I Don’t Like What I See…

Many people may consider that my position allows me to view life through a very biased lens. It could be assumed that the condition of our world would automatically be condemned by God being the standard of perfection. I realize that I live in a tension that constantly taps into the sovereign nature of my Creator while navigating the spaces of humanity. I have come to the bitter conclusion that this world is absolutely terrible. No, no, no, no! I mean many days it appears that redemption is beyond anyone. The way that people address life, no one is allowed to function and figure out there feelings, emotions, personal trauma, or any other issues without the social commentary of people that live with conjecture and opinion.

Unfortunately, the Oscars provided another opportunity for people to examine in a vacuum the feelings and emotions of one man in response to the normal ebb and flow of comedy. I have witnessed in a short amount of time the opinions of people run wild after West Philly decided to slap Bed-Stuy for comments made about Balitmore on a stage in L.A. Everyone is up in arms and talking about everything from defending honor to toxic masculinity and the like.

I want everyone to stop for a moment. Back off the lack of nuance and examine what has become the norm of our society. People no longer want to offer any human being the space to address the human experience anymore. I mean come on. At some point, a human being needs to feel some emotion. We have tried to place popular human beings in a box to the point of being robotic. We say to ourselves that the response was wrong. We say that we understand the reaction. We say it was comedy and by nature it is offensive. However, we have not said or considered that every person has a moment that takes them beyond their threshold.

I am of the mind that people do not listen enough to one another. Matter of fact, I am convinced that most of the people speaking negatively about the whole situation have never truly listened to Chris Rock or Will Smith. I am further convinced that if we had active listening, we would understand the crossroads that took place on Sunday night. Both of these men have given the world insight into their private lives (that the world does not have a right to have access). They both have dealt with extremely trying issues that have been brought before the world. Everyone has lived with offering opinions. Both of these men have talked openly about their issues (Will on Red Table Talk; Chris in his stand up special, Tambourine).

On Sunday night, Chris decided to do what he normally does, comedy. Whether people like his brand or not, Chris Rock is a comedian that deals social commentary through that lens. Will decided that Chris to it a bridge too far. That bridge may have come at the cost of constantly dealing with the jokes and issues of his marriage. It may have reached that last straw when you are attempting to sell yourself as a person at peace with the decisions and choices you have made about your personal life. It may have been that this was the first time Will finally felt it. I don’t know.

What I do know is that incident reminds me that we live in a world that is not actively trying to create space for people to work out their stuff. I realize that every person has their own personal agency and is responsible for it. Yet, I am also convinced that we continue to do a piss poor job of enhancing and changing the environment. I recognize that I am not responsible for massaging the feelings of others. Yet, I am responsible for how I navigate spaces and observe the room. I am not responsible for what people say to me. Yet, I am responsible for how I react and address my feelings in that space.

In a perfect world, Will would have shook it off and Chris would have keep it moving. However, we now have two black men responding to one another in a setting that is still so white. (Side note: Why do y’all still watch the Oscars again?) People will continue to highlight this moment for awhile. However, my hope would be that reasonable human beings will begin to ask themselves–How can we help the human condition to respond differently? Maybe it is one person’s opinion, but I got a feeling that we have more work to do. Maybe we need to get back to this list…

  1. Listen
  2. Observe
  3. Build Up
  4. Grow

How ’bout it….

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