MORROW: I Agree With Will Smith

MORROW: I Agree With Will Smith
(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of

I might be in the minority, but I agree with what Will Smith did at the Oscars. The amount of outrage is not only over the top, but proof that far too many of us have gotten comfortable living in the world of make-believe.

It’s considered “proper” and “professional” to allow people to say disrespectful things about you or your family while you smile, take it on the chin and accept it. You’re considered out of bounds if you respond like a normal human being would to being disrespected.

We see it everywhere. On social media, people can say the vilest and most evil things to you, but the moment you respond it becomes a problem. These are people that I like to call “internet thugs.” You’ve all seen an internet thug before. They’re the ones who act like Billy Bad Asses on social media by saying things that they would never say face to face.

We see it from traditional media. In their minds, they are allowed to say whatever they want about whoever they’re talking about. Politicians, athletes, entertainers, public figures, or even someone in small-town America who happens to make the news for whatever reason. Nothing is out of bounds for them. But the moment you respond, you are a “threat to Democracy.”

We’ve all been told that this world is normal. It’s not. There’s nothing civilized about cooperating with the assassination of your character. Of course, you have to choose your battles. You can’t fly off the handle at everyone who makes you mad. That could lead to serious consequences in today’s world. There’s a very, very small list of things that are worth getting shot over. So you must choose your battles. But everyone has a line.

Imagine having to deal with the constant disrespect about your family, your marriage, any issues you may be having in that marriage, and so on. Imagine taking most of it on the chin because that’s the nature of the job you signed up for. But then imagine someone that you know personally mocking your wife’s medical condition on national television. Everyone has a line.

The world around us has made all of us believe that we should be able to say whatever we want to someone without any consequence whatsoever. That’s not how it is in the real world. You have freedom of speech, but you don’t get to dictate how someone else responds to what you say.

Mike Tyson said, “Social media made y’all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.” Personally, I think a little healthy fear of getting punched in the face for being a habitual line stepper would be helpful in today’s world of keyboard warriors and internet thugs.

(Darvio Morrow is the CEO of the FCB Radio Network and co-host of The Outlaws Radio Show.)

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