During the 2012 Summer Olympics, American swimmer Sha’Carri Richardson was disqualified from the women’s 100-meter freestyle final after she touched the wall too soon. The official result stated that Richardson did not touch the wall at the right time and was disqualified. In response, Richardson, a high school senior, took to social media and posted a blog entry that stated in part, “I have been disqualified from the Olympics. Did your swim team make the olympic team?” Richardson, who is black, also noted that she was benched from her team after she asked to swim her best time in a practice the day prior to the finals. Richardson wrote that she was given a choice to either swim her best
In Rio, a 16-year-old girl named Sha’Carri Richardson was tossed out of the Olympics the same way black kids are tossed out of public schools. While the media has not focused on her, the fact that her punishment was a banning from the U.S.A. track and field team is a significant story in and of itself.
Sha’Carrie Richardson is the latest poster to highlight the obstacles all blacks face in America, especially in the public school system.
I’ll take care of that first. Anyone who supported Sis after she learned she was disqualified from the Olympics because she tested positive for marijuana is an asshole.
You horrible bastards have the nerve to be disappointed in her, like your shit always smells like the entrance to Bath and Body Works. Well, I suggest you take another breath – from your heart, breathing in through your nose and taking in the smell in your mouth – and I guarantee you that your shit really stinks.
The #ShacarriRichardson posts that disappointed me are only now appearing in my feed for some reason. I have something to say about that.
At 21, you go to the Olympics under the pressure of instant fame, hoping that…
– PeeplesVoice (@PeeplesChoice85) July 3, 2021
The same condemnation and shame is projected onto black children across the country. It’s as if they have to live in these diametrically opposed worlds – whether it’s the stereotypes the world thinks they are, or the ideal models that are supposed to represent the black community as a whole, without the gray area in between – that I call grace and human space. Exactly the same is expected of black children in public education.
And if there were people who beat her while she was on her feet and others who didn’t want to see her walk at all, those were the worst. Like that white journalist who claimed Sha’Carrie was taking performance-enhancing drugs that made her nails and hair grow.
I don’t know if these are real or fake nails, but in case you didn’t already know, strong nails and hair can be a side effect of steroid use pic.twitter.com/qEM7fkmADt
– Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) July 2, 2021
This Aussie Karen’s slander turned to anger directed at the late Florence Flo Jo. Joyner and claims she died of drug abuse, which is completely untrue.
Of course, her wig was ripped off by a bunch of people on the internet – including Cardi B – and she was last seen in a corner crying white female tears.
B I O T I N…….you need your hair fine https://t.co/EphESLX0l7
– iamcardib (@iamcardib) 3. July 2021
But unfortunately we are no strangers to this behavior. As soon as black children enter a classroom for the first time, they face the same judgment based on their appearance and background, which can affect their career path.
You all know the term implicit bias, right? It is essentially the practice of using unconscious biases influenced by stereotypes or personal experiences in dealing with other people or groups. I just wanted to mention it because its prevalence seems to get lost in all the false talk about diversity, equality and inclusion.
Implicit prejudice manifests itself, for example, in various types of microaggressions against students of color. B. Unfair discipline, excessive disclosure of behavioral and cognitive problems, and discouragement of promotion because of disbelief in one’s ability to succeed at a higher level. In fact, the new study found that the 178 prospective teachers who participated in the focus group on implicit bias were 1.36 times more likely to exhibit racist behavior toward black boys and 1.74 times more likely to label a black girl’s facial expression as angry than a white girl’s.
This study suggests that prejudice against black children exists and thrives among future teachers, and that this may play a role in the disciplinary inequalities we see in schools.
Prospective teachers are more likely to think black kids are mean, even if they’re not https://t.co/TvFq1OO3IO.
– Rodney D. Pierce (@MrRDPierce) July 7, 2020
Just as young black boys and girls entering the classroom face prejudice, once Sha’Carrie took the stage with her long, colorful hair and nails, her southern Dallas accent, and her Black Girl Magic attitude, she became the object of implicit prejudice despite her undeniable talent and ability to compete and win.
And look, I’m not here to argue whether she broke the rules or not, because I think any reasonable person would agree that she did. But since it’s 2021 and weed is legalized everywhere, I wonder what the point of these rules is. I mean, the people who are supposed to protect us, support us, implement and enforce the laws get shit in their noses every day without reprimand, but they expect perfection from athletes? Are they not entitled to mercy as human beings? I’m distracted.
However, these rules remind me of the zero tolerance policies used in schools to suspend black children or send them to jail.
Let’s leave aside for a moment that Sha’Carrie is a 21-year-old black girl suddenly thrust into the spotlight with the unwanted responsibility of representing the entire black community, while being subjected to global criticism because of her appearance. Stop for a moment and realize that this young woman just lost her mother and she found out in a media interview.
From one day to the next, people make idols of themselves and project everything they have onto them, while these people only strive to be outstanding and never ask to be idolized. Then you turn around and destroy them because they are human. They all need help.
– UNIDENTIFIED MALE AND UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLITICS, RESTORE OUR PUBLICATIONS (@BreeNewsome) July 2, 2021.
As unreasonable as these outdated Olympic rules are, it is unreasonable to expect someone to function well when grieving the loss of a parent – I speak from personal experience. But all we could say was: She knew the rules – now she had to face the consequences.
The public school system works the same way, with its lack of grace and empathy. She will punish our children for their behavior because they are hungry and cranky, because they have not eaten since they left school the night before, traumatized by excessive abuse, sleep deprived because they have to take care of their siblings at night or work themselves.
This limited level of empathy and understanding is evident in the way resources are allocated: In many schools, police officers outnumber counselors in low-income communities. And if our children make the mistake of fitting the human mold too often, they will be labeled as lost, rejected, and left to the mass prison system – just as Sha’Kerry was rejected from the Olympics this year.
I wish the sister hadn’t supplemented her argument for what she did with an apology – she doesn’t owe anyone anything. Instead, we owe him – and all the little black boys and girls trying to reach the impossible bar of perfection – compassion, grace, support and loyalty because, like us, they are imperfect and can make mistakes. And I hope that one day they will learn to live their lives and their talents without shame and understand that their success should not be determined by anyone but themselves.
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