The video below is going viral, you’ve probably already seen it several times – a guy in New York took up the Ellen Dance Challenge and decided that, as a black man, it’d be great to do it behind a bunch of really, really white cops.
The results were predictable. As you can see. Invective raining down upon the NYPD was also predictable … and continues.
Look, this blog is not all that kind to the authority figures of the criminal justice system. And, it’s only going to get worse as I move forward with a narrative non-fiction account of prison and the system.
But, this is not the place for me to pile on. For the simple reason this is not what it seems, though, unsurprisingly, it has not been reported by the media.
What really went down is this: these particular cops – as the NYPD Union was quick to point out – are avid followers of the theatrical jazz dance school as epitomized by Bob Fosse. They felt, to a man, that this guy’s dancing was simplistic and had no recognizable thematic point.
Sgt. Franz Siegel of the NYPD’s Street Dance Special Branch pointed out that the ‘dancer in question’ was not, in fact, thrown to the ground out of indefensible anger at not being able to arrest him but as a ‘perfectly natural reaction to bad art – “Hey, man,” Siegel said with a shrug, “you gonna’ dance in New York, you gotta make it count, no hard feelings, but ….”
One of the officers involved, Charles V. Ogletree, also added, ” You goin’ to do that dancin’ shit behind us, fine, but you better throw in some Pippin, you know? It’s jazz hands or taste pavement, motherfucker, you knowwhattimean?”