Coming in on the tail end of a meme is always interesting. Sometimes it’s just as hilarious as everyone who was on it from the beginning said it was. Sometimes it’s not hilarious, and rather, just pretty effed up.
Case in point: Antoine Dodson, also known as the “Bed Intruder” dude.
I was vaguely aware of the meme in its early stages — someone asked me about it. But I was distracted and had a negative reaction to the combination of the words “rape” and “autotune.” I promptly forgot about it.
However, today on Twitter, Monica shared a post by Loryn Wilson who tracked the meme from start to end:
By now most of you have seen the story about the woman in Lincoln Park projects who had a male intruder come into her bedroom. The video featured Antoine Dodson, the woman’s brother, who had a colorful message for the attempted rapist (see the above video if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past two weeks).
Antoine Dodson has gone from an everyday Black man who lives in the projects to an internet superstar overnight. But what I was worried about is that people would be so busy lol’ing, lollerskating, and lmbao-ing over Antoine Dodson’s colorful monologue that they’d miss the entire point: the Antoine Dodson was a man who was protecting his family from a rapist, and that they felt as though they did not have protection under the law.
The video and the remix are below:
Wilson is right: as amusing as Dodson’s statements seem, look a little closer, and his frustration is evident. And shouldn’t he have been? A strange man climbed into his sister’s bed and tried to rape her. That’s no laughing matter.
The good news, of course, is that Dodson is trying to leverage his internet celebrity to pull himself and his family out of the projects. He says he gets some of the profits from the song being on iTunes, and he’s selling merchandise. I think that’s great. But I can’t help but be uncomfortable with the genesis of this meme: two white men making a “hilarious” song using footage of a black man outraged at the attempted rape of his sister.