UMD Student Unsure Whether He Should “Dap Up” Roomma...

US and World | Hugh McFarland | March 7, 2016

  • Copied

UMD Student Unsure Whether He Should “Dap Up” Roommate’s Black Friend

COLLEGE PARK, MD−University of Maryland freshman Thomas Dayton reportedly faced quite a dilemma Saturday when he could not decide whether it would be more appropriate to shake his African-American roommate’s friend’s hand or “dap him up.”

“I panicked,” Dayton said, “I didn’t know what to do.”

The other participant in the debacle, 20-year-old Matthew Kennedy, talked to The Rival reporters after the incident. “This happens all the time,” the UMD sophomore said, “but I didn’t notice anything weird until he called me ‘Jamal.’ He’s definitely pretty bigoted.”

Photo Source: Derek Clark
Photo Source: Derek Clark

“Jamal didn’t make it any easier, either,” Dayton said, chuckling, “he held his hand out when we were introduced, but at a weird sort of angle. It was impossible to tell what he wanted me to do.” The Westerly, Rhode Island native claimed that the decision paralyzed him.

“I couldn’t move,” he recalled, “it was like my life was flashing before my eyes, except I was only remembering every time I’ve ever met a black person.”

The unbidden memories did not help. “When I snapped out of it, they were just staring at me weirdly. I had to make a split-second decision.” Sources close to Dayton claim that he settled for a face-saving fist bump. Dayton’s roommate, equine studies major George Atkinson, had this to say:

“It was weird. Tom just stared at my friend like he’d never seen a black person before, then just kind of fist bumped him. He even did the little explosion noise afterwards. It was unsettling.”

After the awkward pause, Dayton was seen desperately rattling off all of the black friends he had in high school.