunately, that’s largely how American justice works, but it doesn’t have to. We all should be beating the crap of the equalizing drum — that is, we will neither tolerate nor accommodate two tracks of justice.

We’re relatively new at instant public race-based intercourse, so our mechanics are clunky. Will slapped Chris, what, a week ago? and already we’re deep in the abuse and -ism weeds, yet giving it our all to breathe shallowly. Nuance and relevance are hard in a 240-character attention span era. By the time this topic hits a tweet, it sounds like whining or giving Smith a pass or being hostile to Whites when it’s none of that. It’s a fight for the American id.

Shit’s gotta start somewhere. Might as well be here.

There’s the whole phenomenon that happens in the White community when Blacks cross REALLY OLD conduct lines. Suddenly, words like “boundary” & “impropriety” have meaning. “Accountability” becomes a thing. Grace & depth & nuance & context disappear.

With Black bad actors, we lose that “grace” & “depth.” The whole cha cha suddenly becomes a lot more B & W. X is bad. X is wrong. X should be [whatever]. The offense is crystal clear. The consequence is uber obvious. The wrong is *innately understood.*

And we’re sick of it. Sick of practicing tolerance & embracing the human condition as broken & constantly evolving when the bad actor is white, & ham-handed “off with their heads” when the bad actor is black.

It teaches me 2B distrustful of white contribution-or White Pile on-as it well should. It makes me want to demand THEIR papers pre-participation. “Before u respond, please list where you fell on: HWein b4 he was a thing; Orlando Bloom; Adrien Brody; Kevin Spacey; Woody Allen.”

Precedent is not a river in Egypt. Practice it. Stop discovering shit OVER HERE. Everybody gets away with it, or no one does. That’s not how we live, and I’m not here for it. So, yes — White comedians can show us their bonafides or sit this one TF out.

(I’m generalizing, but only as a shortcut. I don’t believe “all” anyone does anything. Please forgive the resulting implication — it overreaches my individual beliefs. That is, of course, how generalizing operates.)

Signature block of Catherine L. Pugh, Esq., who commonly writes on  race, racism, culture, society, police/policing and misconduct.
EMAIL: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @EsqPugh. View a Race and Profiling Lecture Series appearance here.
Roman chariot in a race for equality because racism can be a contact sport
Ten things to watch out for during racism discussions.
Underground Railroad Quilt used as footer in a race / racism / justice discussion.
Quilts and the Underground Railroad



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