Gabby Douglas made history on Thursday, when she won the gold medal in the women’s all-around gymnastics competition. She is the first African-American woman to do so and the first woman of color to ever medal in the individual competition for America!
Those incredible feats were highlighted by Bob Costas on NBC. He gave a poignant and carefully crafted speech celebrating Gabby as an athlete and inspiring young woman.
It is unfortunate that after his kind words, NBC cut to a commercial for their new sitcom, Animal Planet, that shows a monkey performing on gymnastic rings.
The commercial itself is not racist but its bad placement leaves a sour taste in our mouths. The comparisons between blacks and monkeys stem from racism during the slavery era. It is a sign of animatistic qualities and inferiority that whites associated with the black race. Scientific studies show that the brain of a monkey is the closet of the animal kingdom to a human’s, but because of the “resemblance,” racists use it as a derogatory term.
It’s heart-breaking that after Bob Costas’ powerful segment on Gabby that a monkey commercial followed!
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