Open Thread: Gabby Douglas, You're My Goddess



While fans of "The Fab Five" were ignoring 16-year-old Gabrielle Douglas, over on the Black Girls Club, we couldn't shut up about her.  Every other week or so, we were posting YouTube vids of her on our Facebook.  I personally kept one eye on her progress from bubbly young rookie to no-nonsense Olympian.

Not only did she lead "Team USA" to gold two days ago (she was the only American to compete in all events, and she won 33% of the points), but today, she took gold as an individual champion in the all around event.

So now, the PTB have no choice but to talk about this girl.
Douglas was simply a rising, still-rather-unknown star, with nowhere near the résumé of reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber, when she showed up at the American Cup at Madison Square Garden in early March. At last year's world championships, for instance, her best individual finish was fifth on the uneven bars.

In New York, she competed as an exhibition athlete, meaning her scores didn't count and yet she finished higher than Wieber. Afterward, while Wieber gave the typical, rather sterile answers of a top teenage gymnast, Douglas fairly exploded in a brief one-on-one interview.

I asked her about handling the pressure of the next five months.

"Pressure?" she said with a radiant smile. "I love it. I love to stick the landing like there is no tomorrow. You stick the landing, and it's like, 'Game on.' I'm so ready for this. My mom says I'm a fighter, a fierce competitor, and I think I am, too."

Walking away from that short conversation, it was only natural to believe you'd just talked to the future Olympic gold medalist.


~ Christine Brennan, USA Today
She has the ambitious drive of the Williams sisters, the "sweetheart" quality of Debi Thomas, the overall bad-ass skills of Dominique Dawes, the awe-inspiring power of Jennifer Khwela, the energy of Daiane dos Santos, and the unflinching confidence of Rebecca Downie.

Let this be a lesson to the bullshit favoritism of "Team USA."  The rest of the world doesn't care who's your favorite darling.  This is the Olympics, not the Jordyn Wieber/Michael Phelps Show.

Bow, children.

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Really? Gabby Douglas Wins A Gold Medal and People Are Criticizing Her Hair?

Comments

  1. Amazing! Watching this gives me chills!

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  2. I was so hoping you'd write a fitting tribute to her. Moreover, I hope to see her face on the front of every cereal box, just like her white counterparts. If she were white the media would be all over her and her family. They would be camped outside her front door. The word Hero would be thrown about with as much gusto and vigor the media could muster. Moreover, her name would be echoed Ad infinitum in the 24 hour news cycles. The only reason the white media acknowledges her is because they have to. To get notice from whites you have to be twice as smart and ten-times as skilled before they’ll notice you; because to them you’re nothing but an anomaly. But as I have said in a post long ago, its hard for whites to accept black people as heroes.

    She is truly a hero. What’s truly sad is that some people would stoop so low as to criticize her hair. Her hair???!! Her shining moment was almost tarnished by a tawdry display of self-loathing and ignorance. Right now I'm so proud of her. For at this moment... she is the best in the world and no one can take that from her. God bless you Gabby!!!!

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    1. Those were some self hating hoes (excuse my language) I saw some of the people on Twitter hating on her hair. Full of people rocking dusty weaves. I don't get it?!

      Shes flying through the air on international television, the last thing she should be worrying about is her hair (her hair looks fine to me). When will any of these fools have the chance? Never.

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    2. The thing is, the white media is kind of ignoring using the twitter insults to deflect from the fact that they've largely ignored her and were too busy acting like Jordan Wieber was robbed.

      So they've turned it into a whole "oh, look at how black people are" when most of the abuse launched at black women comes from them. Let's not forget how they regularly describe (and insult) the Williams sisters, or Don Imus's "nappy-headed hoes" comment.

      The unfortunate people who have internalized racism didn't get that way on their own, and I dislike how white people are able to stir up the pot and walk away and claim that they can't UNDERSTAND how hateful we are to each other.

      B/c you know, they NEVER insult each other or us. *eyeroll*

      Remember, the white people call her the "Flying Squirrel" while pointing out how ignorant we are. Squirrel? Really? When have they ever called one of their own girls a rodent?

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    3. "When will any of these fools have the chance? Never."

      Ever!!! I am in total agreement.

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    4. And I bet that if any of those women talking about Gabby's hair took out that store-bought hair off of their heads, they would see a resemblance between their own hair & Gabyy's. but I bet they would cut your tongue out and feed it to your dog if you said anything negative about their hair. SMMFH

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    5. Nicthommi,

      Exactly!

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  3. I am extremely proud of this girl. I know exactly what Brennan means; she's something special and you can tell right away.

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  4. Great piece, Ankh! *Bowing,* most appropriately and proudly, to this BEAUTIFUL, young sister -- for who she IS -- because it certainly reflects in WHATEVER she does!

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  5. I just love how she has proven so many haters wrong. She dominated! She crushed the opposition. Opposing teams and people that were suppose to be on her side.It was suppose to be Team USA not Team We're So Angry With The Black Girl For Being Better Than Jordan Wieber So We're Going To Ignored Her Greatness. But regardless of how the haters treat her, Gabby is the winner and they can't take that away from her. GOLD BABY!!

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  6. Stu Woo is adorable.

    Gabby Douglas should drink free At the Bar, but I'm sure that goes without saying. Looking at her moves; I am in awe. She's so graceful and her body line is beautiful. She's a pretty girl to begin with, but man oh man...

    Her haters can suck down a bag of hot STD-ridden dicks and kiss the blackest part of her Olympic-gold-medal-winning ass.

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  7. This is absolutely amazing. This is...just so wonderful.

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  8. Leo Princess8/3/12, 1:01 AM

    I am so thrilled for her! GO, GABBY!

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  9. AlexRaventhorne8/3/12, 6:18 AM

    Very impressed with Gabby Douglas's determination and mental strength. And she clearly loves to dance & do the floor routine - that routine was the bomb. As for the haters, I noticed a while back that black women are the meanest group when it comes to a another black woman's appearance (followed by white women I have to say). I realised one day that I would look at a tiny flaw in another black woman's hair and silently diss her, whereas a white chick with crazy frizzy hair had less of an impact on me. I decided to cure myself of such nonsense. Other women are not a reflection on me, it makes no difference to my life what they look like, and most importantly I want all women to be happy and enjoy life. Back to Gabby - anyone who posts negative comments about her hair after the girl just won a gold medal, such people clearly have issues. Let the media focus on the loser white girl all they want, Gabby is a strong girl and will stay strong & focused. I hope she meets Venus and Serena Williams soon, if she hasn't already. I live in the UK and the way the media fawns over white athletes as opposed to black ones, especially female athletes, is bloody irritating.

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  10. She's something! I'm not American but I rooted for her during the competition. It's rare to see so much determination in such a young girl's eyes. She always looks like she gives 100%, and she enjoys every second of it. It's very inspiring, I hope she won't stay in the shadows of Wieber and the like. She deserves the spotlight.
    Oh and I don't get how people could concentrate on her hair during her performance. It's like they were looking for something to criticize. Ridiculous. The worst thing is there was nothing wrong with her hair. Was it jealousy?

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    1. Maybe a bit but a lot of it was internalized racism on the part of black people.

      Of course, black female athletes are frequently insulted by non-blacks too, usually comparing them as animals or men...

      Look at any comments section after an article about the Williams sisters and you'll see what I mean.

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  11. Lifecoaster8/3/12, 4:15 PM

    I'm so happy for her. She really deserved it and the haters need to sip that haterade and stfu.

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  12. Did anyone watch the nightly newscast? Just as with the local affiliate the media spent much of its time lauding the white athletes for their accomplishments. There were spotlight interviews and human interest stories, but no Gabby. Finally, in the last 2 minutes of the broadcast (just as it would air locally) they did a spot on Gabby. It couldn’t have been more than a minute long. They interviewed her white counterparts, an aspiring black gymnast and Mary Lou Retton herself; America's little darling. Now compare that to the flying squirrel remark and you can see the disconnect. There were no family member interviews- no former teachers; no piece focusing on her hopes and dreams… nothing. Its as if the media did it through clenched teeth.

    No other information outlet in this nation reminds me more of my second-class citizenship than the media. Let’s do all of the normal people first; lets tell their uplifting stories and then- if there’s time left- we’ll tell Gabby’s. The front page of the Huffington post says it all. Never mind the fact that a black woman made world history by capturing the gold; The Real News is in what this iconic white male has accomplished in swimming. Now that’s news!

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    1. Never mind that while she was winning gold for this country, her father had to miss it because he's in Afghanistan fighting for this country.

      But yeah...that's Amerikkka for you.

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    2. Never mind that while she was winning gold for this country, her father had to miss it because he's in Afghanistan fighting for this country.

      But yeah...that's Amerikkka for you.


      Now mind you- this is what the media blatantly ignored. Such a missed opportunity; because lord knows if she were white, that little modicum would have been exploited for all it was worth. I dare say someone in authority would have made arrangements to bring her father home to share in his daughter's moment. Gabby Douglass, the domestic hero; gives her all for God and country. While her Father, the courageous warrior- puts his life on the line for liberty and freedom. It would have been all too easy.

      But she's a black girl, so let’s not make a big thing out of this. The only mention of Gabby now is in reference to a commercial NBC aired shortly after her victory. Its a shame too, for this little girl deserves better.

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  13. Gabby Douglas is freaking amazing. She makes me want to take up gymnastic even though I'm way too old .
    I love watch athletes who enjoy what they do and she definitely does.
    There isn't enough focus on her and the other POC US gymnasts, they are kicking butt and holding the teams up and getting freaking medals but no let's keep talking about why one white girl didn't make a section of a gymnastic competition.
    Whatever GABBY is Awesome, haters will hate but she will still keep getting this medals.

    Gabby: Keep It Up!!!

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  14. "...as you attempt to project your self-deprecation, something I understand is not all of your own-doing, I am telling all of you to step the fuck off.

    Keep your ‘Buckwheat’ images tucked into the orifice of your arse. And don’t come crying and yelling “racism” or wanting help when a non-black person calls you a nappy-headed ho.

    Our tresses do not wisp about in the wind. They roll and wine in spirals like a Trini Calypso song during Carnival. We are not Snow White, no matter how biracial and octoroonish you may think you are, our edges will forever puff up in resistance like a Zulu army.

    SPOILER ALERT FOR MEN WHO DATE BLACK WOMEN: If you have only seen us with relaxed, pressed hair and tracks or weaves for years than it is highly likely that there is not much to work with. Case and point, Naomi Campbell
    "

    ~ Eco.Soul.Intellectual

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  15. Am I the only one who thought it was hilarious that the Russians went home crying?

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    1. Funny you should ask.

      When the Russians first started crying realizing they weren't going to get the gold, I remember an American commentator asked, "Can you give the knock-out blow when your opponent is in tears?"

      I was like, "Uh...yeah."

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    2. Oh, I remember watching the Olympics years ago with a friend and we were laughing b/c when the Russian girls did well, the coach would kiss them, and if they messed up, they would get rejected, so we started watching the performances and if someone slipped we'd say "oh, no kiss for you." So they can handle it...

      Delete

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