Saturday, February 27, 2010

Controversy after honkies win national step dancing competition

A white step team from the University of Arkansas has won a national competition sparking a debate across black campuses. Stepping is the form of dance characterized by rhythmic clapping and foot stomping. Until recently, it was only practiced by young black girls. However, it has recently spread to the American suburbs.

Corporate sponsor Coca Cola ruled the competition a draw after complaints and declared the runner up team from the University of Indiana co-champions. Both teams were awarded $100,000 scholarships and a 12 pack of 1987 New Coke. In their ruling, they cited "scoring discrepancies" although they refused to elaborate. (The discrepancies were they didn't want Al Sharpton telling every black person across the country to switch to Pepsi.)

The whole controversy is silly. Once something becomes popular, it will eventually spread to everyone. I remember the first time I saw white people breakdancing or witnessed a Vanilla Ice video on MTV. I thought it was some sort of joke. The latter of which proved to be true. Regardless, you can't restrict art. If white people want to stomp their feet and clap their hands, they are going to. I actually like watching step dancing and don't care what color the dancers are. It doesn't diminish the fact that stepping started and was made popular in the black communities. It will always be linked with black culture but that doesn't mean other races don't have the right to perform it. What if the Chinese became upset because whites and blacks liked to practice the martial arts? Or Italians protested others cooking pasta? The white team from Arkansas also won several new cars. However, many of the girls complained that the prize was useless since their daddies recently purchased brand new cars for their 16th birthdays.
Here is the article and the YouTube clip of the winners (I mean co-winners???) of the competition. Watch at the 2:00 mark of the clip as the emcee announces the winner. The team wearing red storms off the stage...


  1. I can't believe people can be so lame.

    (I know I'm really late to the party, but this is the first I've heard of the this as I just happened across this today on Youtube. After reading the comments I googled the Sprite 2010 competition wanting to see what the fuss was all about; this article had the best title.)

    I am half Chinese and half Black (Once, much to my amusement, delightfully termed "Nigganese") and I feel sorry for people who are still stuck in the dark ages and find anything racist to bitch about. But actually I do have to note here - apparently the Chinese DID get upset about the white folks learning Kung-Fu... Surely you've heard the rumors that is why Bruce Lee died.

    Now, last I checked, Alabama was one of the places likely to be home to a winning Cheerleading squad which would have very similar basics of execution - I think anybody bitching and moaning about it is just upset because they just got SERVED! These ladies killed it. Period. Cool precision + hot rhythms = WIN. No color boundaries in that equation as far as I can tell. If the runner's up were upset, they would have shown more sense to take all that energy and put it into some practice time for next year rather than pulling the race card.

    Coke was put in a difficult spot, so I can understand why they did what they did even though I may not agree with it. What else were they to do to avoid a PR nightmare? They are pretty hosed either way on this one.

    To any of the black folk grumbling about it, I have to say, remember the movie "Bring it on"? There was a moral to that: Sportsmanship is a virtue too. Be gracious when winning as well as losing and you will be far less likely to embarrass yourself. It tarnishes the image of black folks further to do otherwise.

    To the ladies of ZTA, I say this: Haters will always hate, Sistas. G'on and do ya thang.

  2. well put diplomaticat. yours is a unique perspective and i appreciate you sharing it.

  3. Actually, I'm going to have to amend that statement a bit (and just noted that it was Arkansas, not Alabama, but same same as far as that goes.) It appears I may have spoken too soon in terms of the "recount" validity. My first reaction was based on the first look at the video which didn't tell quite the whole story. I've since seen ones that also show the audience reaction and also the competitors performance, and gotten some additional background on how the Zetas were even there to begin with.

    I was a bit more understanding about Coke's position when I thought it may have been a nearer thing, but now I'm a bit less forgiving. After some additional consideration, I think they could have taken a stronger stance to support their decision. (Though not easily, admittedly, but hey, somebody has to stand up sometimes, and I get tired of it always being me. Coke is a big enough company to take a little heat, and there was an opportunity to show some leadership in an area that obviously needs it.)

    More on that in my note here, if you are interested:!/notes/ai-ling-logan/cokesprite-should-have-stepped-up/10150234321167424

  4. Thank you Ai-Ling. You are now officially our L.A. correspondent. You make a lot of sense.