(PNS reporting from HARLEM) The Harlem Shake viral video craze is a racist meme characterized by a near total lack of African-Americans, Harlem Community College graduate student Emiliano Zapata Shabazz-Jones declared yesterday.
Shabazz-Jones, a Harlem native, emailed PNS about the video meme, which, he wrote, “commodicates and transmogrifies” African-American culture and is “an insult” to the New York neighborhood that gave the world the Harlem Renaissance, the Harlem Globetrotters and several hip hop pioneers.
“At first I thought it was a black MMA star named the ‘Harlem Sheik,’ and I was like ‘all right!’ But I’ve watched more than a hundred videos and quite frankly I’m exaspergated,” Shabazz-Jones, an anthropologist, complained.
“There are so few people of color in Harlem Shake videos, you would think they were all directed by Ben Affleck!”
“This is gentrification of the internet,” said Shabazz-Jones. ”I used to be able to Google ‘Harlem’ and find some cool tunes, great soul food and righteous history. Now I just get links to pages of middle class white guys who have the kind of jobs where they let you goof off and make silly internet videos all day! It must be nice.”
Shabazz-Jones is calling for a boycott of the Harlem Shake meme until there is greater African-American representation in the videos:
And I want to see some real Harlem Shake dancing in there.
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