If you need to resort to tactics, like deflecting and blaming in order to justify your actions, chances are really good that your actions are misguided at best.

Tonight I watched a movie star walk up on stage and assault a comedian for making a crass joke about his wife, then proceed to berate him in front of a packed theater of his peers and TV cameras, broadcasting it to the entire world. This same movie star later gave a tearful speech justifying his violence by saying he was called on by God to defend his family. And then he claimed he was all about love. Yet he never once mentioned the man he assaulted. His speech was all about how he himself was the victim.

His reactionary behavior was small and ugly. And despite having a chance to speak on stage to turn it around, to show rather than merely talk about love, peace and brotherhood, he chose to justify his actions. He chose to show tears, and to put the onus on God, as if God is a mob boss who recruits violence for petty reasons.

I’ve seen little kids use the same tactics to justify their emotionally violent behavior and do a much better job at it.

But this man is not a little kid. And he is not just a man. He is an internationally famous movie star, and he chose violence as a reaction to not liking what was being said.

While the world watched.

Then he attempted to justify it by tearfully throwing around words like God, family and love, without uttering one breath of an apology to the man he assaulted. It was all about why he was justified.

The damage he caused tonight goes so much deeper than a mere slap heard round the world. Nothing can justify what his actions have now helped allow in places less visible than an awards show.

What’s worse, is his self-serving speech to justify his actions won him applause in that theater, giving violence the green light anytime things don’t go one’s way.

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