So, there's something you should know about black people. Especially young black teenage girls who happen to be Olympians. They're liars.. That's right. If they say that they were bullied and teased and called a slave, they're just making it up. Apparently for fun.. At least that's the case if you believe the defensive comments made by those who ran the gym where Gabrielle Douglas (she prefers it over being called Gabby) got her start before heading out to Iowa to train there instead at the age of 14.
Gabrielle appeared on Oprah's Next Chapter recently, and shared what it was like to train in an environment of verbal attacks and isolation she felt was due to her race. I read this story and was incensed.
The response of the former coaches was one of denial, saying things like "Gabby was never a victim", and "I never once heard her complain about girls being mean.." Are they serious?
Anyone out there ever been bullied as a kid? So tell me, how many of you just marched right on up to a teacher or coach to tell them your sad tale of being picked on by fellow students, complete with names? If you did, how did that go? Did those bad kids see the error of their ways and just embrace you with all kinds of love and apology? No? I didn't think so.
Val, you seem a bit hot over this. Yes, yes I am. One of those coaches expressed that Gabrielle's story is sickening. Really? You know what I think is sickening? These so-called adults attacking a sixteen year old girl and daring to say her experience of bigotry and pain is not true. I thought she handled the interview with class and dignity. She didn't name names, she didn't say anything publicly about the coaches themselves.
Just who do they think they are?
In a previous post, I shared a bit about my experience of being one of very few blacks in a nearly all white Midwestern middle school. I never said anything about what I was experiencing either. My parents new nothing of what I was going through until I was an adult, and even then, I didn't go into all the details. That was a painful time and I lived for Fridays.
Now, most often kids aren't going to bully each other within the eye and earshot of an adult, so I can't understand why these coaches are reacting the way that they are. Young girls can be pretty mean and sneaky. But, if they did witness what was going on and did nothing to stop it, well maybe this is their guilt talking. That and not wanting their gym to look bad. Too late. Their reaction has taken care of that.
I applaud Gabrielle for being upfront about her experience and how she's risen above it. She seems mature beyond her years. A maturity that appears to be lacking back at the old gym..
What do you think? Am I getting too emotional about this? Do you think that a young person of color would go out of their way to make up stories of racial slurs and bigotry for the fun of it?