("Hmm. What is the significance of what those inscrutable black people are doing?")
Yahoo was touting this story on their front page, linking to this story, which in turn linked The Washington Post's gossip column.
John Cole had a funny post on this, and Ta-Nehisi Coates weighs in here here and here. I know the gesture, although honestly, I'm not sure I've heard it called "dap." The New York Times describing it as a "closed-fisted high-five" made me laugh. Still, the craziest description has to be this one, that Cole says has since been scrubbed from the Human Events site:
Michelle is not as “refined” as Obama at hiding her TRUE feelings about America—etc. Her “Hezbollah” style fist-jabbing—mouth-twisted anti-American speeches is STRAIGHT from ISLAM!
The thing that cracks me up about all this is the slight anthropological sheen to some of the accounts, investigating the customs of those mysterious black folk. It reminded me of when Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked whether white people could attend Barack Obama's church. But hey, I suppose it's all educational and in good fun, right?
I was given slight pause by the WaPo piece featuring to a 'body language expert.' For a gossip piece, for fun, that's cool, but I don't want to see that kind of stuff in lieu of serious political coverage, and we have some awfully shallow pundits. (Bob Somerby's written that Chris Matthews loves body language discussions.)
On that note, Gawker had a great piece on all this as well:
The standard cultural arbiter of what Real Americans do and what they are like is someone like Chris Matthews. He's a loud, brash Irish Catholic guy, getting up there in age, with an admittedly solid blue-collar history (former DC cop!) who's been in a bubble of wealth and privilege just long enough to make him utterly deluded about the people in this country who live outside the wealthiest enclaves of the Eastern Seaboard. Over the last decade or so, he's come to decide that Real Americans are, basically, Nixon's "silent majority"—aging white men of modest means. Sadly he barely even understands what these modern-day Angry White Men are like, so he's extrapolating from his own time in their circle, decades ago. This is why he is pretty sure he knows that Real Americans drink like this, and hey, no one plays pool anymore!
Yup, that's the same Matthews who apparently thinks African-Americans and college grads aren't regular people.
Still, I must take issue with Monsieur Coates claiming the fist bump, fist tap, respect knuckles, dap, started as a 'black thing,' whatever that means. As if whites would ever appropriate anything from black culture! Obama clearly stole this gesture from another presidential candidate, and I have the video to prove it:
I still don't know why that didn't make the final cut.
(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)