Twitter Just Can’t Let Young Black Women Be Amazing

Why media focuses on tearing down young African Americans over small missteps instead of celebrating their huge accomplishments.

Twitter Just Can't Let Young Black Women Be Amazing [image source: www.nbcdfw.com], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Twitter Just Can't Let Young Black Women Be Amazing [image source: www.nbcdfw.com]

In yet another example of breaking news I’ve come to mentally title, “Oh For the Love of God…” the world, or more specifically America, is up in arms about Gabby Douglas’ lack of one.

To clarify, Gabby’s decision to not cross her arm to her heart during the U.S. national anthem while on the Olympic podium has people across the United States taking to Twitter to express their disappointment.

Because, as with all important commentary, Twitter is where the world’s most intelligent and thoughtful debates takes place.

The Twittersphere has labeled Douglas: Unpatriotic. Un-Olympic. Disrespectful. Ungrateful.

How about overwhelmed? In awe? Caught up in the momentously indescribable moment of winning a second straight Olympic gold medal at only 20 years old?

Let’s be real, that sounds a bit more accurate.

As this ‘story’ has developed Gabby issued a public apology via Instagram explaining she meant no disrespect (obviously), always stands at attention during awards, and is so thankful and proud to be able to bring home the gold for America.

As my personal favorite article on the matter titled, “Let’s all laugh at the people who are mad at Gabby Douglas,” summed up, the fact that she even had to clarify or apologize for such a trivial alleged ‘faux-pas’ in the first place is ridiculous.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, burst out laughing during the anthem after winning his 21st gold medal, and Twitter stayed relatively quiet on that front.

Or back to gymnastics, anyone remember Gabby’s teammate from the 2012 London Olympics McKayla Maroney?

She spent her entire time on the second-tier of the podium with a look of utter disgust. Not a great example of sportsmanship or gratitude at being chosen to compete on the Olympic team.

The tweets directed at Gabby have been quick to shame her for being ungrateful after ‘being given the opportunity, and ‘allowed the privilege,’ to compete at the Olympics.

As if they – overwhelmingly white Twitter users – had something to do with her standing in Rio with that gold medal around her neck just because they too, were American?

Sorry, but she won that award because she worked her a** off. You, proverbial twittersphere, didn’t give her the privilege to compete, she earned the right.

McKayla, however, had her sourface turned into a silly viral meme which she later got to recreate with Obama, rather than have vilified all over social media.

Speaking of Obama, another young black woman in the public eye was recently the subject of media outrage.

Malia Obama was videotaped maybe or maybe not smoking what appeared to be pot at recent music festival, Lollapalooza.

People were quick to note that the ‘apple doesn’t fall far,’ since Obama has in the past admitted to casual drug use in his early years, while also shaming her for poorly representing America and the First Family.

Although alleged, but let’s be honest probably harmless, drug use by a first daughter has a bit more merit at public judgment than hand placement during the national anthem, both instances are a perfect example of our current cultural climate of allowing no mistakes; especially for African Americans.

It’s not enough to be the first-ever African American woman to medal gold in an individual all-around event, or to be the first black President’s young daughter on her way to Harvard.

The public eye will search out anything they can use to pull you down and drag your name through the mud.

It’s lame, it’s racist, and it’s wildly unfair for a group of ‘keyboard athletes’ to enforce their own smear campaigns at the cost of the futures of these young talented African American girls.

The story might blow over, but as plenty have learned the hard way, once it’s in print, it’s permanent; moreover, anytime you search Malia or Gabby from now on, these media attacks on their character will be some of the first to pop up.

Raise your hand, Twitter trolls I’m looking at you, if you would allow the personal photos and videos from your teenage years to be broadcast for the world to see.

Let me make this easy for you. You wouldn’t.

Gabby and Malia have lived their entire young adult lives at the mercy of being scrutinized by the entire world. They are allowed to ‘mess up’ from time to time.

Luckily, as the wave of criticism tried to take them down, a much more important group of Twitter users, the defenders, have come to the rescue in a series of spot on and hilarious tweets about why, quite frankly, both stories boil down to: who the f*** cares?