If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one reveals that we, as as society, are either getting dumbed down and associating negative things to certain kind of symbol of Status, or we've lost our ways and must re-educate the youth.... Or Perhaps, Both.
To answer the question "What Happened?", we must consider this:
The 'whipping' that the slaves suffered through during the plantation era of early U.S. history, is not done on a physical level anymore. Sadly to say, it's still practiced but on a psychological & cultural level, though many do not perceive this due to the fact that their president is a man of 'color'.
In other words, the African in America is loosing touch with the true African roots in him/herself. That is what happened.
This is merely a statement of fact based upon my own observations, though I can be wrong, you're free to choose whether to agree or disagree.