With all the racial controversy surrounding the Oscars this year, all eyes were on my friend Chris Rock as he took the stage to host. While some of my fellow African-Americans in Hollywood boycotted the Oscars, I couldn’t wait to attend and support Chris Rock, because I knew he’d take it to everyone in Hollywood, regardless of their race, religion, or politics. He didn’t disappoint.
From the beginning, he tackled race but not in the way that made the liberal Hollywood elites in the room feel comfortable. Instead Chris used his wit, charm, and incisive intelligence to skewer everyone. He wanted to make everyone squirm. He reminded Hollywood liberals that they have been racist and prejudiced. Many of his jokes left many of my liberal colleagues squirming, unsure whether to laugh or be serious or make some other face altogether when the camera panned over to them.
Some people thought this went too far, when Chris asked why everyone was protesting THIS Oscars for not including black nominees. He said:
You gotta figure that it happened in the 50s, in the 60s — you know, in the 60s, one of those years Sidney didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years. Say ‘62 or ‘63, and black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.
But I think this was a GREAT dose of perspective for the ever aggrieved #OscarsSoWhite crowd. He took on Hollywood elites and their perceived self-righteousness. Just like they revealed when I publicly supported Mitt Romney in 2012, they think they’re better than everyone else and on the “right side of history,” whatever that means. All they are on is on the right side of the socioeconomic divide. So they can live their posh lives, make their political statements that require no sacrifice whatsoever on their parts, and continue on to their next party.
I love how David French at National Review put it:
Left hanging in the air is the sad reality that when there were “real things to protest,” activism was far less popular. Now we live in the age of easy activism, the hashtag campaigns that function as nothing more than declarations of your own virtue. But how progressive is white liberal Hollywood when it has to make even the tiniest sacrifices — like perhaps not giving the best jobs to friends and family?
Great job, Chris! And thanks for inviting me to be a part of it!
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