There comes a point in everyone’s life where they’re like, “You know what? This is bullshit.”
And while the “this” can always be anything, it’s usually an indictment of life in general.
James Baldwin used this moment to justify his belief that Black kids were smarter than white kids by suggesting that no Black kid reaches the age of seven without having experienced that moment in regards to how he or she interprets his or her home country while white kids don’t come into that understanding until they’re nearly twenty.
Yesterday, we watched Gabby Douglas, again an American Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast, simply not put her hand over her heart while with her teammates on the podium, American national anthem playing, celebrating and receiving their team gold medal.
A simple act of thoughtlessness, you think?
Since 1936, the year Jesse Owens essentially said to Hitler, “Aryans, ok. But ‘supermen’? Maybe not, dog,” almost as important as him winning those four track and field gold medals was his stature on the award-winning podium, proud and defiantly American, so what if they wouldn’t even hire his Black ass after he got home.
Tommy Smith and John Carlos ain’t get hired either, but they had to expect that shit.
Nigga, not only did y’all muhfuccas toss up the Black Power sign after taking gold and bronze in the 100 meters in Mexico City in 1968, but you did it wearing black leather gloves.
It would take another 10 years and the invention of Darth Vader before a nigga could wear black leather gloves again without being arrested for “suspicion”.
Off the podium but entirely unforgettable and from those same games, George Foreman risked eternal “Uncle Tom Status” when, likely as a promoted response to Tommy and John, Big George did a little buck nod coupled with a gracious humble, Negro duck of the head, all while waiving an American flag after winning his gold metal boxing match.
Muhammad Ali, himself a rather placid yet proud Olympic boxing gold medalist eight years before in Rome, didn’t think George’s stunt too cool in the wake of the uproar over Tommy and John.
Michael Jordan, pitchman to the last, draped himself in the American flag from the podium back in Barcelona in 1992, not out of any kind of patriotic fervor whatsoever, but because the Reebok logo was visible on the sweatsuits they made for the US Olympic Team and Jordan, of course, is a Nike athlete.
Her “This is bullshit” moment might have been the product of being bypassed after a flawless all-around individual performance for Aly Raisman who had a flawed individual performance.
Or maybe it was a sociopolitical statement, she’s a silent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement or has even deeper and darker radical ties.
Or maybe she was just fucking tired and didn’t wanna lift her arms to no goddamned flag.
Whatever the case, she had her moment right there on the podium and we all watched it.
The tradeoff is, of course, that she did win yet another gold medal for her country.
So cut her some slack out there, Trump supporters.
Aside from your bellyaching, what the fuck did you ever do for America?