The slap heard all around the world

April 8, 2022
by Andrew Meuleners

There have been times when I have wanted to punch someone in the face. There have been times in the past week when I have felt like punching people in the face. But, just because I want to doesn’t mean I can.

In this country which I still consider a relatively courteous and well-mannered society, you shouldn’t just go up to someone and slap them for making a comment that you did not like. Will Smith walking up on the 2022 Oscars stage to slap comedian Chris Rock was not his finest hour. He was only spared from being arrested and charged with assault because Rock didn’t want to press charges against him. Rock still could press charges and sue Smith, but it looks like that won’t happen.

 Of course, this all started because Rock decided to make fun of Smith’s wife. Maybe he didn’t know that Jada Pinkett Smith had been suffering from alopecia, but she has been very open about her battle with the disease. Smith got mad, uncontrollably mad.

Something I can completely relate to. Especially when it comes to my family, I am normally pretty calm about someone coming at me, but we will have issues if you come at my wife and kids or other family members. When I found out about the whole deal with Smith and Rock, I instantly thought, ‘I could see myself doing that back in the day.’ But the truth is, I could see myself doing that right now in my life if someone said the wrong thing at a time when I was in a heightened emotional state, which I think Smith was in.

Unfortunately for Smith, he couldn’t control himself in that situation, and he needed to, just like every one of us needs to.   

 As I said before, there have been plenty of people I have wanted to slap in my life. But, in this country, you can’t do that because you would go to jail.

You can’t go up to a politician and slap them just because you don’t like them or because they make you mad. It doesn’t matter how despicable of a person it is; even if Aaron Rogers is walking down the street in downtown Winsted, you can’t just go up to him and smack him. You would most likely get arrested. I would have to check to make sure with Chief Heldt, but I am pretty sure he would still arrest you even if you slap the quarterback for the green and gold.

 Put away that list of people you want to take a crack at because it is just going to get you to put in jail and court.

 In America, we have this thing called free speech, which allows us to say all sorts of good and bad things. If you decide to say horrible slanderous things about other people, you can also find yourself in a courtroom.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to stop some of our most visible citizens sometimes. We have politicians, radio personalities, comedians, and such that say horrible things about other people.

 When I was growing up, and this is something I have tried to pass on to my kids, you were taught you needed to control what comes out of your mouth and actions. I know that there have been times when I have said and done things before thinking. I am sure if I had taken a little time to think about what I was doing, I would have done it differently.

But unfortunately, those quick jerk reactions lead to regrets most of the time.

 So I guess what I am saying is that our world can learn a lot from this year’s Oscars, primarily not to act as either of the offending parties.

We have it in us to be a respectful and just society.

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