By Gabriel Abosi
When is violence justified? When is the right time to use physical force to injure or damage someone? It can be called upon for the defense of others, most if not all would say the only time that it is allowed is if it is given in return of violence, but in most cases it seems to be more prevalent when it comes to verbal attacks. What is it about what people say that we deem to be as verbal attacks warrant violence against them? Oftentimes you would hear violence is never the answer.
Notable figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi are strong advocates for this, yet they were met with physical force. Though their point got through, if it were other people leading the charge, other strategies would have been used and the main one would be violence because sometimes that is the language a lot of people only speak. Not saying it’s right or wrong, but it is effective.
A more recent case would be a brief altercation that happened during the 2022 Oscars. Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped Chris Rock in the face for a joke made at his wife, Jada Smith, for being bald, claiming to have not known about her alopecia which is causing her to be bald. Many took to Twitter and other social media platforms to share their thoughts and opinions on the situation and a vast majority came to consensus that Will Smith was in the wrong for taking the path towards violence to express his anger and frustration.
For many people violence isn’t the way to go and there are other ways Will Smith could have gone about the whole thing. On the flip side, some would say what Chris Rock said was insensitive considering the fact that Jada Smith isn’t choosing to be bald and Chris Rock is making fun of her disease so therefore, Will Smith had every right to defend his wife in any way he could. There are other think pieces and conspiracy theories on the matter but the main point of this example was to see if the slap was justifiable.
A person would understand you until you make them feel you. That is a notion that is etched in the minds of many simply because of what was previously stated, it is the belief that if you want to get your point across, violence is an effective way to bring urgency to an issue whereas nonviolent strategies bring awareness to an issue. Using non violence as a strategy is a way for both parties to stop and try to understand one another without any bloodshed and to stop or at the very least slow don’t the manifestation of hatred.
Violence breeds hatred and hatred can breed more violence which results in a never ending cycle, so at the end of the day how you react or how you plan to get your point across, think about the consequence or the result that can come out of your actions.