Sunday, April 3, 2022

Will Smith Gets Slap Happy at the Oscars!

In my own life, I do my best to use one set of weights and measures.  By that I mean applying the same standard always when judging individuals, businesses, politicians and even nations.  There is not a day that passes that we do not see exasperating evidence of double and triple standards being applied.  We saw Republican senators recently excoriating a nominee under consideration for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by senators who previously voted to confirm her!  No gloating here, Democrats.  Your treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate Judiciary hearings was not your finest hour either. 

The Cleveland Browns recently acquired a superb quarterback, Deshawn Watson whose 5 year contract will provide him with a miserly $230,000,000. Presumably, after taxes, he should still have enough to live comfortably.  As everyone in Cleveland who is breathing knows, Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits accusing the athlete of sexual abuse.  In fairness, two grand juries declined to indict him for a criminal offense and Watson has of yet not been convicted of anything. He denies the allegations.  However, the NFL was sufficiently persuaded of his misconduct that it is expected that he will be sanctioned by them.  I’ll ask readers to consider how their employers or prospective employers might react if they faced nearly 2 dozen civil lawsuits for sexual abuse.  Let me be the first to respond.  In my case, I would expect that my employer would arrange for a pair of security guards to escort me to my car.

A week before this posting, during the (yawn) Academy Awards ceremony, actor Will Smith charged the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock hard across the face.  This wasn’t merely a demonstration of unrestrained rage and horrible judgement.  It was a crime witnessed by millions of people.  Smith returned to his seat and avoided any consequence either from Academy security personnel or law enforcement.  Later on in the ceremony, Smith received his Oscar award and was seen celebrating later that night.  Of course, the Academy promises a ‘full investigation’, but I think we all know where that will land.  A day after he committed assault and battery, Smith issued a lawyerly apology that was obviously crafted by others. 

What would have happened if an ordinary person in the Oscar audience -or anywhere else- stood up and approached another person and slapped him silly without warning?  (Here’s a hint.  If you’re thinking ejection from the auditorium followed by arrest, then you’re on the right track here.)  Suppose one of my patients arrived 20 minutes late and I seethe over this disrespect and opt to let my hands do the talking.  Do you think that I would be permitted, if not encouraged, to continue seeing patients later that day or ever?  More accurately, that would be the day that my retirement would begin.

Using one set of weights and measures would restore so much faith in the system and in each other,  Many folk prefer to have multiple sets at their disposal.  I guess this depends if your mission is fairness or to win.    


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