Blacks angry over viral news clip

A clip of a Huntsville, AL news station reporting on a break-in and attempted rape case in the projects has gone viral on the internets. If you haven't had the pleasure, here is the original and here is the autotune remix. Apparently a t-shirt line, a ringtone and a Facebook fan page dedicated to the star of the case, Antoine Dodson, took merely three days to pop up.

The controversy comes from blacks who take umbrage at the WAFF reporters and staff for putting Dodson on the air in the first place. Comments on the clip include racist remarks and a very angry black segment who feels this makes all African American people look bad. Some Huntsville residents feel the national attention of the clip is a mockery and misrepresentation of their area.
At first I didn't see the harm. I applauded the WAFF staff for giving Antoine Dodson a voice like any other victim and treating the crime like any other valid news story. But now that the fallout has sunk in, I can see the point of those who are angry. 
My home town, Evansville, IN experienced a tornado so severe in 2005 that it dispersed residents from their homes. That is, it dispersed certain residents from their mobile homes. I didn't know anything about the disaster until my friend living in Tokyo emailed me the story. "Isn't this your hometown?" An image of a 400 pound woman splayed across the lawn of a trailer park became the logo for my spot on the map. Wonderful. Why couldn't that tornado have hit the Porsche dealership in town or the Evansville Country Club? Or at least skimmed the surface of the famously haunted Willard Library? In that case, images of a refined and tasteful midwestern town would splash across Toyko newsrooms. 
So I get it folks. It sucks when the world judges you because of other people who loosely share your same boat in life. But who do we think we are, anyway? Better than the lady in the lawn? On some days, I have to wonder if we all have a little Antoine Dodson in us. Hide your wife!
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  • Shame on those who think Antoine Dodson is somehow an embarrassment to Black people. Are you kidding me?? This guy rocks! I'd feel very safe having him as a neighbor. He's not going to take and sh*t from anyone and he's not going to let any idiots mess with his sister. They guy who attacked her is d@mn lucky Antoine didn't get a hold of him. Hold your head high Antoine, you're a hero!

  • Right on! What a great brother!

  • Excuse me for sounding mean, but I'm ashamed of black people who are ashamed of Antoine. Why? Why are they ashamed of him? Because he's not heteronormatively masculine? It sounds to me like the black folks are upset that a gay black man got on the television. And you know what??? THAT is shameful. This man is the victim of a crime, and you are criticizing him for being put on the news to express how he feels about gross injustice?? I'm sorry, but black people need to get over themselves. If Antoine had actually done something wrong, people could be ashamed of him for being a bad person; however, standing up for your sister in a neighborhood where no one else is... and surviving what must be incredible homophobia... THAT is heroism. Antoine: DON'T YOU DARE STOP BEING EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE!

  • In reply to dancerjack:

    You make a VERY interesting point about it having to do with him being gay. I guess since I live in a gay neighborhood it didn't even phase me. I thought it was because he had crazy hair and a hot temper.

  • In reply to dancerjack:

    @dancerjack,

    Mr. Dodson's perceived sexuality is the least of the reasons why some in the African American community are upset about his interview.

    Whether or not it's actually true, there's a perception in the African American community that news crews give preference when asking people for street interviews to the least sophisticated members of the community. In popular culture, Aaron Macgruder has dubbed the phenomenon "Black Eyewitness Man", here's an example... http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=1204825

    Mr. Dodson's clearly a brave man and a dutiful sibling the problem that black have with him is that he somehow manages to be both inarticulate and loquacious. Him being an effeminate is just the icing on the three tier ridiculous cake.

  • In reply to BanuHaqim:

    Wow, thanks for the link! I wonder why this is? It's obviously not just black people because now that you mention it, it's like that all the time in the news.

    No wonder I never get interviewed as a witness - I'm too schmart! ;)

  • In reply to BanuHaqim:

    Now it smacks of snobbery even more. Sorry, your argument didn't move me. I also did not find Antoine to be inarticulate: he obviously is able to communicate quite well. I think people who are afraid that the Antoine's of the world and 'black eyewitness man's of the world are a poor reflection on them need to seriously get over themselves and stop looking down on others!

  • In reply to jmcaul:

    My intent isn't to persuade you to share my opinion. It's to explain why so many black people are upset about the interview. Clearly, you and I disagree about what it means to "communicate quite well".

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