Rio’s Olympics battling against racism still to this day
by mariontomlinson on September 12, 2016 - 11:08pm
Today, I will talk about the very sad truth of black individuals and their success; more specifically the case of Gabby Douglas and her harsh adventure to Rio’s 2016 Olympic Games. Jared Diamond mentions in his article that it is impossible to identify an individual through any human races, due to such problems with racial classification (Diamond, Winter, 5).
We talk about Gabby Douglas’ skin color being the problem, however anthropologists have come to a conclusion that it is not possible to recognize human races at all (Diamond, Winter, 5). ’’ Yet, we still face the case of racism all around the world; even at the most attended international sporting event, the Olympics. This is the majority groups fault; as we may see in the class notes, race is a social construct we created by society.
The 2012 all-around champion in gymnastics, Gabby Douglas was dramatically criticized for her appearance, her behaviour and to the behaviour people expected her to have (Santos, Summer, 21). But, the famous swimmer, Michael Phelps got away with funny memes and no negative comments towards the face he made during a pre-competition. I, personally think he would have faced many problems, like Douglas, if the skin colour was to be anything, but white. They would have been grouped together if we based race out of another physical characteristics, by example; eye colour. They both have brown eyes therefore none of this would have occurred if race was based on the eye colour rather than skin colour. This is what Diamond’s main point is that these classifications are only useful in order to classify human races.
The fact that Diamond’s article was written back in 1994, still makes it very relevant today, the issue is still the same. The classification of humans is still used for the same reason; to differentiate the ‘’us’’ from them (Diamond, Winter, 6).
Since Diamond demonstrates that racial classification through any trait is very vague and leaves people out, in my opinion, the idea of identifying us through any genetic trait should have never even existed. Don’t we have names? Why identify ourselves through specific trait while we could just all see each other as humans with different names. And regarding the Olympics, due to the problems occurring like Douglas’, should we ban the Games in order to decrease these conflicts?
Diamond, J. (2016, Winter). Race Without Color. In A. Nouvet (Ed). Anthropology 381-101-LA: The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism. Saint-Lambert, QC: Champlain.
Santos, A.A. (2016, Summer). Rio 2016: Gabby Douglas’s Olympics experience fits the pattern of how we treat black female athletes. Vox. Retrieved from http://www.vox.com/2016/8/15/12476322/gabby-douglas-rio-olympics-racism