The Last Olympics Post
The Bloggingheads discussion
between Adam Serwer and Anna Holmes – both bi-racial liberals* – is one of the more painful I’ve seen in a while. They discuss Gabby Douglas and the “fetishization” of Lolo Jones. Both are offended that Jones is considered an “exotic beauty”. They even “bristle” at the use of that term in a New York Times takedown of Jones. Holmes mentions that people often say things like “oh, I want a bi-racial baby”. Of course, it is usually only single white women (the people on the political side of Serwer and Holmes) who say such things.
Holmes backs away from a criticism of Bolt’s cockiness by adding “I think what gives me pause is my understanding that men of color do not get away with boasting or bragging in the same way that, say, white men can. When I see criticism of him for being boastful I have to be very careful not to react negatively to the criticism because I feel somewhat protective.” Except, in sports at least, the incidence of boastfulness, cockiness, or showboating among white athletes isn’t comparable to that of black athletes.
They fawn over Bolt giving ‘dap’ to a cameraman pursuing him after one of his races – speaking of the exchange as if Bolt had the power to grant every wish and dream to the cameraman through the brief touching of fists. Holmes says something to the effect of “that made me so happy,” which is annoying because we get the sense that she believes that she’s some sort of surrogate for Bolt.
But Holmes’ defense of Bolt fades away as she addresses the general cockiness of male sprinters versus their female counterparts. When they begin talking about sprinters in general – when Usain Bolt the individual is no longer being defended from personal criticism of his so-called cockiness – Holmes says: “I prefer the way that the women are.” Of course. Why not have cake and eat it too?