No, the phenomenal gymnast, Gabby Douglas doesn’t know me from a can of paint and I have been given no permissions to speak on her behalf. I am truly taking liberties.
In 2012 Gabby Douglas became the first African American woman to win all-around Olympic gold. She performed like no other ever had. I was in awe of this teenager who was so focused, so determined to outperform her competition. I was glued to the television and screamed with joy as she nailed every jump, flip, and landing. I saw in her all the hopes and dreams of greatness that I and so many others had for ourselves as children. I became one of her biggest fans! I watched the Gabby Douglas story, the news interviews, and followed her on social media. All the love and pride that enveloped her was amazing and well deserved. Then, without warning it started. The hate began to spew from ignorant people’s mouths as water would from a hydrant.
As she stood at the podium to receive her medal, stupid ass folks were taking to social media to post and tweet about her hair. Really? Her freaking hair? The comments were so rude, mean, and evil spirited that my heart hurt for Gabby. This girl had just rocked the world with her talent, but these cackling haters were worried about her “edges.” Saying that “She should have combed her hair before receiving her medal.” That isn’t a direct quote because the idiots posting such comments probably weren’t that articulate, but I digress. The fact that anyone would even think something like that, let alone verbalize it, was beyond disheartening.
Fast forward four years and here we are nearing the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics. While Gabby didn’t win individual gold, she played a very significant role in the Final Five’s win of the women’s all-around team gold. I’m sure she was filled with pride as she watched the phenomenal Simone Biles win multiple medals, including the women’s all-around gold that she’d previously won. But wait, the idiots have resurfaced and again caused this beautiful young woman a great deal of pain with all of their hate. They have criticized everything from her hair to the fact that she didn’t place her hand over her heart when the US national anthem was played. Do you put your hand on your heart every time the anthem is played ‘cause I damn sure don’t. It’s not a sign of disrespect, it’s just not always on my mind to do so. This young woman has dedicated herself to gymnastics and has achieved more in her 20 years of life than most ever will. Yet they concern themselves with her hair! And yes, some have made the same ignorant ass comments about Simone Biles and gold medal swimmer, Simone Manuel.
What’s most hurtful about these comments is that a great deal of them have come from other African American women. Every other culture will take what could easily be perceived as a negative physical characteristic of their Olympians, turn it around and make it an amazing attribute. But no, not us, we are still working with the crabs in a barrel mentality. Shame on any and every one that found something negative to say about these amazing Olympians. Especially you other African American women who insist on tearing your sisters down instead of building them up and giving them the praise that they so greatly deserve. If your feelings are hurt by anything I’ve said, then I’m talking to you! Before you fix your mouth to speak ill of these or any other women again, do something worthy of honor and prestige with your own life. Until then, take many seats and on behalf of Gabby Douglas, screw you!
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