Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Katie Halper Headshot

The Obama Pound: In Historic Moment, White People Exposed to "Fist Bump" for First Time

Posted: Updated:

The Obama pound, exchanged between Michelle and Barack on Tuesday night, marked a historic moment. Yeah, there's that whole first black nominee for president thing, but more significant is the fact that the greeting, which has been described by confused white journalists as a "fist bump," "closed-fist high-five," "a frat-tastic fist bump" and "'Hezbollah' style fist-jabbing," is finally being introduced to mainstream culture. The introduction of "the pound" into our national vocabulary will have ripple effects--people previously unfamiliar with it will see the world in a whole new way. For instance, they should now realize that when the New York Times' Ashley Parker wrote about Reggie Love "offering closed-fist high-fives to members of the news media...." she was not describing a painful caveman greeting, but said pound. (I think the Times owes Reggie a correction.)

I can't find an official history or definition of the pound, but here is what I found on Urbandictionary.com

1. pound: a greeting between two mutual friends. In reality, a fist from one person is "pounded" against the fist of the other person, accompanied by both persons saying "pound."
2. pound: The knocking of fists as a form of greeting, departure, or respect (see daps)
3. dap: The knocking of fists together as a greeting, or form of respect. He gave me a 'dap' when we greeted.
4. dap: a fist-on-fist greeting, front-to-front as if each person is punching each other on the hand. He gave me a 'dap' when we greeted
5. dap: The dap includes simple to very intricate series of rhythmic hand slaps, clasps, hand and arm gestures exchanged between two persons as a sign of personal greeting, respect and group solidarity. Has origin in greetings developed and practiced by members of Black Power organizations founded in southern California in the early 1970s and then became common place and outlawed practice among African-American draftees and soldiers stateside and abroad during the latter years of the Vietnam War. Was soon adopted by huge duck bill cap, suspender and knicker attired African-American street and club dancers who originated the dance known as "Lockstepping." Best known Lock Stepper is Fred Barry aka Rerun from the hit 1970s black TV sitcom, What's Happenin'? simplest of daps is to tap closed fists together one time horizontally or vertically.

Emergency update! The right-wing pundit who creatively described the pound between Michelle and Barack as "'Hezbollah' style fist-jabbing" must have read my post. His blog post no longer contains the following sentence:

Michelle is not as "refined" as Obama at hiding her TRUE feelings about America--etc. Her "Hezbollah" style fist-jabbing--mouth-twisted anti-American speeches is STRAIGHT from ISLAM!

Thank you for admitting you were wrong. I interpret your delete as an apology and I accept it.