By now, many of you may have heard of Derrick Ashong (hell, some of you might know him: he graduated class of ’97 and was pursuing a PhD in Af-Am and Ethnomusicology here before moving to L.A.). An Obama supporter, he was approached at a rally for an impromptu video interview. The dude filming clearly took him for an ignorant punk blindly voting along racial lines. Ashong showed him a thing or two, and the clip went viral.
Then, in a media-savvy move, Ashong released a YouTube video of his own, explaining why he, a Ghanaian immigrant who was disenfranchised until the year 2000, believes in Obama and the importance of civic engagement more generally.
Of course, my mom forwarded me the links along with the subtle suggestion that this nice young man might make a fine son-in-law.
With all the negative campaigning brewing on the horizon, this li’l rainbow leads to a jackpot for the Obama team. Not only do they have a young, attractive, charismatic African immigrant candidly pledging himself to the young, attractive, charismatic son of an African immigrant, but his hopeful message is intertwined with hip-hop sensibilities, as well. It’s like the underground version of DipDive’s glorified Gap ads.
Incidentally, by midnight tonight, Ashong (a.k.a. D.N.A.) and his crew at Take Back The Mic will be posting the finalist YouTube videos for their first competition on the topic of health care. (The artist with the most votes gets $100 donated to their candidate). Check it out, and have a great weekend, y’all!