Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Vogue Fem Fail: Niggas Not Ready

I thought you'd get a laugh out of a tweet from Williams College student Quess Green '20, posting as @hotboyqueso, who is on leave this semester reportedly making up for failed classes. Green attempted to educate the students in his community college in his Afro Latino history class by sharing his Vogue Fem dance moves. You can see the video by clicking the link below if he still has it up.

For my Afro Latino history class, we had to share a project that displayed a creative outlet & I decided to vogue..the niggas in the room were not ready.

While the women in Quess's class seem appreciative, the men in the class are rightly laughing out loud at his antics.

I suppose Quess Green '20 is best known at Williams College for his role as a performer at the Williams College Museum of Art during the opening of the exhibition "possible selves: queer foto vernaculars" in December 13, 2018.

As a junior at Williams, Quess Green is majoring in American Studies with a concentration in Africana & Latinx Studies. He is the head choreographer of NBC, the campus hiphop group and a member of Sankofa Step Team.

When I resigned from Williams College in the late 1980s, I remember that Madonna was extremely popular, perhaps at the peak of her fame. Her iconic song, "Vogue," came out the year after I left.

As far as I can tell, voguing is a product of the gay scene in New York, mainly confined to black and Latino men. (It is considered rude to be a white guy who vogues.) A quick look at Wikipedia tells me there is Old Vogue, characterized by Egyptian looking poses, and New Vogue which has elements of mime. The latest trend is supposed to be Vogue Fem which comes in two styles - soft and dramatic. The dramatic style includes more gymnastic moves, while the soft style features movements are feminine and delicate looking.The famous Madonna video falls in the category of New Vogue.

Part of the joke is that Quess doesn't seem to be any better at his dance moves than he is at completing his Williams College courses. Ideally, Fem Vogue features feminine movements influenced by ballet, jazz and modern dance. There are five elements of Vogue Fem, all of which are attempted by him:
  • Duckwalk: This is when the dancer squats on their heels and kicks their feet out as they advance forward on the beat.
  • Catwalk: Catwalking is supposed to look like a model walking on a runway. In Fem Vogue, however, the movements are grossly exaggerated.
  • Hands: I don't really understand the elaborate hand movements, but that is part of the dance too.
  • Floorwork: This is the element of Fem Vogue that looks the most like what you would see in a strip club when the performer is lying on the stage. 
  • Spins and Dips: This is the most amazing part of the dance. The trick is to spin and then hit the deck exactly in time with the beat. 
I think what makes the video uploaded by him so funny is that Quess isn't particularly good at the finer points of Vogue Fem. He doesn't look like he has the leg strength, for example, to pull off the duckwalk. He doesn't have the core strength needed to pull off the moves he is attempting in his cring-worthy floorwork. In the video below, he is outperformed in his own routine by a much stronger, clearly better trained white male dancer.

I should point out that I work with dancers and ballet companies and I'm familiar with dance instruction. I don't think I'm some sort of easily shocked prude, either.

The larger issue, of course, is that Quess Green '20 appears to be an example of the unfortunate mismatch which occurs when affirmative action programs place less talented and less well-prepared black students into schools which leave them struggling to keep up. Students like Green would probably do better at a less competitive school where they would fit in and where the pace and intensity of instruction would be a better match with their talent and skill levels.

"In January of 2019, I was asked to take a leave of absence from Williams College because I failed 2 classes in the divisional 3 department, and incurred academic deficiencies," Quess said. "Divisional 3 classes fall under the discipline of math and science, and they are super rigorous for students like me who don't actually major in math or science, or have a past of performing poorly in those kinds of classes. (I was a solid C+ student in science for all of high school)." All in all, it is painful to read what it is like to fall behind in school from his tweets.

Nevertheless, I can imagine the glee of the Williams College admissions officers who thought @hotboiqueso was such a hot catch for the school. His matriculation allowed them to add a flamboyant black, queer student. They undoubtedly thought Quess Green '20 would add enough diversity to the school that it was worth the risk of seeing him fall behind in his studies and potentially quit on them.

Although this is an isolated example, this story illustrates the problematic aspects of accepting students who are not prepared to succeed at Williams College simply because they score high on diversity or adversity scales. It makes me wish for the days when admission to Williams College was based largely on test scores and perhaps athletic skill. The school was once a useful place for training future members of the clergy, professions and the military. Now, however, it looks like it is becoming a joke. A hilariously funny joke, but still a joke.

Nevertheless, I certainly wish Quess Green '20 well. As a Sunday painter, I know - better than most - that sometimes, you only get good at something by not caring about how awful you are at first. 

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Toxic Self-Absorption: Isaiah Blake '21 Shows No Remorse for Anti-White Tirade

Isaiah Blake '21 ended his video taped interview by tying on a
do-rag and texting while his interviewer shared his own ideas.

Shane Beard ’21 posted a short video on YouTube where he interviews one of the CARE Now leaders who unleashed a widely publicized, verbally abusive rant against white male students at Williams College. Later, Shane uploaded the full hour and a half conversation too.

The interviewee, Isaiah Blake '21, comes across as hopelessly self-absorbed. He seems eerily unaffected the destruction he has caused including the humiliation he inflicted on his victims, the shame he brought to the college, and the grave damage he did to his CARE Now brand. As he says at 28:58 in the full version, “I don’t even think for a moment that I did anything wrong.”

One of the sad, comic moments in the video occurs right at the very end. While things are wrapping up, Beard makes attempts to add his own views to the conversation. Instead of listening to him, the narcissistic Blake checks his phone messages, ties on his do-rag and even taps out his own messages. The CARE Now leader is virtually oblivious to Shane's feelings, ideas or needs.

Ultimately, the most disturbing thing about Blake's vulgar, hateful tirade is no one at the College Council meeting called him out, told him to stop, or ejected him from the room. The viral video of this event is useful to the nation. It illustrates the extent to which the anti-white ideology taught and tolerated at Williams College has created a toxic culture that is unhealthy for white male students.

As I have said elsewhere, no one should be forced or shamed into listening to verbal abuse. No one.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Who's Fragile Now? Black Student's Tirade Backfires

In a letter to the Williams Record, Isaiah Blake '19 reveals his highly visible effort to create a culture of open antagonism against white students has come back to bite him. Showing no interest in apologies, Blake reports he is feeling "anxious and scared."

Isaiah Blake '21, center, leads a protest in February 2019 at Williams
College where students chant, I love you! I love me! I love us! 
I love we!

This is quite an about face from the domineering verbal abuse he unloaded on white students by calling them "niggers" at an April 9, 2019 Williams College Council meeting. Blake told the white students, "You only go to the number one liberal arts school because I’m here, nigger. Period." Check out the details of Isaiah Blake's anti-white bigotry here.

Blake's religiously tinged letter puts his over-the-top butt-hurt on full display. The text of his letter is below:

May 8, 2019

To the editor:

My prayer this year was for the perspective and wisdom to know beauty and love. I have asked for the ability to see community grow like healing plants in a new garden. In order to plant a garden, you need a couple of things. You need garden tools and plants. You need space to place and to grow the plants. You need water, air, sunlight and compost.

But in order to keep a garden you need other things. You need permission from ancestors. You need the power of a community to sustain it. You need a fearful love.

Earlier in the year, we asked people to love. We chanted, “I love you! I love me! I love us! I love we!” Love is no easy task or fleeting word. After all of the difficulty of organizing, challenging CC, creating Black Previews, doing homework, being a good friend and maintaining good dental care, love has been no easy task for me. The response from the work I have done to be Black and proud on this campus has scared me and made me feel alienated or alone. Alt-right videos and articles with my name and face have made me anxious and scared. I asked: Who will keep me safe?

I fear no man. I fear no weapon (Isaiah 54:17). I only fear love. I fear the love of God. I fear the love of ancestors. I fear the love of my family, both biological and logical, family of blood and water. I fear the love of the water, air, sunlight and compost. I fear the love of gardens and the communities that grow them. I only fear the things I couldn’t live without. My prayer has been answered. I am thankful to everyone who loves me and cares for me. Who do you fear? Who loves you?

Amen & Ashe.

Isaiah Blake ’21

Blake's bigoted, anti-white rant was filmed by the College Council. It later became a viral sensation. Comments on the video came largely from those offended by his verbal abuse of white male students. As the letter above indicates, Isaiah Blake shows no empathy for his victims. He does not take responsibility for his mistake. He just seeks to make himself the victim by complaining about the national level coverage of his anti-white bigotry.

Isaiah Blake '21 holds a protest sign in March 2018 asserting
that white leaders in the legislature are terrorists. 

As far as I can tell even his allies have turned on him. Some students planned a take-over of Hollander Hall and scheduled it for today, May 10, 2019. The entire protest only attracted about 20 people. It was as if they called for an occupation and no one came. Even more interesting, the notice promoting the demonstration didn't even mention Isaiah Blake's group, CARE Now. He reports he feels alienated and alone. He blames social media, but - in truth - all his critics did was present him speaking in his own words.
We want some money to fucking cook some fried fucking chicken and be niggers for once. Isaiah Blake '21
I imagine the immediate problem for Isaiah Blake '21 is he has become an embarrassment to his fellow CARE Now leaders.

Whoever is advising Blake, including his parents, might suggest he calm down and offer a sincere apology. He should also think through what else, beside politically motivated rage, contributed to his verbally abusive behavior and his willingness to mercilessly bully both black and white students.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Anti-White Ranter Feared Angry Black Women Label

Before Seyi Olaose '22 became the symbol of anti-white bigotry at Williams College she had a remarkable level of success in high school speech and debate. "I look forward to using my voice to educate the uneducated," she said, "at the National Speech and Debate Association national championship in Florida this month and at Williams College in the fall."

Oluseyi Olaose, teammate Esmeralda Reyes, and Coach DiCo
at the Long Island District tournament, where Oluseyi qualified
for the national championship and was named District
Student of the Year. (Achievement First Brooklyn High School)

This desire to educate the benighted denizens of Williams College may have been part of her motivation when the enraged Olaose exploded at white male student representatives at the April 9, 2019 College Council meeting, saying


I ran across a video of Seyi Olaose '22 where she repeats an award-winning speech which won her honors during her high school years. Significantly, she articulates many of the themes which appeared in her now famous, bigoted rant.

For example, she indicates she won a national level tournament with this speech at the University of Pennsylvania. She is good. Unlike her hate-filled tirade at Williams College, she uses humor to win over the audience even as she makes passive-aggressive comments.

Seyi Olaose '22 confronts white student representatives on
the Williams College Council on April 9, 2019.

In this video she explains her belief that conflict is good and that it creates solutions. She wants us to get used to the idea that confrontation is a good thing. A research study, she asserts, indicated that people who thought they were being assertive really weren't very assertive at all. I take this to mean that going over-the-top with your anger is a proper measure since it will make your comments more appropriately assertive.

Similar to her comments in the viral rant, Seyi says she feels less confident unless there is "critical mass" of blacks in the room. This video helps us understand why she seemed so preoccupied by the fact there were no black women at the College Council meeting.

Dear white people. I'm not calling you racist. I'm really not. What I'm saying is even though you may be my ally, when I walk into a room where I'm the only one who looks like me, it is my human instinct to get scared.

One of the funniest moments in the video is when she says her biggest fear is stereotype confirmation. She does not want to create the impression that she is just another angry black woman. Ouch! That observation didn't age well. Remember how she told off the white students who were the object of her ire:

Olaose: I have not f***ing eaten today! BECAUSE YA DUMB ASS N***ERS WANTA F***ING TALK! Inclusion. Inclusion. FUCK YOUR INCLUSION! (HITS TABLE) BECAUSE I’M F***ING EXCLUDED. How many people look like you in this f***ing room right now?! How many people?!

White student: One!

Olaose: What the…? ARE YOU BLIND, MY N***ER? WHAT DO YOU MEAN ONE?! YOU’RE A WHITE MAN! I can count f***ing how many? Literally this f***ing row. They look like you! Who is the black woman who look like me?

The one conclusion I feel absolutely sure about is the content of the bigoted rage Seyi Olaose '22 directed at white men at Williams College was the manifestation of a long-standing, well-nursed grudge. When she unloaded on those unsuspecting guys, it was a well-rehearsed and well-thought out performance.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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