Masquerading Behind Offensive Gestures


“Oh My Gawd!”
Image courtesy of http://www.sodahead.com/question/131939/.

Offensive gestures seemed to have been limited to the non public arena in times past.  No one wanted to be seen or accused of being crude or inappropriate in public.  Moral standards kept those disreputable behaviors in check.  For many, a quick trip to the principle’s office, or a verbal “you’re fired,” could be the brisk ramifications if those gestures cropped up at inconvenient times at school or work.

But times are devolving.

Barack Obama has now repeated his offensive gesture yet again.  Video: Obama scratches mouth with middle finger, earns banner treatment on Drudge.  Who thought no one was looking?  See for yourself how the middle finger salute is used in the midst of a campaign speech, while talking about John McCain.  Is this presidential?  Juvenile?  Careless?  Offensive being passed off as casual, while feigning disbelief that anyone could take it as anything otherwise?  Obama is the master of misrepresentation.

Obama Gives McCain The Finger

November 3, 2008.

The New York Post Page Six reported in January 2008 after Barack Obama won the Iowa primary,

As Obama and his wife, Michelle, strolled triumphantly into his victory party in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 3, Jay-Z‘s “99 Problems” was blaring. In it, Jay raps, I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one.”

Some listeners took it as a not-so-sly reference to Hillary.

Obama has no problem admitting he’s a rap fan.


Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirt_Off_Your_Shoulder.

Laluchasigue at No Quarter first explored the middle finger and shoulder brushing gestures in April 2008.  After a vigorous debate the night before with Hillary Clinton, Obama was at a campign stop in Raleigh, NC.  He takes the lyrics from Jay-Z’s rap song and incorporates them into his speech.  See Obama video clip HERE.   Jay-Z’s defiant rap song, “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” is referenced.  Obama mimics the same gestures immortalized in the verses, including the middle finger and the shoulder brushing.

“If you feelin’ like a pimp nigga, go and brush your shoulders off
Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
Niggaz is crazy baby, don’t forget that boy told you
Get, that, dirt off your shoulder”

“Feelin no remorse, feelin like my hand was forced
Middle finger to the law, nigga grippin ma balls
Stab the ladies they love me, from the bleachers they screamin”

Spencer Ackerman, another young white male media Obamaton, called Obama’s gesture “perhaps the coolest subliminal cultural reference in the history of American politics.”

Image courtesy of http://zuyorkcity.blogspot.com/2008/06/todays-playlist-jam-iit-iim-holdiin.html.

The Washington Post In April 2008 caught the actions also and wrote about it as well.

Ultimately, you’ve got to . . . And then he . . . brushes the dirt off his shoulders. Repeatedly.  The crowd leaps to its feet, applauding and laughing.

Talk about a major Jay-Z move. People, we’re talking about a seminal moment in the campaign, the merging of politics and pop culture: in which a presidential candidate — a self-confessed hip-hop head and Jay-Z fan — references a rap hit and a dance move.

Reporters from MSNBC… and Washington Post… said the shoulder shaking was “contemptuous and aloof” and “not smart.” Scarborough on Obama’s move: “We looked at each other and said, ‘What’s he doing ?’

We can debate the merits of whether miming the move of a millionaire rapper who grew up in the projects is smart, or elitist, or what have you. (There are those who saw the candidate’s scratching his face during the speech in Raleigh, N.C., as flipping the bird, but we’re not going to go there.)

To brush one’s shoulders off, according to the Urban Dictionary, is to engage in the act of “shaking them haters off. In other words it means to brush off negative energy of statements made about you.”


“I see hypocrites.”
Image courtesy of http://wintersoldier.org/.

Atta boy!  That’s how you get those young, easily amused impressionables on your side.  Mimic their moves!  Problem is, the voting public is made up of more than just twenty-year-olds.  Obama demonstrates his hipness to some by incorporating these maneuvers into his presentation.  But he also highlights his disrespectful immaturity, by making gestures so closely associated with offensive and derogatory connotations.  The American Thinker believes the Obama bird finger was actually in use at that speech, not just “simply an inadvertent positioning of his hand.”

Gee, the presidency can be about double meanings, depending upon the flavor of one’s opinion.  Interesting that John McCain has latched on to the Straight Talk mantra instead, just in case there is any confusion with Obama’s moves.  We wouldn’t want a a foreign leader getting any wrong ideas or anything when they have to sit and talk diplomacy, economic aid, or, — wars!


Image courtesy of http://www.sodahead.com/question/125249/.

Larry Johnson at No Quarter resurrected this Obama theme, pointing out that actions that can be interpreted either in one of two ways, are meant to subtly pass a distinctive message to one audience, while passing it off as something else to another audience.  Obama is calculating and slick in portrayals.  But not innocent as he might like one to believe.


Image courtesy of http://cristyli.blogspot.com/2008/05/obama-demands-investigation-of-clinton.html.

So much for carrying on those family values supposedly instilled in him by his mother, grandparents, and step-father.  Not to mention, that fancy prep school in Hawaii, and the Ivy League Columbia and Harvard.

Ahhhh, not really.  That has nothing to do with Obama’s behavior now.  Obama himself has CHOSEN his own behavior. And so too, Obama’s followers.


Image courtesy of http://obamashirts.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/get-that-dirt-off-your-shoulders-obamajay-z-t-shirt/.


“I say, I Say, it was a joke, son, it was a joke!”
Image courtesy of http://www.theodoresworld.net/archives/2008/04/.

Offending gesture aside,

“O Finger.  We’re Shaken, Not Stirred.  Obama.  Soros.”
Image courtesy of http://uppitywoman08.wordpress.com/2008/09/28/o-finger/.

common courtesy would suggest using any finger, but the middle, to scratch ones face in public.

See:

11 responses to “Masquerading Behind Offensive Gestures

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