Ladies and gentlemen of Black America, meet your new moralist, Peter Thomas. He’s the one man who knows everything that we, as a people, must do to achieve correct behavior, upward mobility, and total personal and corporate wellness.
Why just the other day, as the airwaves and blogosphere percolated with reports that Olivier Martinez contributed a Can of Whuppass to Gabriel Aubry’s Thanksgiving Day feast, I felt that the coverage lacked authoritative insight from someone who knows it all. My virtual prayers were answered when ‘The Sage of Atlanta’—those of us on a first name basis call him Sagie—favored us with his opinions, though this interview to UpTown magazine.
Although I aim to dutifully follow his teachings, I think The Sage is way out of line in this instance, and for many reasons. To begin with, he launches into the hypothetical ‘if they were Black’ argument, which is completely out of left field and inappropriate.
You aren’t cool with what went down in Halle Berry’s driveway. Why?
“My beef is that, if it was two black men who go to work on each other like that, they would say that ‘it’s expected of us,’ ‘we’re criminals,’ ‘we belong in jail’ and ‘they should take the kid away from the woman and put her in a foster home.’
This is completely untrue, as evidenced by Nia Long’s own baby-daddy-and-boyfriend run-in a few years back. Did that confrontation, between two Black men who went to work on each other, result in all the condemnation that Peter Thomas says is the norm for Black men and women? There is nothing racially relevant about a fight between two white guys, and here I think the Sage is showing himself and other Black guys that he claims to speak for, to be thin-skinned and insecure about their public reputations. I mean if two white guys can’t duke it out without someone saying … ‘if they were Black …’ then there is no relief from over discussion about race. Can you say ‘healthy balance?’ But he goes on …
“When I look at the situation with a superstar like Halle Berry, an Oscar winner, and her laundry is out in the public in such a way and she got two French men beating the [ish] out of each other and that [ish] aint right, there is nothing right about that. There is nothing right about that. She may be half white but she’s half black too and this is not good.
Yet again, I fail to see what in the world Halle Berry’s racial heritage has to do with two French guys fighting through their disagreements over the family arrangements. If he’s trying to say that no Black woman should ever let these types of situations spin out of control like this one, then say that. And if he believes that two French guys have no place fighting over a Black woman, then he really needs to explain that one.
The interview goes on to put The Sage’s egomaniac, superiority complex on full display:
Why do you say that black people don’t embrace how you, Cynthia and Leon deal with Noel?
“Because I hear rhetoric like ‘how you gone have Leon up in your house like that brother?’ ‘Is that alright with you brother?’ ‘How you know those people not gone reminisce when you’re not around?’ and I’m like ‘if they want to reminisce then let them reminisce cause that’s what grown people gone do, they’re always gone do what they want to do.’ Me and my wife have the kind of relationship where she didn’t need be with me if she still wanted to be with Leon. I’m not sweating that. I’m not sweating that at all. But every time I set in any radio station, that’s the first thing they want to talk about is how the hell we can all coexist because them and they baby mama or baby daddy can’t coexist. What we are doing is 100 percent correct and our community isn’t embracing it. We should be celebrating what me, Leon and Cynthia are doing.”
As for Halle Berry’s situation?
“There are no winners in the Halle Berry’s situation because one day that little girl is going to grow up and she’s going so see those pictures of what that man did to her father and she’s going to hate that man for putting hands on her father and she’s going to hate her mother. There’s no way around it. Little girls love their fathers. To me Halle Berry needs to check herself because she has control over the situation.
Out-friggin-rageous! While ‘The Sage’ was busy giving his irrelevant opinions about someone else’s life, he forgot about the total lack of boundaries in his own. One can easily make the argument that if Halle, Olivier and Gabriel failed to set up boundaries to hand off little Nahla in a healthy, non-confrontational way, then he, Cynthia and Leon are giving Cynthia’s daughter some really unrealistic expectations about how blended family situations can be expected to work.
And who is he to predict that Nahla will grow up to hate her mother? What a spiteful, low-blow thing to say! Who is he to presume to know Nahla so well? Look at that child’s face in photos. She seems intelligent and discerning. For all he or any of us knows, she’ll grow up to understand that her father has a temper, used poor judgement that day, and bears some responsibility for what came to him. Over the years, she might see her father lose it with her own eyes on more than one occasion, and cut her mother some slack. It might turn out that she’ll be able to strike a healthy balance between them. Chances are, at least, she’ll show much better judgement that ‘The Sage’ himself.
And by the way, investigators determined that Gabriel Aubry started that fight, according to press reports. Apparently, he committed two acts of battery on Olivier Martinez before the guy retaliated. Sounds like Gabriel should have remembered, or looked into the fact, that Olivier’s father was a professional boxer. Maybe he woulda thought twice before ultimately having that knuckle sandwich for Thanksgiving dinner. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that he has acted that way before. I’m inclined to think it’s no mistake that Gabriel was the only serious boyfriend that Halle wouldn’t consider marrying, if you go by her change of opinions on marriage through interviews over the years. (Why he was good enough to father a child, but not marry, is not for me to judge. It bears pointing out, though.)
‘The Sage’ believes that he and his wife Cynthia are “100 percent correct” about the way they live, and anyone else who doesn’t agree with them is on the wrong track. We’ll see. I could be wrong with my deeply held skepticism about this guy. Uptown magazine, who keeps talking to this guy whose main claim to fame is that he’s the husband of a model and reality TV star, seems to think he deserves a platform to talk about people he doesn’t even know or influence. Maybe one day he’ll graduate to giving advice to anyone, anywhere in any situation, and knock Deepak Chopra off his perch. At that point, he’ll become the Oracle of the Diaspora.