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The smarts and strength of Antoine Dodson

Someone sent me a Tweet asking a good question: Have Huntsville, Ala., authorities found “the idiot in the projects” who climbed through a window and into bed with Antoine Dodson’s sister and tried to rape her? I didn't know the answer, so I did some hunting around. Turns out, no, the perp who inspired the bed intruder song is still at large.

But 24-year-old Dodson, who has had more costume changes than Diana Ross at Super Bowl XXX has proven to be very wise. He hired a lawyer. And now he's made a deal with iTunes and his Web site is promoting Antoine Dodson merch, with his "trademarked catch phrases," such as "hide yo kids, hide yo wife." He also hasn't been shy about asking for donations. As a result, Dodson announced in an interview, "It was enough [money] to move my family from the projects." I love good stories like this.

My hunting also turned up this utterly charming Q&A that Dodson did for his fans.

Dodson’s gratitude and humility are endearing. My favorite response is the one directed to a woman who asked if Dodson would marry her. “How big is the ring?” he asks with a laugh and a smile. And to a personal question that he didn’t need to answer but graciously does: “Am I bi? No. Am I gay? Yes,” he says, with a “what you think?” cock of the eyebrow.

Dodson.jpg

I highlight Dodson’s answer and show the pictures of him above to make a larger point. To go there, if you will. The photos present an image of a flamboyant punching bag, rhetorically and physically speaking. But when you consider that Dodson is an openly gay black man (who was) living in the projects in the deep south -- far from the cushy gay enclaves of Chelsea, Dupont Circle and West Hollywood -- you soon realize that he is one of the strongest people we’ve seen in a while. That Dodson can deal with the slights -- real and perceived -- that may come his way and still keep his head held high and a smile on his face despite the challenges he and his family faced is proof that he possesses an inner strength that is worthy of awe and respect.

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 19, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

I have no idea how I missed this whole phenomenon, but that's why I depend on you, Mr. Capehart. He could -- and should -- write a book. There are many more Antoine Dodsons out there... lacking his wit, courage, and strength. He has a lot to teach.

Posted by: Victoria27 | August 19, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Antoine Dobson is one of those people that deserves his 15 minutes of FAME. He is real and genuine. His story also makes us feel good, not that his sister was almost raped, but that he stood up and refused to be silent. I love how he has developed a true sense of purpose out of this situation. Unlike Jet Blue's Steven Slater, a white gay who seemed to get more NATIONAL press undeservedly so. I guess because Slater's situation has controversy and Dobson's situation just reminds us poor black people get victimized every day and yet we turn lemons into lemonade. But of course that doesn't sell papers or TV advertisement.

Posted by: Dreamboy | August 19, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan,
La Ross' grand appearance at Super Bowl XXX was far more than a series of costume changes. It was the personification of a true star! Your acknowledgment of that thrilling showcase brings back wonderful memories.......thank you.
I know this had little to do with this feature, but, I couldn't resist.
By the way, you were near brilliant on the Logo presidential debates of 2008.......I forgot to thank you at the time for being such a great representative for LGBT members of color.

Posted by: kirkbonin | August 20, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

This might be, or rather is your most solid opinion piece done so far, Mr. Capehart.

Mr. Dodson is someone everyone can respect; the genuine article so very different from all the politicians and media darlings you all usually harp on and give so much respect to.

More of this 1 and less of the lessers.

They are merely players: overacting their lines,chewing up the scenery; he is the real deal.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | August 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

As awesome and cool as Antoine is, it should be noted that it was his sister who called her attempted rapist an "idiot in the projects." Seems the whole family is pretty cool.

Posted by: dkp01 | August 20, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jonathan. You are absolutely right. When we saw the story and interview that night on the local news, we too were absolutely awestruck by how spontaneously on-point and strong Mr. Dodson was, and he has continued to demonstrate these qualities since. And what a great brother he is as well!

Posted by: kingcole3 | August 22, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how I missed Antoine (thanks Tell Me More) but I find his story inspiring. Is the song funny yes, but ultimately this is story of a guy who saved his sister from attack and instead of letting others define him and profit on him he is taking control of his own image (good or bad) and try to better the lives of his family. Finally something in the news to make me smile.

Posted by: lucl74 | August 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

This is a MUST read post giving even MORE details of the dangerous situation in Dodson's community and his strength. http://drgoddess.blogspot.com/2010/08/our-fascination-with-antoine-dodson.html

Posted by: aw215 | August 24, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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