Recently, after winning the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in tennis, Serena Williams dances the “Crip Walk” in celebration.
Williams defended herself by saying that she didn’t plan the dance, but that the joy from her victory overcame her and she began to spontaneously dance.
For those of you whom like me, didn’t know what the Crip Walk is, it is a dance created by the Crips street gang from Compton, California. The dance is associated with the violent and criminal lifestyles of gang members throughout California and has been banned in Los Angeles schools. MTV will not play videos (does MTV play videos anymore?) that display the Crip Dance.
While many are critical of Williams’ display, others defend her, saying that she should be able to celebrate in any manner she wants. Her defenders appeal to absurdity. Consider the response if a medal winner rendered the Nazi salute in celebration. And then defended themselves by saying it “just happened”. The fact that it happened spontaneously may speak worse of the person, since the act is obviously ingrained in their subconsciousness in some manner.
Others will say that the Crip Dance is “just a dance”, and that no harm was done. Again, ignorance. Perhaps a KKK hood is “just a pillow case”. Clearly symbols mean something. The Nazi swastika communicates a message because we know the world view of those that created it.
Gang violence in some places in America is a scourge. Murder, drugs, robbery, destruction of property are part and parcel for areas infected with gangs. There is nothing to be celebrated there. If people think they are celebrating black culture by celebrating the rituals of violent gangs, well, that ought to tell us something. The fact that Williams pulled this on a world stage is an embarrassment to our people. We all bear the shame.