The Whitetification of Gabby Douglas
Dear Black People,
As much as I love you dearly, sometimes you piss me off and get on my nerves! Instead of being proud of this black child who lead her gymnastics team to gold in one of the most electrifying routines ever seen on television, you criticized her hair. HER HAIR!!! You tore down a black girl who worked hard her whole life, whose mother sacrificed everything so her child could pursue her dreams and made her feel like worthless dung because of the kinky hair that God gave her. Since when is superficiality more important than merit and integrity? Since when do we trash a child who represents us rather than love and support her?
You know damn well at the tender age of 16, Gabby is recognizing her womanhood and sense of self. For her to adorn a dead animal on her head to stifle her harshest critics, black folks, is shameful and disheartening. What happened to us? Why did we become so callous, so unfeeling and so empty? Why put hatred into her mind about her African features and dark skin, the same darkness that fights disease and protects her from the sun’s harmful rays? A hateful heart is an empty heart. And all of you that influenced this child to change her appearance should be ashamed of yourselves! Since when is black beauty an oxymoron? And why didn’t you curse Lolo Jones for having “messy hair?” What’s the difference between Lolo’s out-of-place locks and Gabby’s locks?
NOTHING!!!!! The only reason you pick on this child is because she’s dark! Yet you find nothing wrong with this: Yes….she’s been reduced into an object. The caramel flesh of this Mulatto was on display for the world to see since 2009. Of course Ms. Jones courted the media with revelations of her virginity. Some claim that her prowess is tame in comparison to her teammate but yet she shines! You do know that this plays into the hands of a white supremacist system, right? Doting over a Mulatto that some consider mediocre whilst criticizing an obvious black woman is damaging to both women’s psyche. One gets inflated and the other becomes deflated…both by their skin colour, so both are losers. And you wonder why light-skinned Negroes and dark-skinned Negroes have always had animosity. Of course, Gabby and Lolo chose to go down this road…but it begs the question:
Did outside influences tap into the fears and insecurities of both women? Was the relentless pressure to be blamed? Remember the animosity between Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali? Not one person can deny that Colourism played a role in the heated exchanges between the two athletes. And why did we allow ourselves to fall prey to this madness? Being a mixed woman with caramel skin, I’ve heard many folks, including my own sisters, cry about the “unfairness” of being born with darker colouring. Frankly, I’m sick of this shit. And I want it to be over. I just haven’t got a clue as to how. I’m pretty mad right now. I’ll take the weekend off from writing to cool down my nerves.