MSNBC Host on Will Smith Slap: 'White Folks' Need to Sit This One Out, It's a 'Family Talk'


Tiffany Cross, host of the MSNBC Saturday morning show “The Cross Connection,” finally got the chance to weigh in on Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars six days earlier.

The actor, of course, stormed the stage during the Academy Awards on March 27 and assaulted Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s shaved head.

Cross — who is black, like all of those involved in the much-talked-about incident — feels strongly that this should remain a “family discussion” because “white folks” don’t understand the “nuance to what happened” and should really sit this one out.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this toxic “personality,” you’ll immediately grasp why she is sometimes called “Joy Reid Lite.”

Cross’ guests included “fellow black folks” Michael Harriot, a writer at TheGrio, and actress Yvette Nicole Brown. They seemed to agree that because a black man slapped another black man who had made a joke about a black woman, this incident was about race.

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“I will try to put this in context for, you know, our white fellow countrymen as best I can,” Cross said. “And really, truly, black America, there’s a commonality amongst us all.

“And if we went to a white person’s home, and it was their family dinner, and we were sitting there at the table, and the mother hauled off and slapped the father, and everybody at that table has an opinion. You know, the sister is like, ‘Mom, you always do this.’ And the brother is like, ‘I can’t believe you guys are doing this.’ And Dad is like, ‘You’re terrible.’”

“If I weigh in as the guest in this home and I say, ‘Yeah, you guys are terrible.’ Everybody’s like, ‘I’m sorry. When did you get an opinion? This is our family table.’

“That’s what this moment felt like for many of us. And there’s a nuance to what happened that we should get into.”

She added, “I want to be really clear, while we’re talking about family talk, I think it is utterly ridiculous to center this conversation in the opinions of white folks. This is just about what happened there. The jumping-off point should not be, ‘Oh, but what might the white people think about it.’ It’s just this moment between those two men. I thought it was uncalled for.”

Harriot said that black people, unlike whites, are used to seeing violence.

“It was about how black people relate to each other,” he said. “So it’s hard to explain to a white person what the difference between an open-handed slap and a punch is, because they consider it all violent. It’s hard to explain that everyone, really, has a certain threshold for which they will react in a certain way, right, whether it is say something to their mother, their sister.”

And when you choose to insult someone, Harriot explained, you’re taking a risk because you don’t know what that person’s threshold is. Chris Rock took that risk, he said.

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Did Harriot not understand that the comedian was paid a small fortune to poke fun at the star-studded audience, as countless other presenters have done throughout Academy Awards ceremony history?

Or that Rock might not have known that Jada Pinkett Smith has said her bald head is a result of alopecia? Noticing that both Jada and her daughter, Willow, had shaved heads, perhaps he thought they were making a statement.

At any rate, Rock was simply doing what he’d been paid to do.

Do you believe the Will Smith slap should be viewed through a racial lens?

Brown chimed in, saying, “We’re trying to move forward as a family” — as if this were a tragedy that had occurred in a private setting among a black-only crowd. Why does she think it’s being called “the slap heard around the world?”

A family? Is every black person in America a member of Brown’s family? I don’t consider every white person in America to be a member of my family.

It’s as if this panel was trying to bring America back to the days of segregation.

Sorry to intrude upon your family moment, but considering that the slap occurred on the national stage, “white folks” have every right to weigh in. Contrary to your insistence upon putting a racial spin on this incident, it had more to do with the strange relationship between Will Smith and his wife than anything else.

Like a child enjoying a prank until his eyes suddenly lock with those of a disapproving parent, Smith was laughing at Rock’s joke until he met the gaze of his seemingly angry wife — and immediately a switch was flipped.

Rather than reacting as an angry black man whose wife had just been disrespected, Smith snapped into action like a henpecked husband — one whose wife previously brought out his emotions for all the world to see.

There was nothing racial about it.

If three white panelists were discussing an event that involved only white people on Fox News and said “blacks should sit this one out,” the cries of “racism” would be deafening.

The anti-white racism of all three panel members was on full display.

Cross began the segment by saying most of her viewers are white. Are the white liberals who watch her show too stupid to understand that Cross just insulted all of them?

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Elizabeth writes commentary for The Western Journal and The Washington Examiner. Her articles have appeared on many websites, including MSN, RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist,, HotAir, MSN and RealClearPolitics.

Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.