And with the Bed Intruder Costume available for Halloween, I think we can say that Antoine Dodson as an Internet meme might have started to crest. I’d be OK with that. There’s a cardboard sign sitting outside the front door to Chi Theta Chi that says “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife,” and anything yelled by AxeComm at football games immediately loses its hipster credibility. But if, it’s a bittersweet goodbye to the Internet meme voted most likely to keep sociology and feminist studies professors up at night.
Now, news reports of lower class black people playing into stereotypes are not new. There’s the infamy-living day of when Popeye’s ran out of chicken or when Latarian Milton took a joy ride, both of which ended up verbatim on “The Boondocks.” Half the hilarity of these videos is the reporters struggling not to comment on the ig’nance they are broadcasting through their selective use of interview clips (Really, there had to have been one white person in Rochester, NY that was also upset at the chicken shortage). If any of these people interviewed, Dodson included, were characters on a show on the CW, we’d be boycotting the network.
Antoine Dodson though, has risen above the crowd. My inner feminist studies major tells me that it’s because of our culture’s tendency to trivialize rape. Indeed, though no sexual assault was committed, “they rapin’ everybody out here” has now become appropriate for polite discussion. Part of the cavalier attitude toward this Very Serious Subject Matter though comes from the victim’s and Dodson’s demeanor, discussing the attempted assault as more of a nuisance than as life-changing trauma. That representation might come refreshing in a media landscape that depends on “Law and Order: SVU” to promote the national discussion on rape. If “Bed Intruder” means that we can have more honest and frank conversations about the thing no one wants to talk about, then it should have support from both sides of the gender studies divide.
Antoine Dodson almost makes me wish I were in a sociology class this quarter, because I could easily write ten pages on what Internet’s celebration of “Bed Intruder” bodes for the future of society. Instead, I’ll close with the fact the auto-tuning of his rant has netted his family a new house. Maybe, just maybe then, Sleep N’ Eat and Jim Crow are finally running our postmodern minstrel shows. If so, that would trump Obama as an indication that there might be something to this whole post-racial society idea.