As a rule, I try not to give degenerate low culture such as the "Booty Pop" video a broader platform than it deserves. I am also breaking a second rule in that I usually do not use profanity: this video featuring six-year-old Albert Roundtree Jr. is pure fuckery.
The past ain't even past, it remains alive long into the present. Booty Pop is a 21st century version of the centuries old racist archetype known as the picaninny.
Picaninnies as portrayed in material culture have skin coloring ranging from medium brown to dark black -- light skinned picaninnies are rare. They include infants and teenagers; however, most appear to be 8-10 years old. Prissy, the inept and hysterical servant girl in Gone With the Wind (Selznick & Fleming, 1939) was an exception.
She was older than the typical picaninny, but her character was functionally a picaninny. Picaninny girls (and sometimes boys) have hair tied or matted in short stalks that point in all directions; often the boys are bald, their heads shining like metal. The children have big, wide eyes, and oversized mouths -- ostensibly to accommodate huge pieces of watermelon.
The picaninny caricature shows black children as either poorly dressed, wearing ragged, torn, old and oversized clothes, or, and worse, they are shown as nude or near-nude. This nudity suggests that black children, and by extension black parents, are not concerned with modesty. The nudity also implies that black parents neglect their children. A loving parent would provide clothing. The nudity of black children suggests that blacks are less civilized than whites (who wear clothes).
The nudity is also problematic because it sexualizes these children. Black children are shown with exposed genitalia and buttocks -- often without apparent shame. Moreover, the buttocks are often exaggerated in size, that is, black children are shown with the buttocks of adults. The widespread depictions of nudity among black children normalizes their sexual objectification, and, by extension, justifies the sexual abuse of these children.We have a black President, but we also have a global popular culture in which the most debased images of black humanity are a type of currency that stands in for our personhood.
The black superpublic is made real...again. If anyone would like to defend the Booty Pop video as innocent, harmless entertainment, please do so. I need the laugh.