I was amused when I read the above headline in all its various forms today and saw the picture of the infamous "bump." But this article in The Washington Post got me thinking:
As Barack Obama walked onstage in St. Paul, Minn., to claim the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, he and wife Michelle hugged and then, gazing into each other's eyes with knowing smiles, gently knocked knuckles.
Dap, fist pound, whatever you want to call it-- it's definitely something we're not used to seeing on the national political stage.
Really? Maybe we haven't seen a fist bump but we saw Al & Tipper locked in a steamy kiss, Clinton jamming on Arsenio and every politician from here to there playing the part of comedian on shows like The Colbert Report, The Daily Report, and Saturday Night Live. We've seen intern dresses and chest bumping so I find it hard to believe that a little fist bumping is earth shattering. It begs the question 'why'?
"It thrilled a lot of black folks," said author and commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates, who blogs at ta-nehisi.com. Why? Because it's the kind of gesture that, while commonplace in the African American community, was generally stifled by earlier
generations of blacks working their way up into the corporate or political worlds for fears "about looking too black," he said. But Obama "is past that. . . . He wears his cultural blackness all over the place." (Remember his aping of Jay- Z's "dirt off your shoulder" move in a recent speech?) "It's liberating to be able to run for president as a black man. . . . Barack is like Black Folks 2.0."
I must not be up on my "Black Folks 2.0" because I thought the fist bump was a teenager thing, right up there with jeans that fall off their hips. But since I really don't know, I'll give the credit for the fist bump to the African American community.
It's the last two sentences that I found confusing. Isn't Obama half black and half white? Didn't his parents divorce when he was young and he was raised by his white mother until he was 10? Then he was raised by his white maternal grandmother or in Obama's own words, "a typical white person." It makes me wonder if Obama really identifies with the black community as much as they think he does.
Just thinking out loud today.