Normally, on a Friday, the number of visitors to my blog plummets like a stone. Last week, the difference between Thursday and Friday was more than a fifty percent cut. However, when I woke up this Saturday morning, my Friday closed with the highest numbers of the week. Not that I don’t appreciate the big boost in numbers. Having an audience interested in anything I had to say helps to give me a reason to write. Having a larger audience gives me even more of a reason, although I will forever claim that I write because I have something to say and would do it if no one would ever come to my blog. But whenever I see an anomaly in the numbers, I need to know what’s driving the sudden interest.
A quick look at the stats showed a sudden spike in attention for my article about Will Smith and how he was trying to promote his daughter Willow as the next Paris Hilton (Willow Smith’s Role Model Is Paris Hilton). Written almost two years ago, the article never got much attention in a single day. But yesterday, the article got a fifteen hundred percent increase in hits over its next highest day. And if the numbers this morning are any indication, today will have even more hits.
Obviously Willow Smith is in the news. The first thought in my mind was I hope nothing happened to the little girl. I caught a glimpse of the Smith family during President Barack Obama’s address when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. My concern for the girl was piqued. I went to Yahoo! News to get the latest word. Willow Smith’s name was right there in the headlines as the site came up on the browser. What was all the big news? Willow Smith had a new hairstyle. According to the entertainment news article, little Willow was sporting a do in the style of Rihanna. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith made a big show in Norway by hosting a Peace Prize Concert on Mr. Obama’s behalf and Willow, speaking Mandarin, introduced Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
Somebody is working awfully hard to make Willow Smith an entertainment superstar. At age nine, she already has three movies under her belt. As far as her acting ability goes, I have to admit I’m not qualified to judge her. The only acting I saw of her was the fifteen seconds or so she appeared in I Am Legend. But if she’s to be recognized for her “work” in this particular movie, there are infant actors around the globe that should be recognized for their ability to cry on cue or whatever. A fifteen second appearance in a mediocre or acceptable movie doesn’t make for a superstar. But the handlers of the Smith children are pulling out all the stops. Willow’s brother Jaden Smith is in a remake of The Karate Kid and the Karate Kid opposite Jackie Chan as Mr. Kesuke Miyagi. Was he truly the best actor for the job or did someone pull a few strings to put him in the lead role.
Superstar Will Smith and his famous wife Jada Pinkett Smith are working hard to turn their daughter Willow and her equally popular but ambiguously talented, at least from an acting perspective, brother Jaden into tomorrow’s stars. But without a natural inclination for acting it takes time to develop such talent. And that should be okay. A lot of famous people had children that had to learn their acting profession. They didn’t just come out the box swinging homeruns and were able to pull the crowds to make a movie a box office success.
Willow Smith getting a haircut is probably the last thing I would have ever imagined people coming to my blog to see. This ain’t no do blog. Although I did write one article about people getting their locks cut for their initiations into the ancient African spirituality many moons ago, the last thing I want people to associate me with is somebody’s hairdo.
And I also hope people won’t be stopping here to see what I have to say about the latest drama from some black actor in Hollywood or some black rapper on the east coast. While those things might be entertaining for a hot minute or two, the way some people follow celebrity gossip it is a wonder that they can follow the drama in their own life let alone anything else. I don’t mean to contribute to anybody being distracted from what is actually happening in this world. If people come to my blog to read about Willow Smith I hope it is with the intention of learning a little something about how this product of two black parents grows up so removed from the black community. And that’s a crying shame.
Instead of their parents pushing her to be the next American Idol, maybe they should push her to know a little something about what it means to be part of the black community in America these days. With every day that passes the Smith family acts more and more like the fictional family of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air from Will Smith’s first regular acting gig. And every single day that passes Jaden and Willow Smith are acting more and more like the entitled children Hillary Banks and Carlton Banks.
“I love that all of our excuses have been removed. African-American excuses have been removed. There’s no white man trying to keep you down, because if he were really trying to keep you down, he would have done everything he could to keep Obama down. Yes, there are racist people who live here, absolutely. But they’re not the majority anymore.” – Will Smith on the election of Barack Obama for President
The first time I saw Will Smith act was in one of his episodes of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I was not a Fresh Prince fan. I was turned off by his stereotypical young black man focused on women and having a good time. The character of Will Smith played by the actor Will Smith was too shallow for my taste. But my brother was watching the show and I decided to do some brotherly bonding and sat down to watch it with him. I came in on the middle of the show. Bear with me as I try to recall the details.
Will had hidden in the back seat of a high end German automobile driven by his cousin Carlton Banks who Will often calls an Oreo. They were driving through some posh neighborhood when they were pulled over by the police. Will got out of the car and spread himself out on the hood, ready to be handcuffed and taken to jail. His cousin Carlton was confused and didn’t understand the process. It was late at night. He was driving his father’s car and had a license so he didn’t know why he was being pulled over. The two were taken into custody until their story could be checked out. But they were thrown into a holding cell without an opportunity to call Carlton’s parents Judge Phillip Banks and wife. Guards ignored the two as they passed by. The wheels of justice had seized up and they were getting no where. Will got the idea that if they confessed to some high profile crime they would get air time on the news and somebody would recognize them and tell Uncle Phil so he could come get them out of jail. Sure enough the plan worked and they were quickly freed and they returned home.
The final scene had Carlton and Will talking. Carlton was talking about how well the justice system worked while Will was trying to wake his brainwashed cousin up. The only reason they were pulled over and taken into custody was that they were two young black men driving a high dollar piece of machinery after dark and they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only reason they were released so quickly was because Carlton’s father was a well known judge. The message was clear. Not every black person has access to a high profile judge. But certainly plenty of black people have the opportunity to be pulled over and taken into custody because some cop feels that black people don’t deserve nice things. The only reason the system worked was because they had an ace card to play. The episode ended with Carlton expressing doubts about the system he had so much faith in just a minute before.
Right then and there I thought I may have misjudged the program. After watching a few other episodes I was quickly reminded why I didn’t particularly care for the show. I simply couldn’t get past the constant jigging that the Will Smith character was so happy to do. But still, certainly there were worse shows to watch. The Cosby show featuring the Huxtables never once featured an episode where they had to face any issues common to black people. At least the Fresh Prince was willing to go there. I got the impression that maybe Will Smith understands.
That was years ago. Maybe close to a couple of decades. But nevertheless, I was surprised to hear Will Smith say that now that Mr. Obama is in the White House, black people don’t have an excuse as to why we don’t make it. Going back to the Fresh Prince episode about Carlton Banks and his father Judge Phil Banks, Carlton should have had it made. If the police had run the tags they would have seen that the car belonged to Judge Banks and that young Carlton’s last name was Banks and they would’ve easily put two and two together to realize that they’d better let him go about his way. But instead, all the police knew was that they had taken a couple of potential problems off the street. Judge Banks couldn’t protect his son Carlton from being racially profiled and discriminated against. And the two sleep in the same house.
How does Mr. Smith figure that Mr. Obama being in the White House protects black people from discrimination in the future? All I can think is that Mr. Smith spent a little too much time with one of those pens that flashes the red light and selectively erases people’s memories in Men In Black. Or maybe Mr. Smith spent too much time looking at his statement from his accountant that showed how much he was worth with all the trailing zeroes and forgot how much racial discrimination is a part of the American way of life.
What can you expect from a black man who proudly promotes the fact that his black daughter Willow looks to someone of such questionable character as Paris Hilton as a role model? From Mr. Smith’s high profile perspective, there’s nothing wrong with the system. He got his and that’s all that matters. Unfortunately, everyday that passes Will Smith becomes more like a caricature of Carlton Banks and less like the fresh prince from Philly.
Willow Smith is seven and her father, Will Smith, is already trying to put a curse on her. In a recent interview Will Smith said his daughter wants to be the new Paris Hilton. There is a word for this and I believe it is “Damn!” If I had a daughter I would rather she be compared to Wilma Flintstone instead of the billionaire heiress of the Hilton empire. Both are caricatures of humanity. Wilma Flintstone may be a cartoon character. But compared to Paris Hilton she has all the integrity in the world.
Paris Hilton is the epitome of narcissism. With all the zeroes in her undeserved bank account I doubt very seriously if she’d spend a dime on helping others in need. Her anti social behavior led to one of the briefest stints in jail because she had a mysterious illness that prevented her from serving her full sentence behind bars. The mysterious illness turned out to be claustrophobia. There are women who are pregnant in prison and are practically dropping their babies on their cell floor who don’t get that kind of compassion from our blind justice system. And this is the person Will Smith encourages his daughter to emulate.
Despite his performance on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air I actually liked Will Smith. He’s done a few good movies. I enjoyed Independence Day in spite of all the flaws. Men In Black was tight despite the fact that Mr. Smith’s character Agent J acted more like Tommy Smothers against Tommy Lee Jones’ character Agent K. Enemy of the State was cool but for some reason I’ve never been able to catch the first ten minutes of the show.
After Mr. Smith turned down the part of Neo in the original Matrix in order to reprise Robert Conrad’s character James West in the Wild, Wild, West I pretty much suspected that Mr. Smith has gone off the deep end. A black man is a civil war hero in nineteenth century America and becomes a top marshal of the United States. Yeah! Right! This adaptation of the old television show appealed to Will Smith’s ego more than the experimental Matrix.
Since then Mr. Smith and I went our separate ways. I did see I, Robot on a cable channel. But I thought the movie was dumb. His character, Del Spooner, hates robots because a robot saved his life. Every time he thinks about the day the robot saved his life tears well up in his eyes. Double dumb. Mr. Smith and I have too many irreconcilable differences for us to come to terms. It’s better if we just stayed going on our separate paths.
Willow Smith is a beautiful little seven year old African American girl. Instead of her parents doing their best to develop a strong sense of African Americanism the girl is being guided in the likes of a white billionaire snob of a woman. It’s pretty obvious that a strong affiliation with the black community is the last thing on the mind of the Smiths. Said Mr. Smith of his son, “Jaden is Johnny Depp. He just wants to do good work. He loves acting, he just wants to make good movies.”
Now I don’t have a problem with Johnny Depp. Mr. Depp has done a number of good movies himself and appears to be a much better role model for children than the woeful Ms. Hilton. But again, this role model has nothing to do with being black or helping a nine year old develop his appreciation for and affiliation with the black community. Mr. Depp may be a good example for children to follow. But I do believe it is important that black people do their best to develop their black children’s identify with a priority on black role models. The disassociation from the black community by the Smith family is well underway.
I’m pretty sure that plenty of people will see the need for parents to choose the role models for their children carefully. Good role models can be invaluable in helping children develop a sense of self as well as a sense of community. But, personally, I think parents who allow their children to develop acting careers at such early ages are playing with fire. But their child’s future is their prerogative and not mine.