Hoping an Image Goes Away

by on March 31, 2022 · 5 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

Oh, I hope
that the image
of seeing a Black-on-Black Crime
that came out of nowhere
right in front of me
on my big screen TV
will someday escape my mind.

It was such an ugly sight to see,
the vision of a man,
Will Smith,
whom I associate with laughter and glee,
doing just that, in one moment
chuckling gleefully
to Chris Rock’s comedy
and then in the next moment I see
him in a full strut,
slapping the comedian’s face
while he’s got people laughing all over the place,

nearly knocking him on his butt,

and my jaw dropped

like a tailgate on a pickup truck,

wondering “What the hell is up?”

And this attack

had come to a head

as a result of a bad joke said

about Jada Pinkett Smith’s

shaved head

and Will declared that what he did

was an example of

“art, imitating life,”

and “love making you do crazy things”

such as “fiercely defending one’s family”

like the man he portrayed

in a film that earned him an Oscar

to write about on his resume.


It pained me deeply

listening to such a gifted Black man

claiming, essentially,

that going upside the head

of a gifted Black comedian,

whose routine

maybe got a little mean,

was somehow

protecting his wife’s


as though his wife

isn’t recognized

as a ball of pluck and fire,

a woman who roars

and can and has taken care of her

own being as the amazing woman she is,

meaning that

all he accomplished that evening

was shaming himself

and his family

and his fans

and the film industry

and Black folks, at large,

throwing a sucker punch

to an unsuspecting victim.


Man, I hope to never lay eyes

on such a sight again

but I’ve just got wind

that this man, first known to me

as a rapper and then

as the Prince of Bel-Air,

has apologized, seemingly sincerely,

and has admitted that his misbehavior

was, indeed, out of line,

a display of poisonous and destructive violence

that has no place in a world

where there’s a need for people

to be loving and kind

and willing to make amends

that can bring hostilities to an end,

lessons much needed for the survival of humankind.


This fills me with hope

that the images of this event,

although they’ll surely never completely go away,

will nevertheless

dim a little bit

down the way.


Let the healing begin.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia Boruta April 1, 2022 at 7:52 am

Thanks Ernie for your always thoughtful words. I’m doing my annual “anniversary” visit to OB Rag and always appreciate finding you! I’m still wishing for a world w/0 war… And is the pier open?


Hank April 1, 2022 at 9:25 am

Thank you for this, Mr. McCray! As a Queer Chicano cis man, this whole incident still leaves me with a sinking feeling in my stomach. Toxic masculinity has no place in our world, and this is not a river to which anyone wants to be led. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, and who knows how many people were triggered by this violence, and how many young children will take this incident to heart as permission to repeat in later years.


Kim A. Kipnis April 1, 2022 at 8:32 pm

Ernie, your prose that you shared conveyed my thoughts completely. Another beautifully written story. love ? Kim


sealintheselkirks April 3, 2022 at 11:53 am

Ernie, her ‘eye-roll’ that was caught on camera was definitely all that people needed to see of the stupid joke about a crappy movie… She absolutely took care of it herself in my mind. A very strong person she is!



Chris April 3, 2022 at 2:10 pm

We’ll see if The Grammy’s have as much excitement as The Oscar’s last week.


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