See the post and a few of the more interesting Bed Intruder song covers after the bump.
We've become overly desensitized. We would much rather eschew the seriousness of the attempted rape for the hilarity of the response. I'm so very guilty of this. I had a little tug of revulsion at the young woman nearly being raped but it was easily, wantonly overcome and pushed aside by my need to be in the know and on the hip & hilarious front side of what had all the makings of the next great viral of the moment.
Is it racist? No. Does it perpetuate stereotypes supporting long-held beliefs that can lead to compounded racist thought and actions? Probably.
Look, Antoine's visage and demeanor had all the trappings of our society's negative memes. First, he's a black male, which in pop culture means he's either dangerous (here to hurt you) or humorous (here to entertain you). We all want the latter, and this video is tailor-made for one of the predetermined roles.
He's funny to blacks, whites and everyone else because his hijinks are just next-level and layered. His overtly flippant attitude and gestures add a layer of what we suppose black homosexuals act like. I'm not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with him being gay or "acting gay." I'm saying this is another level of universal unrest that we skittishly laugh at to ease our own tensions.
The fact that it happened in the state of Alabama is just one more layer of the onion skin. People think of Alabama almost the way they think of black people; country, slow-witted, backwards and just plain funny. I take offense to the state and blacks being considered/portrayed this way, but it happens.
If Mr. Dodson were white and had the exact same mannerism and lexicon ... well, I may have laughed even harder. That would have been just added one more layer with the overused comedy bit of "white guy acting black."
Now Antoine, who seems very proud of the whole ordeal, lives in a new category that has yet to be truly defined. These new viral stars are born almost daily and live out Warhol's 15 minutes of fame prophecy to a T. He's simultaneously hero and joke of the day. In the best of terms and times he's to be lauded for stopping a sexual attack on his sister. But in our modern day colosseum of public sentiment — where like, love and hate are an electronic thumbs-up click away — Dodson's heroic efforts and subsequent response are merely jokes and momentary diversions in our monotonous days as we all search for the next complete double rainbow.