No More Dap for Blacks
by Adam "DNA"
PUBLISHED: JUNE 12, 2008
Once, 125th street ran with the dull thud of black men giving each other fist pounds as they greeted each other in friendship. Now, all that can be heard is that regular city noise you generally hear in New York, and maybe some Reggae music.
“Me and my friends don’t even give each other pounds anymore,” said Darryl Wilkins, a 24 year old bank teller. “We just kind of nod at each other.”
Millions of white people saw presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama give his wife a fist pound before his victory speech last week, and decided to greet each other in a similar manner. As a result, black Americans across the country have eschewed the gesture in protest.
“What, I’m supposed to greet my homie the way Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Hutchinson (R-TX) greet each other? I don’t think so,” Wilkins added as he shook his head.
Some black leaders are trying to preserve the pound, pointing to its long and fruitful association with the black community. The Rev. Al Sharpton has suggested the Federal Government institute a “dap tax” that white people would have to pay for using the gesture. The “dap tax,” Sharpton says, would be instituted in lieu of reparations for slavery.
“You can give each other dap, you just have to give us the dollars,” Sharpton told reporters at a press conference in front of a Gray’s Papaya yesterday, where he was scheduled to have lunch with Bill O’Reilly.
The Center for Disease Control issued a statement warning that the influx of amateur pound-giving could result in an epidemic of hand borne diseases.
“The knuckles are, in fact, the most germ-friendly part of the body,” said CDC spokesman Jeremy Fowler. “People who have just started giving each other dap should really be careful that they don’t end up getting very sick, and should consider partnering with a veteran.”
Unfortunately, now that black Americans no longer give each other dap, there are few experts around to teach whites how to perform the gesture safely. 45-year old Adina Washington, an assistant curator at the Museaum of Afro-Caribbean Blackness in Brooklyn, says it serves new dappers right if they hurt themselves.
“First Jazz, then rock and roll, and now this?” Washington said, pounding her desk for emphasis. “What’s next, colloquialisms like ‘word,’ or ‘bling bling?’ Next thing you know, white people will be doing the Soulja Boy.”
“DNA” is a guest contributor for Blackline. He posts regularly on his blog at TooSense.net.