Social media via facebook and twitter were set ablaze on topics that were picked up and discussed on urban radio stations websites. Print media via the internet and the blogosphere have come to the Olympic champion's defense.
16 year old gymnast Gabby Douglas is the second African-American female in the USA ever to make an Olympic team and last night became the first African American to win gold as all-around champion. But earlier this week instead of congratulating her achievements, people, mostly African Americans via social media, were attacking her for the way she has chosen to wear her hair.
Some critics insist that Douglas needs to properly represent the African-American community, and how her hair looks is part of that image. Blogger Demetria L. Lucas gives her own "Real Talk:" she says, "Leave Gabby Douglas' Hair Alone!"
“I find it sad that I have seen more Black women post criticizing comments about Gabby’s hair than I have comments of praise about her athleticism or adding color to USA Gymnastics since Dominique Dawes,” writes Monisha Randolph at SportyAfros.com. We couldn't agree more!
The second controversy involves a segment during NBC's telecast in which host Bob Costas made a segue talking about Gabby’s accomplishments and later on going to say, “But there’s some young African-American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves, ‘I’d like to try that too.’” His comments were not the problem, to some on Twitter, it was the commercial that aired right after it. A promo for a new NBC sitcom showing a monkey performing gymnastics. [See it below]
Maybe Costas should have said that any young American girl would be inspired by Douglas' performance. However he was tying in and making a point earlier in the segment with the audience that Gabby was inspired by the first African American woman gymnast, Dominique Dawes.
Now as far as that controversy goes, unless you believe that a species of primate is genetically an African American, there is no controversy. A monkey and a human being are not the same! If you think they are, or even think there is any remote possibility of a genetic connection, then the racism is within you.