Gabby Douglas‘ fans are up in arms with NBC after their decision to air an immediately after the gymnast’s gold medal victory depicting a monkey doing gymnastics.
The 16 year old African American girl has to date invigorated the polarized African American community with her stellar athletic feats to become the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal.
That said viewers have spoken out harshly against NBC who carry exclusive rights to the 2012 London Olympics for what they believe to be an insensitive and ill timed ad that followed after her gold medal victory. Whether intentional or not, the ad had the effect of reinforcing negative stereotypes that the African American community has fought generations to overcome- that of themselves as inferior, lampooned and on parallel to animals.
The snafus which elicited a barrage of distressed tweets comes off the back of another race incident involving the gymnast when she was derided by African Americans for having too kinky hair. That too elicited a barrage of back and forth comments via tweeter as well as on our site, where even we were branded part of the problem for simply airing the dissent.
But not everyone necessarily saw the ad that followed as racist, as one youtube commentator reflected:
Oh for fuck’s sake.
The commercial wasn’t racist, NBC wasn’t racist, there was absolutely nothing racist about anything of this. The only racists are the people who say that the ad was racist.
If you see a black woman doing gymnastics and then see a monkey doing gymnastics and you link the two together, you’re fucking racist. You’re the one who juxtaposed a monkey with a black woman, not NBC. NBC sequenced the video with the ad, YOU are the one who made the comparison between the
Whether NBC lacks common sense regarding Americas still standing animosity toward racism, or whether the ad directors really do hate black people, the question here is why are we still so eager to pull the race card at every opportunity ? After all these years is our personal self loathing still causing us to play the victims ? Or are we just looking for attention where we can get it? In this case comparing a 16 year old olympian to a tiny monkey in tights.
Racism isn’t learned…its taught, and in this case I’d say its the commentators who are teaching the wrong lesson…