On balance, I thought Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue was a necessary corrective to both the hysteria and hypocrisy of modern Hollywood activism. Let’s begin with my favorite dose of perspective:
Now the thing is, Why are we protesting? The big question: Why this Oscars? Why this Oscars, you know?
It’s the 88th Academy Awards. It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. O.K.?
You gotta figure that it happened in the 50s, in the 60s — you know, in the 60s, one of those years Sidney didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years. Say ‘62 or ‘63, and black people did not protest.
Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer.
You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.
Left hanging in the air is the sad reality that when there were “real things to protest,” activism was far less popular. Now we live in the age of easy activism, the hashtag campaigns that function as nothing more than declarations of your own virtue. But how progressive is white liberal Hollywood when it has to make even the tiniest sacrifices — like perhaps not giving the best jobs to friends and family? Here’s Rock again:
[Hollywood is] a different type of racist. Now, I remember one night I was at a fund-raiser for President Obama. A lot of you were there. And, you know, it’s me and all of Hollywood.
And it’s all of us there. And it’s about four black people there: me, uh, let’s see, Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, Questlove. You know, the usual suspects, right? And every black actor that wasn’t working.
Needless, to say Kev Hart was not there. O.K.? So, at some point you get to take a picture with the president, and, you know as they’re setting up the picture you get a little moment with the president.
I’m like, “Mr. President, you see all these writers and producers and actors? They don’t hire black people, and they’re the nicest, white people on earth! They’re liberals! Cheese!”
That’s right. Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to.
Hollywood is sorority racist.
It’s like, “We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
That’s how Hollywood is.
Conservatives should never stop noting that the three primary targets of contemporary race protests — big cities, universities, and Hollywood — are staffed top-to-bottom with leftists and have been for decades. And in each of them we can see a common thread — racial justice is cool mainly when there’s something in it for the white liberal activist. The progressive elite gets to have its cake and eat it every day. They live at the top of the cultural food chain, their children inherit their wealth and connections, and they get to feel simply awesome about their politics and world view. Because they hashtag. Because they vote the right way. Because they’re good at condemning other white liberals on command. It’s the greatest activist gig in the world.
Rock’s full monologue is below. It’s worth watching.