Simone Biles hasn’t competed in any event in over a year. Yet, there is one thing that grates on me. Knowing how good that Simone is at this sport, how she has elevated it, here comes the establishment trying to stop her! How gymnastics is doing Simone is reminiscent of how the figure skating world treated Surya Bonaly. The ideal person to be the face of these traditionally White sports is not Black.
It never has been.
In this pursuit of excellence and Black people still have to be able to navigate a system that desires to erase them as well as exploit! What is really wrong with a Black woman in a White space challenging all that is there and ready to be laid to waste? Other than it is a Black woman in a White space not designed for a Black woman to be in! Yet, this is continued evidence as to just how hard Black folk have to work to get into a space, only to have that same space shrink! The same way you fight to get in a door is the same way you get pushed out of it! The fact that that an entire sport wants to snatch Simone out of the sky simply because they can neither catch her or stop her from leaving the ground is ridiculous and racist! Or to use the vernacular of Mama Pope: “Admirable or ridiculous?”
James Baldwin said, “How long do we have to wait for your progress?” This nation coddles white supremacy and white supremacists because they are the bastard children of their parents: inadequacy and mediocrity. Without fear (inadequacy) what strides could the nation make? What could Black children be allowed to do or prosper in? Without mediocrity, there would be no need to provide more advantages for one set of people and less for another. Simply put, Simone Biles is good at this, and there is no one that can truly beat her. Yet, because they want to err on the side of competition (also known as: “We cannot let this Black girl outdo the White girls in such a way that we can’t even find a way to judge it; there is no metric for the stuff she invented on these apparatuses!), they make up new rules.
They use coded language. They tell you what is ‘acceptable’ and why you aren’t. Then we get Crown Acts after Voting Rights Acts, and still we have to fight. We still must prove how ‘good’ we are at something, while those with more opportunities and less wit only need to be outside of any door to be noticed. But what do we as a people do? We soar anyway! We find a way around, anyway. We break out anyway! There is no way to stop a people unless it is the people who want to stop.
Stunt on ’em, Simone. Even if you have to keep doing it with your feet off the ground.