Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the media and the dap: or, how to tell who skipped diversity training

having had my Black Card revoked so many times before, i didn't know it had a name but i've at least seen the fist bump thing before. so imagine my total jaw-dropping surprise when the dap suddenly becomes 'a terrorist fist jab.'

again, i implore the heavens: do white people NOT have friends of color?? (or at least watch tv?) swear to god, listening to the MSM dissect the dap is like having some clueless white girl ask to touch my hair. it is tired, tired, tired.
i wonder what else will become signifiers for Otherness?
  • as one blog put it, if the Obama girls start sporting corn rows, will that be dissected as too ethinic or perhaps a juvenile declaration of Black Power?
  • will the mention of ashy skin suddenly become interpreted as code for 'terrorist derma disguise'?
  • will photos of michelle obama with her hair wrapped become a sign of 'secret-muslim-ness'?
  • will knowing the words to the Black National Anthem become a code for 'kill whitey'?
this isn't anger. today, i am actually amused by our media's vanilla-ness. i will be angry another day. but, lord. shit is about to get triflin' real fast in this election.

[things to read: Too Sense: How American Culture Works
MoDo's latest craziness]


Orange said...

There's a cute TV commercial for Hanes. Michael Jordan's about to pull away from the curb when Charlie Sheen runs up to his car. Charlie extends a dap fist, but MJ is extending a shakeable hand. Then they both switch from fist to open hand or vice versa. Eventually Charlie gently slaps the top of MJ's hand in awkward fashion.

If the dap is mainstream enough to be the cornerstone of the humor in a Hanes ad, one has to wonder if the "terrorist fist-jab" folks are completely disingenuous and merely trying to rile up ignorant folks, or rile up folks who actually know better, but like anti-Obama smears no matter how ludicrous.

ding said...

i haven't seen that ad! (we skip ads, Roomie and i.)

but i wonder how many people are actually going to pay attention to things like the 'terrorist fist-jab'? like, *really* pay attention to it, not just note it, roll their eyes and think, 'asshats.'

given the past 8 years, i guess i shouldn't underestimate the stupidity of the american public.

No Nonsense said...

I never knew it was a "dap". I just knew how to response if the pound was headed my way.

Without fear of having my black card revoked was is the Black National Anthem?

BTW glad you are back

a very public sociologist said...

Fist bumps? FFS, WE used to do this when I was at school in the late 80s/early 90s. There were no black people at this sleepy English backwater either.

ding said...

so unless you guys were secret terrorists, fist jabbing each other in solidarity, our US media is a bunch of idiots.

(i think fist bumping is not exclusively a 'black thing' but primarily a male, sporting thing. but the context i'm more familiar with has been seeing dudes on the basketball court or black frats.)

ding said...

oh, the Black National Anthem was a song i learned in 6th grade when our school district made everyone go back to their neighborhood schools. i never would have known what it was if i hadn't attended one year in a predominantly black elementary school.

this is what Wikipedia says about it here:

and you can catch also catch the Chicago Children's Choir singing it on YouTube here:

my very lily white church sang this during one Black History Month and the black people in the congregation were the only ones who knew how it went.