Do you guys ever check out the “Out and About” section on the tail end of the New Pittsburgh Courier, Pittsburgh’s Black Newspaper?

It’s a section where Brotha Ash, as he’s called, goes out and about (!) and takes pictures of the social happenings in Black Pittsburgh.

This week, there was a picture that gave me pause.  Now, I know that I’m not at one with Hip Hop culture and sign-throwing or whatever you call it.  You know.  Dudes are about to get their picture taken and all of the sudden they’re doing sign language, throwing W’s and X’s all pew, pew, pew, pew maybe in loyalty to a gang, a school or a fraternity or something.

I get that.  But I’m pretty sure this kid on the left…

… is just flipping us off.

Way to keep it classy, NPC.


  1. john
    July 3, 2008 1:16 pm

    I love the colorful shirts..looks like a page right out of the AE catalog.

  2. gunnlino
    July 3, 2008 1:34 pm

    Frat sign, gang signs??????
    Makes one wonder is the community self perpetuating it’s own problems.

  3. Muddypelican
    July 3, 2008 2:19 pm

    If this picture were taken of a bunch of white guys in a club, they’d all be rockin the rock on signs and peace signs, but there would be no mention of these possibly being gang and frat signs. hmmmm….

  4. spoon
    July 3, 2008 2:31 pm

    you’re right Muddypelican because we’d be too busy saying “look at the dumbasses… wait is that Jeff Reed?”

  5. Joe
    July 3, 2008 2:49 pm

    I hate to say it and it may be a stereotype, but when blacks flash signs, many assume they are gang and frat signs because many people (mostly black) indicate that they are.

  6. PittGirl
    July 3, 2008 3:43 pm

    Oh, good Lord, Muddy Pelican. When I see a white guy or girl doing this, I also say they are throwing signs.

    In fact, I accuse Jeff Reed of it here:

    And, uh, he’s white.

  7. SeanCollier
    July 3, 2008 3:51 pm

    That guy – not flipping us off
    Tom Gorzellany Bobblehead – totally flipping us off

    …I bought one on eBay

  8. JamieO
    July 3, 2008 3:53 pm

    They might have missed it. When I worked at Junior Achievement, we ran an article in our newsletter about a fundraiser, and a kid was flipping the bird in it. I completely missed it until it was printed. Damn kid.

    Yeah, throwing a sign is throwing a sign, whether it’s Pittsburgh teens or skeevy-scary Pittsburgh professional placekickers.

  9. Mitch Cumstein
    July 3, 2008 7:26 pm

    Dirty Bird, quit whining. Frankly, it’s getting a little annoying that some fool has to bring race into just about every damn post on here.

  10. yinzer
    July 3, 2008 8:05 pm

    There is a difference between a fraternity and a gang. Fraternities are not gangs, albeit, sometimes members of fraternities can do some dumb gang like stuff like fighting. But please don’t associate gang signs with frats. thanks.

  11. pittgirl
    July 3, 2008 8:33 pm

    Yinzer, I can tell you for a fact that some fraternities have their own signs that they throw during pictures. Ever seen the Omegas and their “Q” sign?

    I said three DIFFERENT things: gangs (they have signs), schools (they have signs) AND fraternities (they have signs).

    I didn’t equate them. I listed them. Get it? No confusion on my part. And no one else on this thread equated them.

  12. Bram R
    July 3, 2008 9:25 pm

    Great. Now I have to go read the New Pittsburgh Courier this week and find something nice to say about it. Thanks a lot, PittGirl.

  13. Goob
    July 3, 2008 10:09 pm

    Sometimes, I throw the 3 Mile Island sign. But then people look at me like I’m an idiot.

  14. JP
    July 3, 2008 10:16 pm

    The Courier is actually a pretty good read. It has a great tradition as one of America’s first African American newspapers. Plus, it had one of America’s most historically important photographers and true Pittsburgh icon: Teenie Harris, on its staff back in the day. I pick one up whenever I see a street box. Totally happy to support independent media sources in this city especially those with a different point of view. Have not read it on-line but can’t believe it is much worse than what else is out there.

  15. Mik972
    July 3, 2008 10:44 pm

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t think he is flipping off the camera. I believe his thumb is to the left and his pointer finger is extended up towards the sky. I don’t even see his middle finger in the picture.

  16. Bram R
    July 3, 2008 10:46 pm

    JP: Yeah, that was dry humor. I get to my NPC only online, and when I do I generally keep to the news and opinion. As such, it’s grand.

    I suppose it’s possible the Lifestyles section or whatever is less than stellar. Hard to live up to these standards:

  17. retiredguy
    July 4, 2008 7:45 am

    I just assume they are all University of Texas fans. “Hook ’em horns!”.

    By the way, the rubber bands and blue bandanas are gang symbols.

    I’m just sayin’.

  18. JamieO
    July 4, 2008 8:31 am


    1) Obama, whether you agree with politics or not, is 10 times more intelligent than the guy who posted those photoshops. Generally, those who think that way are supposed to be declaring the white race as superior and how ironic it is that those morons are the ones who are supposed to represent “the Great Race”. As someone who is 1/4 American Indian and the rest white, 3/4 of me is more offended by that than the racism.

    2) Besides, their heroes, judging by the amount of Confederate flags I see around PA, are big losers. Although they did do a nice job of fertilizing farms around Gettysburg with their dead bodies on this very day 145 years ago.

  19. JamieO
    July 4, 2008 8:33 am


    Teenie Harris was fantastic. His photos were great.

  20. Magnus Patris
    July 4, 2008 9:54 am

    When I was a young (white) kid in Junior High, our idiot Principal (The Turtle), told us that we could not bring red or blue bandanas to school because red bandana wears sold drugs and blue wearers were drug buyers. So we all went out and bought green bandanas. I thought his head would explode that day. Personally, me bandana was usually green because I used it for a hanky.

  21. Ravishing Rick
    July 4, 2008 11:29 am

    21.JamieO- Get a life

    Have a nice 4th
    Take care
    God bless

  22. JamieO
    July 4, 2008 12:58 pm

    Ravishing Rick:

    Witty one! Now, was that #235 or #258 on the Top 500 Comebacks List in “Internet Comebacks for Dummies”?

  23. Ravishing Rick
    July 4, 2008 2:07 pm

    25.JamieO –
    I’m thinkin here a minuete hold on a sec K
    that would be i don’t know if my brain can count thta hi
    they ar big huge numbers to me
    oh wait the nurse kame into my ruhm to give me more

  24. Steeler_tom
    July 4, 2008 2:11 pm

    I totally agree with you. I get what you said.
    You have no need to defend what you posted, it just goes to show how some will always misinterpret anything just to start something.
    You Rock!

  25. JamieO
    July 4, 2008 2:47 pm

    Ravishing Rick: LMAO!

    Wait…did the guy who runs hijack your account? *not sure*

  26. JamieO
    July 4, 2008 2:52 pm

    I believe PittGirl needs to apologize to all the offended fraternity brothers.

    I think anyone who reads this blog knows that if say a Mt. Lebo high school white boy is flashing middle finger in the Trib, he is making The Burgh Blog.

  27. Jmat
    July 4, 2008 2:52 pm

    I don’t think that guy is flipping the bird. I believe that is his index finger.

  28. Ravishing Rick
    July 4, 2008 2:57 pm

    nobody’s starting anything and nothing was “misinterpreted” it was all posted in fun I’m quite sure at some point in your life you have made a racial slur or statement directed towards whites or blacks,but some how I get the feeling after reading the above post you and a select few others think you are soooooooo much better than anyone else

  29. Ravishing Rick
    July 4, 2008 3:17 pm

    I had to go back to Mayview State Hospital for my daily
    meds I think I’m quite fine now mentally not 100% sure I’m going to buy several loaves of bread and a few quarts of beer and sit in market square feed the pigeons get drunk stagger around town aimlessly and try to solicit more money from people for alcohol research attempt to watch the fire works from northside and pass out some where from all the excitement

  30. bucdaddy
    July 4, 2008 8:38 pm

    “fertilizing farms around Gettysburg”

    Heh. Here’s one of my favorite stories. A guy who was sports editor at the Johnstown paper told me this a while back, says he was there to hear it. Seems he was at an ECHL game at the war Memorial and Johnstown was playing the team from Roanoke, Va. The Roanoke Rebels had a fan who liked to travel with the team, and when Roanoke scored he’d wave this big Confederate battle flag.

    So Roanoke is kicking Johnstown’s donkey omelets all over the ice and the guy is up waving his flag for the seventh or eighth time when someone way up in the seats yells:

    “Put down that f***in’ flag.”

    Arena gets quiet.

    Rebels fans yells “What was that?”

    “I said, put down that f***in’ flag.”

    From somewhere else in the arena a voice yells:

    “Don’t listen to him.”

    Very quiet now, people watching the game wondering if they’re going to wind up in the middle of a rumble.

    Rebels fan says, “What?”

    “I said, don’t listen to him. We got a lotta nice southern boys up here.”

    Rebels fan takes the bait.

    “Yeah? Where?”

    “Gettysburg, asshole! Put down that f***in’ flag.”

  31. Mitch Cumstein
    July 5, 2008 7:54 am

    Coincidentally, Ravishing Rick (who isn’t so ravishing) is a big Roanoke Rebels fan. And I’d say he’s an idiot, but then, that’s not really fair to all the idiots out there.

  32. pittgirl
    July 5, 2008 12:16 pm


    I don’t think you’re looking at the right guy.

  33. Steeler_tom
    July 5, 2008 10:54 pm

    Ravishing Rick,
    I never said nor implied anything of the sort. I am not better than anyone else. but 21 years in the military HAVE taught me a few things about racial relations.

    Now as for you….. Bite me!

  34. DD
    July 6, 2008 8:29 am

    A lot about nuthin! Gettin tire of it all….let’s move on, shall we?

  35. PhillyPhil
    July 7, 2008 5:58 am

    Gangs Are So 90’s

  36. unsatisfied
    July 7, 2008 8:02 am

    I’m flashin’ a sign at this set of responses — you can guess which one.

    word up to DD — let’s move on, y’all….