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MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross offered the latest racial version of the Oscars slap in the face on her Saturday show.
The “Cross Connection” host was the latest media personality to speak about actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards after the latter made a joke about the former’s wife. While Cross argued that people were ‘tired of talking about it’, his panel, which included TheGrio columnist Michael Harriot and actress Yvette Nicole Brown, told viewers why white people should ‘abstain’ .
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“It was about the relationship between black people,” Harriot explained. “It’s hard to explain to a white person what the difference is between a freehand slap and a punch, because they consider everything violent. It’s hard to explain that everyone, really, has a certain threshold for which he will react in a certain way – be it say something to his mother, to his sister.”
Brown agreed that conversation is primarily something black people need to discuss with each other, but noted that the black community is not a monolith.
Cross appeared to disagree, noting that there was a “commonality” among black Americans regarding the Oscar slap.
“I’ll try to put this into context for our fellow white people as best I can,” Cross said. “In really, really black America, there’s a commonality between all of us. If we went to a white man’s house, and it was his family dinner, and we sat at the table, and the mother walked away and slapped the father and everyone at the table has an opinion.”
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She explained, “If I come in as a guest in this house and say, ‘Yeah, you guys are terrible,’ everyone says, ‘I’m sorry. When did you get a notice? is our family table.” That’s what that moment felt like for many of us, and there’s a nuance that happened.
Cross condemned Smith’s actions and called him a “tyrant,” but again stressed that the conversation should not revolve around white opinions.
“I want to be very clear, as we talk about family conversation. I think it’s utterly ridiculous to center this conversation on white people’s opinions. That’s pretty much what happened there- low. The starting point shouldn’t be what the Whites think about it. It’s just that moment between these two men. I thought it was inappropriate,” Cross said.
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Brown ended the discussion by introducing the topic “Black men in pain” and hoping that Smith and Rock are getting the help they need.
“Will lost a lot at his own hand, didn’t he? But there is underlying pain that needs to be discussed and when they get help I hope they both do. , we’ll celebrate that,” Brown said.