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I’m Sick of the Oscars, Will Smith, and Chris Rock

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

As usual, the blatant hypocrisy of the capitalist system is so sickening it turns my stomach.  And, it should turn yours also.  Just to be clear, I don’t care one bit about Will Smith, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, the Oscars, the U.S. government, capitalism, any of it.

I’m sick of the people claiming that Will Smith was defending African women.  If you really think a stupid, spontaneous, and emotionally generated reaction (if it was even authentic) is a strong example of defending African women than that goes a long way in explaining why African women are never defended in the concrete and dedicated ways that they deserve.

I’m sick of the liberal capitalist bourgeoisie immediately reacting to this foolishness by gasping and denouncing “violence in any form.”  If they really believed in denouncing violence in any form they would consistently denounce the terrorist actions of the U.S. military in every endeavor its engaging in throughout the world.  They would denounce U.S. unprecedented support for the racist settler colony of Israel and its daily violence against the Palestinian people.  They would denounce the systemic violence against the Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere and the African masses scattered and suffering in 120 countries worldwide.  They would denounce the 70 years of terrorism from the so-called North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which is the core reason behind the conflict in Eastern Europe today.  They would denounce racist police gestapos.  They would denounce AFRICOM in Africa.  They would denounce murderous sanctions by this backward government against Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries whose only crime is asserting their dignity.

We all know none of those things will ever be denounced because the purpose of the Oscars and the people who finance and support them like AT&T, Coke, Chevrolet, Will Smith, Jada, Chris Rock, etc., is to uphold the capitalist system.  So, in tune with everything within the day to day operations of capitalism, everything, every time can be attacked and criticized except the very thing that is perpetuating all of the violence in the world, capitalism. 

I’m sick of African petite-bourgeoisie celebrity culture and the people who consistently frame these foolish people and their antics as representative of the actions of the masses of African people everywhere.  Will Smith, Chris Rock, and the like are nothing more than 21st century jesters for the master.  Just as Malcolm X told us 50+ years ago when he warned that the capitalist system will always get its jesters to speak for and represent the African masses.  Fast forward from 1964 to today and Malcolm was clearly prophetic.  Most of us live our lives based upon what these clowns say and do.  The bar is so low that they can use our African culture, which belongs to the masses of African people, and make millions, give a small percentage of that to some insignificant cause like petite-bourgeoisie African colleges, and for most of us, they are doing something for our people.  We believe this nonsense while we consistently ignore the true solders for our people’s liberation who have nothing, yet sacrifice everything for us and we don’t even know their names.

I’m sick of the fact African people are so desperate for positive images that we pander to these rich celebrities who the master scoots out for us.  We refuse to study our history because if we did, we would find out rather quickly that we have multitudes of people who serve as outstanding role models for us and our future generations.  The people I talked about in the last paragraph who’s names we don’t even know.  People who had enough dignity to know that we are oppressed.  All of us have to perform at some point under this oppression, but there’s performing, and then organizing against the master, and there’s what happened at the Oscars; performing for ego, additional market share, nothing…

For anyone serious about protecting African women that has to start with African women and it has to include African women organizing themselves against the forces oppressing them.  As men, there is an overwhelming level of work we can do to defend African women.  Those of us who struggle to do that work understand this clearly and that work doesn’t include theatrical performances of protection.  They involve fighting to create conditions to build capacity for true women empowerment.  An empowerment that can only happen when African people achieve our freedom and independence.  None of that is ever going to happen on the master’s stage, in between the master’s commercials, in front of the master’s vision.  Some of us have enough of our brain cells to be sick of that type of nonsense.  Some of us want so much more for our people and humanity.  And, we know that the work to get us there can never be reduced to anything Will Smith or Chris Rock can perform in real life or on film.

Our lives are no Hollywood performance.  If you truly want African women protected, join and/or start an organization that is fighting against capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy and turn the damn television off.

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Ahjamu Umi is revolutionary organizer with the All African People's Revolutionary Party, adviser, and liberation literature author.

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