So by now you’ve probably seen at least one of the 15 remixes of the original Antoine Dodson news clip. If you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, let me fill you in. Last week a clip from a Huntsville, Al news story about a young woman who was reported to have been assaulted and nearly raped while asleep in her home hit the internet. The reporter interviewed the victim and her brother, Antoine Dodson, who was visibly upset that someone had attempted to violate his sister (who by the way was asleep in the room with her daughter – so image how ugly that could have gotten). Once the interview hit the web Antoine became an overnight celebrity. Millions of people laughed while many more shook their heads in disgust over how Mr. Dodson represented himself, his family and his community.
While I can understand why some folks are sensitive about the way African Americans are portrayed in the media, what I can’t understand is why people aren’t discussing the REAL issue, the fact that a woman was assaulted and nearly raped. The truth is Antoine Dodson was pissed and he reacted the way many of us (myself included) would under similar circumstances. He is also a man who lives in the projects of Huntsville, Alabama and is a representative of a community that has obviously been left to fend for themselves. What you saw in that clip was anger, frustration and perhaps a bit of pain and helplessness. So before you knock Antoine for not being as eloquent as say, Henry Louis Gates, let’s not allow our shame to overshadow the fact that people like Antoine exist and no matter how hard we try to squeeze our eyes shut, they always will until we stop worrying so much about how we “look” and focus more on how we’re living.
That said, WAFF-48, we’ve got our eye on you.