Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin have been hanging out with the wrong people.
On Wednesday's edition of The View, Whoopi Goldberg (beginning at 3:09 of the video below) remarked of her friend Chris Rock
And I want to ask people why you think that he would have indulged in a brawl on stage in front of three billon people. Why wouldn't he be the adult? I keep hearing that and people keep saying- people are gonna you know, think of black people the wrong way. Well, let me tell you, they should be looking at us, saying, oh, O.K. because he didn't indulge, he didn't, there's nothing wrong with what he did.
So there's no issue with black people You have an issue with Will Smith and what he did. Yeah, he doesn't represent every black person on the planet. Stop doing that and assume the right thing was done because the man knows how to act in public.
Other than telling in public a joke in bad taste, a disease common to the stand-up community, he certainly did act with class. He did so, though, in front of fewer than three billion people because such viewership would have represented approximately 38% of humanity, which would be disturbing for the planet.
Nonetheless, Goldberg is right that we shouldn't be surprised that Rock was sufficiently sensible not to respond in kind to Smith in front of hundreds of millions of people. Her main point was that Smith "doesn't represent every black person on the planet," which was the focus of this response from Sunny Hostin:
That's right. I heard the same thing, you know, my goodness, Will Smith exhibiting that sort of violence really plays into the narrative that black people are inherently violent and black men in particular are dangerous and scary.
And if Will Smith behaves like that, oh my goodness, that's sort of, you know, where black people and I reject that as well. I reject that. What Will did was immature, it was childish, it was violent but that was on Will Smith and no one else.
"That sort of violence," Hostin argues, "really plays into the narrative that black people are inherently violent. and black men in particular are dangerous and scary.
It shouldn't, because, as Goldberg, pointed out, Will Smith doesn't represent every black person. However, if two white actors had gotten into a fight similar to the Smith-Rock kerfuffle, the blame in much of liberal Twitter, cable news and other media would have been attributed to "white privilege."
The first part of that reaction- "white"- would have been wrong, as are the acquaintances of Hostin and Goldberg who associate the confrontation to black men allegedly being inherently violent, dangerous, and scary. Smith was acting out of a sense of privilege- the privilege of a popular and very wealthy individual who knew he wouldn't be arrested or even run out of the room because he is popular and very wealthy.
So many things the past several years, and especially the past twenty-two months, have been chalked up to privilege. Yet, while here we have an apparent criminal act taking place with an extraordinary number of witnesses, there are few if any people recognizing that the assailant committed the act with no apparent concern that he might face legal consequences.
Of course, this all hinges on the assumption that the confrontation was real and not scripted which, given that the two subjects are accomplished actors, is too much to assume.