Pop and hip hip culture has collided in a big way over the new planking craze. The seemingly harmless act calls for participants to lie face down and balance themselves on an unusual object, then snap a picture for Twitter or Facebook. Yeah, it’s really that easy for one to become a part of pop culture’s new obsession. Typically expected to remain in an isolated group of people, planking has swept the black community by storm. These days black people are uploading their own planking photos feverishly to take part in the fad.
Superstars Chris Brown, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have all taken part in the cultural phenomenon.
However it seems the presumably innocent act has a strong racial correlation that’s caused rapper, producer and actor Xzibit to put everyone -- yes even the large black ‘planking’ population -- in their place.
The out-spoken rapper, who is reportedly working on a new film Guardians of Luna, lashed out on his Twitter page regarding the historic significance of planking and slavery.
"Planking is THE dumbest sh*t ever. Planking was a way to transport slaves on ships during the slave trade, its not funny. Educate yourselves," the rapper tweeted. "Dont get it twisted. I care less where your dumb asses lay face down and take pictures of the sh*t, I'm just telling you where it came from."
The racial implications are undeniable to anyone who was to initiate a simple Google search. On one hand you have a historically sensitive to consider. And on the other you’ve got young people choosing to express themselves in arguably one of the silliest ways possible. It’s a controversial topic indeed. One I am sure we won’t resolve today. However now that the racial and historical sensitivity of this matter has been brought to the forefront do we standby idly and continue to perpetuate blatant insensitivity?
One could argue that the rapper at the helm of this rant shouldn’t toss racially conscious stones in the air until he can reconcile his own disrespect and insensitivity on all things African-American. Especially when it comes to the use of the N word in his music. Let’s examine a few lyrics from his song “(Hit You) Where It Hurts”:
“Ain't no secret how the west coast do it/Stick a fork in it, done deal disputed (yeah)/Holdin two black aces for the smilin faces/It's a chess game n----a, better count ya spaces/We gon find the weakest link, fuck what you n----z think/Pump gon repeat and grind y'all to mincemeat/I can't retreat, refusin to lose (yeah)/Walk one day in the X man's shoes
Personally I find Twitter follower @Exhibit_REY’s take on Xzibit’s planking revelation humorous, “if he's so righteous about planking and slavery, tell him stop wearing cotton!” Now that’s funny!
Just my two cents.
What's your take on planking?
(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NAACP)