Michelle Obama Teaches Dr. Oz How to Dougie; Does She Know about the Sexist Profanity of the Lyrics?
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Michelle Obama took a visit with Dr. Oz on his TV show, using her popularity to bolster her husband’s chances at reelection. Michelle is a superstar in the Obama campaign strategy, as she is one of the most beloved figures in America.
The episode with Dr. Oz, which airs on September 12, shows the first lady “getting down” with Oz, teaching him about the use of dance as a great way to exercise. One of the things to love about Michelle Obama is that she’s very serious about kids eating healthy and engaging in physical activity. Michelle’s work is necessary in a world where too many of our kids have turned into chubby little Playstation addicts who can’t spell the word “NBA.”
One of the things that the first lady did for Dr. Oz was introduce him to a dance called “The Dougie.” The dance is popular among teens, but has been appreciated by people around the world. The first lady, being the cool, hip woman that she is, introduced Oz to “black culture” by showing him how to do the dance. The dance goes along with the song, “Teach Me How to Dougie,” which was also a huge hit.
Of course, we can debate why the Obamas “just happen” to be the “singingest,” “dancingest” White House duo in American history. Some would say it has to do with the long history of black folks making whites happiest when we are singing and dancing for them. President Obama once said that he learned long ago that it’s very important to make white people feel comfortable. He does that much better than I do, and dancing/singing is always a great way to do it. But to use the words of Harrison Ford in the film “Clear and Present Danger,” I’d have to say: ”I’m sorry Mr. President, but I don’t dance.”
We can also debate whether or not teaching people “how to Dougie” is the most productive use of our time when it comes to achieving cross-racial understanding: Some cultures might introduce art. Some introduce religion. Maybe black people shouldn’t be relegated to teaching white folks the latest dance fads. But then again, I’m probably jealous because I don’t know how to dance myself.
But here’s the thing that should probably concern us all. Michelle Obama may not have ever actually heard the uncensored lyrics to the song “Teach Me How to Dougie,” performed by the rap group, “Cali Swag District.” I’m a fan of hip hop, so I sometimes crinkle my brow when I see people dancing to songs that contain some of the most sexist, racist, violent lyrics known to man (as I wonder, “He just called you a dirty &^%*$ and you’re dancing to his song?”).
When I noted my concerns on my Facebook page, I was confronted with the words “Lighten up,” as if I were being too serious. I am always confused when I hit that awkward moment when I realize that I am arguing with a woman about why terms like “b*tch” and “hoe” are disrespectful to her. Someone said to me, “Look, if women don’t mind being called b*tches, then why are you arguing with them?” I then said, “I don’t think that Michelle Obama is a b*tch, no matter what anyone says.” But when the rappers of this song say, “Cause all the b*tches love me,” they are referring to everyone with female G*******a, including Michelle Obama, as she dances right along with them.
I even wonder if the first lady has a fact checker who actually goes and listens to the songs that she’s dancing to, to make sure that Fox News doesn’t get that information first.
In case she hasn’t heard the song “Teach Me How to Dougie,” I’d like to share a sample of the lyrics:
Can u teach me how to dougie?
You know why?
‘Cause all da b*tches love me
All I need is a beat that’s super bumpin’
And for you, you, you to back it up and dump it (translation: “I would like for all those women with large booties to shake them in my face like they’re earning their college tuition at a strip club”)
Cali Swag goes on with their hit song with the standard hip hop music formula of teaching black men to have s*x with as many women as possible. Of course I become the wet blanket when I mention that we lead the nation in STD infections, but we can talk about that later:
I show my moves off and errbody tryna do me
I leave da function and all da ladies tryna screw me
You just do you and I’ma do me (all day)
N*ggas love to hate so they try to shoot me (please note: M-Bone, one of the members of Cali Swag District, was murdered last year)
B*tches be stuck to me I think they tryna glue me
Of course we all know the chorus so the song, which made it popular on the radio:
Teach me how to dougie
Teach me, teach me how to dougie
All my b*tches love me
All my, all my b*tches love me
All my b*tches love me
You ain’t f*ckin wid my dougie!
Step up in da club and all these b*tches bug me
All da n****s dancin’, none of them know me
Here are a few more lyrics to the song that the first lady and others are performing for Dr. Oz:
Back of the party I don’t really like to boogie
I’m just tryna get bent and meet a thick redbone
(Mmm) she do her dougie and all them b*tches hatin’ but I’m bout
To escape with a b*tch and head home (f*ck it)
She got her friends so is a two man and
And I wanna run it even if her legs long
She like you hubby, I think she love me but,
I change da subject and I do my dougie
Cuz, I don’t give a f*ck, blow trees, get money
Me, smoove, hef in the back with playboy bunnies
We gon’ make em do the dougie in the middle of da bed
And when I asked for some head da b*tch looked at me funny
Daaah! b*tch you can’t tell me nothin star make the beat
Mind you, I’m not saying that this song isn’t catchy. I’m definitely not trying to be nasty toward Michelle Obama. But I’ll admit that I grow increasingly concerned about living in a community that shares its “culture” in such a derogatory, stereotypical way, even at the highest levels. The misogyny of the song, as well as the standard model of extreme black self-degradation, is part of the norm that led to the murder of one of the rappers in Cali Swag district (he was killed in a drive-by shooting).
The murder of one of the people who created this song (M-Bone), in conjunction with the first lady’s decision to do the dance on the national stage, is oddly correlated with the recent spike in deadly violence taking place in the first lady’s home city of Chicago. Much of this violence is rooted in commercialized hip-hop music, which has transformed itself into a blueprint for black male self-destruction. The recent murder of Chicago rapper Lil Jojo , possibly at the hands of associates of a rival artist (Interscope Records artist Chief Keef) serves as a perfect case-in-point. After the death of the boy who wasn’t even old enough to vote for Obama in the election, other teens rejoiced about his murder on Twitter. They were happy that he was shot in the face so that his mother couldn’t have an open casket funeral. One of the teens even said that he hopes Jojo’s mother holds off on burying the body, so she could also bury his twin brother along with him.
The first lady can teach us a lot of things: How to be intelligent, how to be graceful, how to be extraordinary. But one thing she may not want to teach us is how to Dougie. When I look around and see what commercialized hip-hop music continues to do to the psyches of our children, there’s nothing inside me that wants to go out and party. If I were to brag that “I’m a great scholar cause all the b*tches love me,” I would know that I was disrespecting every black woman in America, starting with my mother, grandmother, sister and daughters, and that’s NOT what being black is all about.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. He also appears in the Janks Morton film “Hoodwinked.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.
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