I see you America. Yup, I see you. I am not too sure where to begin with this one. Because this phenomenon is wider than Gabby Douglas not putting her hand over her heart…it’s about the scrutiny with which the white supremacist gaze looks down at us.
It’s about marginalized people being acceptable so long as they fall in line. Though Gabby did not intend to “disrespect the flag” and “always stands at attention” when the national anthem is sung – I truly wished it was an act done with the intent of political resistance. As someone who does not stand or pledge allegiance when the anthem is sung, I would think it would be the ultimate clap back against America’s war on Afrikan peoples – especially African Americans who have been mercilessly killed unarmed at the hands of police.
As marginalized people, we are only useful to keep the cogs in the capitalist machine running. That’s it. If you threaten the status quo or perhaps are too uppity for your own good, the true colors of this society will rear their ugly faces. The idea of Douglas even scoffing at American patriotism (actually jingoism) completely overshadowed every single achievement she has done “for this country”. For God’s sake, she has trained her entire life to represent THIS COUNTRY on the world stage. If Douglas and her PR team didn’t respond aptly enough to claims of dissent – better believe her career would be over QUICK.
Marginalized individuals, especially BLACK WOMEN, walk a thin in and are always on the verge of being dehumanized, viciously stereotyped, and othered. Given the current climate of anti blackness, of course Douglas’ act (or lack there of) would be interpreted as being that of disrespect because that is the archetype we are assigned to at birth. We are “angry”, “rabble-rousing”, “troublemakers”. It is not a coincidence the media industrial complex automatically pushed the notion that she was stirring up trouble or had mal-intent when she didn’t put her hand over he heart. Such a narrative is what naturally follows from this marginalization.
I scoff at the myriad of excuses that would be given had a white competitor made the same fopaux. Perhaps she would be “dizzy” from all of the anxiety, perhaps she would be simply “absent minded”, perhaps awestruck, or simply “in the moment”.
- America, you can get over yourself now. The patriotism bullshit is getting tired.
- Marginalized folk cannot catch a break no matter how well they play by the rules – the same situation can be observed with the comments Trump made about the Khan’s a Gold Start Family. No matter how well they played by those crooked rules, they (read: you and I) will never be good enough.