Life changes so quickly. Just three and a half weeks ago, Antoine Dodson was another guy going to school for his business degree while living in the projects with his family. Today, he is an internet sensation.
If you haven’t heard the story, Dodson and his family was at home a few weeks back trying to get in a good night’s sleep when a man decided to climb a garbage can up to a landing and then inside the family’s second story apartment window. He then tried to get into bed with Antoine’s sister and have sex with her. She protested and the argument that ensued trashed her room. Antoine and the rest of the family came to the rescue and the perpetrator ran away.
Early the next morning, WAFF TV in Huntsville, AL went to their apartment complex and interviewed the family. Antoine was angry and delivered a strong message to the attacker. The story is below.
Now, I realize that some people didn’t take the story as serious, even in Huntsville. People didn’t take his reaction as sincere. He told an interviewer on NPR radio that he was angry. He had something to say. The family had talked about the incident all night after the attacker left because they couldn’t sleep. I think that’s a reasonable reaction. So he was ready to talk. He said that he felt that he could strangle the camera even though it did nothing to him in the interview.
The story didn’t end there. As of today (August 18), the attacker has still not been caught. However, the video reached the attention of the Gregory Brothers. The group put the words into music and made a rapping remix of the interview. The result is below.
They also made two other versions of the song that you can check out on ITunes or Youtube. The song became an internet phenomenon. As of today, the original version has over ten million views on Youtube. That’s over 2.5 million views a week or 100,000+ views an hour.
Antoine became a hit and he even commented in his interview with NPR that people are now listening to him. He was used to having people step all over him, but now he had the attention of the world, much less the Lincoln Park section of Huntsville.
Even with the deterrent of some people making fun or not respecting the interview, Antoine has done a good thing here. That should be recognized. In the interview, he mentioned that crimes in the projects, like the attempted rape of his sister, went unnoticed and ignored by the police. With his interview on WAFF, Huntsville’s police force can no longer seemingly turn their back. Neither can a lot of other cities in America.
Antoine asked a great question in the interview that the NPR host totally ignored. “How do we come together as a people to change it (meaning the situation of the crime)?” He partly answered the question on his own by stating that we need to come together. The police can protect us somewhat. It’s their motto: To protect and to serve. But they can’t be everywhere. We as our communities and neighborhoods need to come together and work with each other. We need to watch out for each other.
Chapter 2 of the book of Acts shows a community coming together. They ate food, sold everything they had and shared together. What the verses don’t say specifically is they watched each other’s backs. You know they did. If they were willing to share everything and ate together continuously, you know they watched out for each other. If anyone from the outside (or even the inside) threatened them, they were immediately stopped.
Does it mean there will be no crime? No. That’s foolish. The Bible tells us that there will always be poor among us, in physical and mental means. But it starts with us. Antoine Dodson got the ball rolling in Huntsville and hopefully, that attitude of care and watching will continue.
I’ve listened to several of his interviews and he seems like a mannered man outside of the original interview. He’s soft-spoken and well-spoken. In all of the listening, I never picked up whether or not he is a Christian. I did pick up in one of his question and answer sessions with his Facebook fan club that he is gay.
Does that fact change my opinion of him? No. Antoine Dodson has done a good thing by raising awareness that change needs to be made. Thanks to the proceeds of this new found success, he is moving his family out of the projects into better living conditions. He is being a responsible man and making a better life for his mama, his sister and the rest of his family. He is affecting the next generation of his family. Maybe they will see the difference of coming out of the projects to a different life. It’s the kind of change that will impact the children for their entire lifetime.
Antoine Dodson is heading in the right direction. My encouragement for readers of this blog and anyone else who knows Antoine and his family is to continue to pray for their well-being. Continue to pray that they come out of this situation stronger and begin to ask the question as to why God spared them tragedy. Because He did spare them. Twice!
The first time was by not letting anything other than things be roughed up. Things are replaceable. His sister and her child in the room are not. The second time is by this new opportunity of life and hope thanks to the odd chance that people decided to make a rap video and give Antoine and his family a new beginning.
Finally, I pray that whoever in Antoine’s family doesn’t know Jesus get a chance to know Him. It’s the greatest second chance on life they’ll ever receive.
I love you guys!