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Will Smith, the incident with the slap in the face of Chris Rock at the Oscars becomes a tool for learning to resolve conflicts

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CHICAGO (CBS Chicago / CBS News) – Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock on Monday for hitting him at the Oscars the night before, saying he was “wrong” and “wrong.”

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was wrong and I was wrong.” Smith wrote. “I am ashamed and my actions did not show the person I want to be. There is no place for violence in the world of love and kindness. ”

“Jokes about me are part of the job, but Jade’s jokes were too strong for me, and I reacted emotionally,” he added.

Meanwhile, as reported by Stephen Graves of CBS 2, Monday night young people in Chicago are using this moment as a point to discuss broader issues.

“I talked about it with my roommate, friends and family,” said 21-year-old Domayanti Wallace, a native of Chicago who is currently studying in Los Angeles.

Smith slapped Rock after the comedian joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who starred in the fictional sequel to the 1997 film “G Jane.” Pinkett Smith, who announced this a few years ago she has alopecia – an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss – shave your head. Returning to his seat, Smith shouted at Rocco that he “should not say my wife’s name.”

“I don’t have any negative feelings about it,” Wallace said. “As I mean, it happened and we saw their apologies.”

But Wallace sees this incident as a path to much debate.

“It’s a cool conversation to the same extent as a race conversation, and as much as it’s a critique of comedy,” Wallace said.

Wallace said she did not tolerate violence, but considered the situation from all sides.

“We also have to recognize that the people we put on these pedestals are people,” Wallace said. “I think what we really saw was a turning point.”

So how do you resolve a conflict before you reach a tipping point? This is a topic of discussion among high school students Jamina Lyle.

“This generation of kids is dealing with an anxiety we’ve never dealt with,” Lyle said.

And for some as a baby gets older, he or she will outgrow this.

“Those were different answers,” she said.

Smith instructs teens at an alternative school called Association House in Humboldt Park – a place where there is no zero tolerance for action.

“Because it’s unrealistic. There is conflict,” Lyle said. “And the most important thing for parents, as well as for teachers and administrators, counselors and teachers and all these people, is to help our students; our youth is trying to figure out how to constructively navigate conflicts. That’s why we need to give space for conversation.”

And the incident, seen around the world, is now being used to teach lessons near home.

Lyle says the important part is observing and then taking action to work on feelings that can lead to confrontation.

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