Friday, August 3, 2012

Congratulations, Gabby!

Gabby Douglas won the gold medal in the all-around women's gymnastics competition at the Olympics yesterday.  She's 16 and she's adorable.  She has been saddled with the ridiculous nickname of the "Flying Squirrel", but let's just try to overlook that part and concentrate on what really matters.  And if you're the media, apparently what really matters is that she's black. 

Ohhh.  I didn't call her African American!  More on that in a minute.  News outlets are practically pleasuring themselves to the point of bliss by making sure that they point out that Gabby Douglas is the first "African American" woman to win that particular gold medal.  And what I think that they mean to say is that she is the first woman of color to win that gold.  Because that's what we're talking about here.  We're not talking specifically about Americans.  We're talking about Olympic gymnasts and up until yesterday, every one of them who had won the all around gold medal in women's gymnastics had been white.  So there's that aspect of this that annoys me. 

When Gabby herself was asked to comment on her being the first woman of color to win that gold medal, do you know what she said?  She said, "I kind of forgot about that." And of COURSE she did!  You know why?!  Because that's the NORMAL thing to do!  All I ever hear about is how we're all supposed to be "the same" and yet, at every possible turn and at every possible opportunity, the media (and plenty of other folks) is separating everyone off into their little groups! 

Let's look at this another way.  What if, after she won the gold medal, someone came up to you and said, "Oh, my God!  Did you see the girl who won the gold medal in gymnastics?!  You didn't?  Well let me tell you what color she is!"  How does THAT sound to you? Stupid?  Yeah, it should sound stupid because it is

I swear, media coverage of things (not necessarily news) these days just wears my ass out.  My ass is seriously tired from all of this.  Completely exhausted. 

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