Before I become embroiled in the negative afterlife of this year’s Olympics, I want to say that I greatly admire everyone who had the stamina and will to participate in the Games’ grueling competitions. Of course, as an American, I took pride in the performances of U.S. competitors and the medals they won. And as an African American, I was ecstatic over the medals won by African Americans.
But … the media’s negative comments about the participants and the publicity of negative comments made by others about the participants made me shake my head, suck my teeth and repeat my mother’s favorite saying: “You can’t win for losing!”
Some of the virulent comments belched forth by unhappy, insensitive humanoids were hurtful and inexcusable. A competitor from Greece was expelled from the Olympics because of her racist tweet about African immigrants in Greece. And in spite of how proud most Americans were and should have been about the gold medals 16-year-old (African) American Gabrielle Douglas won, some idiot(s) criticized her hair for not being styled the way they thought it should be. Can’t win for losing. Not surprisingly, Gabrielle was hurt by the comments, and her mother, rightfully angry and frustrated, responded. I’m not sure I would have wasted my breath on anyone so idiotic (and probably jealous) who diverted the focus towards Gabrielle’s hair rather than her performance. As a friend of mine said: “Never argue with an idiot. They’ll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Perhaps, the idiots want an Olympic hairstylist competition in which competitors are graded on their ability to maintain certain hairstyles while performing in all the Olympic competitions, including swimming.
To add to the unfortunate Olympian afterlife was Serena Williams’ victory dance after she won a gold medal in tennis. The dance was identified as the “Crip Walk,” a dance made famous by Crip gang members in Compton, Calif. Allegedly, she was so overjoyed at winning the gold medal that she did the dance without thinking, that is, until a news reporter asked her the name of the dance. One newscaster in London pointed out that the controversy over the dance arose in the States because people in Britain were not familiar with it. But many American citizens were also not familiar with it, including myself. I and many other Americans just thought Serena was creating her own joyous victory dance.
Yet the touchy afterlife of the dance lingers on. There are those who disapprove of Serena doing a gang-related dance in a setting such as the Olympics, but there are others who feel that it was okay. California rapper Snoop Dogg allegedly tweeted Serena with: “C walking at the Olympics Cpt style hahahahah! Go girl.” (Huffington Post, Aug. 6) Hmmmm. An endorsement from Snoop Dogg! Can’t win for losing.