January 27, 2021

Why is this gymnastics routine controversial?

I watched this based on a Slate headline — "The Absurd Backlash to Nia Dennis’ Viral Floor Exercise" — but without reading anything about why the routine is viral and what the backlash is:

 

All I thought was she's running out the clock with lots of dance moves and not doing enough gymnastics. I see at YouTube, this is "UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis clinch[ing] the win for the Bruins with a 9.95 on floor exercise against Arizona State on Jan. 23, 2021." I've only watched Olympic-level gymnastics, so I'm assuming 9.95 has to do with college-level scoring.  

I go back to the article and notice the subheadline, "It’s long past time the gymnastics world reckoned with its racism." Racism? It certainly can't be that we aren't used to black female gymnasts. What's the "backlash"?
[T]his routine has everything. Dennis pays tribute to Colin Kaepernick (she kneels!), Tommie Smith and John Carlos (she raises a fist!), and Kamala Harris (like a soror, she strolls and she steps!)....
That relates to my perception that there's too much dance, not enough gymnastics, but I did not notice the paying of "tribute" or any political protest.
Dennis’ routine was, as the savvy UCLA athletics media team tweeted—and ’grammed, and Facebooked—an exemplar of #blackexcellence: a senior sociology major at one of the best public institutions in the country performing what one fan termed an electrifying “Blackity Black Black” floor routine for the second year in a row....
One fan. It's not a term.

              

And if it were a standard term, I would recommend not using it (unless you are black and comedically talented). 

[A]s happens every year when a UCLA routine goes viral, casual viewers slid into the comments with Things to Say. Why does it have to be BLACK excellence? What does her SKIN COLOR have to do with it? What if a white gymnast did this amazing routine? Leave race out of the gym please. 

Oh! The "absurd backlash" isn't to the routine! That headline faked me out. The backlash is to the racialized praise of the routine. The backlash to that backlash is the predictable reaction to anyone who ever invokes the principle of colorblindness. There's nothing absurd here. Just predicatable right/left back-and-forth. 

The Slate writer, Rebecca Schuman, flies into a fluffy huff:

The astounding sensitivity among so many observers to the mere mention of the word Black in the context of praise for a stellar athlete who just debuted an entire exercise celebrating Black culture is a reflection of life in a country where it’s still somehow controversial to opine that Black lives matter. 

Who's astoundingly sensitive? Oh, I don't think anyone is really that sensitive. It's the theater of sensitivity, not anything arising from a deeply feeling human soul. And none of it is at all astounding. It's crushingly, thuddingly dull. Exactly what you would expect. 

Schuman's article does go on to document some actual problems within the recent history of gymnastics competition. Some of this is about discrimination against black gymnasts, which proponents of colorblindness do not support. Some of it is about feminist issues — sexual molestation and pressure to display a traditional feminine look — problems that are not race-specific.

161 comments:

wendybar said...

Get used to it. That's how Progressives make ordinary non racist people shut up. I was called a Racist the day after Obama was elected because I didn't vote for him, and it hasn't stopped yet. To me the Race Card means you have no argument, and you already lost....so they can shove it where the sun doesn't shine....

wendybar said...

And I thought her routine was beautiful.

Rob said...

She’s very limber. And she’s black. And sassy. So it’s the greatest gymnastics routine ever, and anyone who disagrees is a racist lying dog-faced pony soldier.

MartyH said...

Was the scoring based on the political content of the dance?

rhhardin said...

Blackity black black means contents of a work that are obsessed with the black experience, as if anybody gave a shit about it. Michelle Obama's thesis for instance.

gilbar said...

she's running out the clock with lots of dance moves and not doing enough gymnastics.

WHY should she have to do gymnastics to win a gymnastics completion?
She is a Person of Color... Should be an AUTOMATIC WIN... If it weren't for Systematic Racism!!

Laslo Spatula said...

A "fluffy huff" should be a new Tag for this sort of outrage thing.

I am Laslo.

Bobb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tank said...

Pretty sure blackitty black black is a saying popularized by John Derbyshire.

rhhardin said...

Write about the white experience, a succession of good schools with really boring homework assignments and classes. Physics was okay.

Bobb said...

(1) People must be treated differently based on their skin color. (Democrat argument for at least 160 years)
(2) Non-Democrats are racist if you treat me differently based on my skin color. (Coexisting Democrat argument.)
(3) Non-Democrats are racist if you don't treat me differently based on my skin color. (Also coexisting Democrat argument.)

gilbar said...

She Did dance Really well, but; i have a Serious Question
She is a 'senior sociology major'... What sort of JOB is she going to have NEXT YEAR?

Lucid-Ideas said...

Reminds me of the college (I think it was Dartmouth) debate team performance where the black kids - all on one team - just rapped the whole time about something completely off topic and were declared victorious. Their competition just looked on after a few minutes realizing the world had changed.

You see the same thing when girls compete against boys in drag now. Reminds me of that.

Francisco D said...

The back flip early on was amazing. The rest seemed like she hurt herself and was running out the clock.

Am I allowed to say that?

hawkeyedjb said...

Gymnastics: another institution ripe for politicizing. Let's ruin it!

David Begley said...

When did teammates on the sidelines become part of the routine? Very distracting.

Also, no mask. DQ.

Tank said...

gilbar said...

She Did dance Really well, but; i have a Serious Question
She is a 'senior sociology major'... What sort of JOB is she going to have NEXT YEAR?


A job where she'll be canceling you for being a racist SOB?

DavidUW said...

Astoundingly stupid.

When does she compete against men? I’m sorry. Cross dressing men?

Annie C. said...

Agree Laslo, fluffy huff is a fabulous Althousism.

David Begley said...

What would a whitey white routine look like?

Amadeus 48 said...

Well, Althouse, you are well out of it as a law professor emeritus. Were you on the active roster, they’d be coming for you right now for writing this. And if you were at Northwestern that honorific would be at risk.

Students—particularly Black students—wouldn’t feel safe as long as you were on campus. What’s the problem? You have not been sufficiently deferential to the mob.

gilbar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim maguire said...

I'd prefer some generic classical background music like what you usually get with figure skating. The dance routine makes the floor exercise weirdly disjointed. "First I'll stomp my feet a bit, then I 'll do a flip, then I'll wave my arms, then a jump and tuck, then wiggle my butt, then a hands-free cartwheel.

Nobody's watching for the dance and I assume it started as a pleasing way to set up the next bit of gymnastics before developing a life of its own because showboating.

As for the controversy, I assumed cultural appropriation since she does some African-looking stomps despite herself looking mostly Indian. I don't equate kneeling with Kaepernick and didn't notice any of the other "tributes" she supposedly made. The "blackity black" person is right even if he did choose a stupidly racist way to express it.

Gunner said...

The Blackity Black Black comment was probably from John Derbyshire.

gilbar said...

Tank answered my serious question with...
A job where she'll be canceling you for being a racist SOB?


oh! a Human Resources position? Sure, okay! i can see her easily getting that
She'll Probably do Quite Well!

rehajm said...

I thought it was fun until I learned it was woke.

Iman said...

But can she do the Funky Chicken? The Shy Tuna?

Amadeus 48 said...

“What sort of job is she going to have next year?”
Assistant dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Yale.

Gahrie said...

The astounding sensitivity among so many observers to the mere mention of the word Black in the context of praise for a stellar athlete who just debuted an entire exercise celebrating Black culture is a reflection of life in a country where it’s still somehow controversial to opine that Black lives matter.

How many people got cancelled last year for saying Black Lives Matter compared to those who got cancelled for saying All Lives Matter, let alone White Lives Matter?

tim maguire said...

David Begley said...
What would a whitey white routine look like?


Professional and on point. Because professional and on point are racist.

rehajm said...

Didn't Title 'ix' kill the UCLA men's gymnastics program. The program that groomed the US Olympic teams? Now the wokes are coming for the women's program. Guys get to make the team! Yay!

Iman said...

1. Identify a respected institution.
2. kill it.
3. gut it.
4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while doing the Shugaloo

Andrew said...

Lol. Up until now, the only times I've encountered "blackity black black" was when reading John Derbyshire. It's his go-to phrase for nonsensical hypersensitive overreactions such as this one. Very ironic.

Usually when articles like this refer to "backlash against" or "outrage over" something, it's entirely in the writer's head. They take something good, like this floor routine, and contrive a false reaction based on their own ideology.

tim maguire said...

tim maguire said...The "blackity black" person is right even if he did choose a stupidly racist way to express it.

Oops, I just reread the end and realized I misinterpreted this remark--it comes from a fan and is a celebration of what she did. Shows how out of touch I am that I was so sure it came from a twitter troll that I somehow missed the context entirely.

gilbar said...

Amadeus said ...
Assistant dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Yale.


pretty sure THAT would require a PhD; so NOT going to be her job, next year
Not sure i see her getting a scholarship to grad school though
Maybe Assistant Gymnastics Coach?

Lucid-Ideas said...

What I don't understand is why they don't just start their own competition that celebrates black 'gymnastic' cultural variation?

I know it wouldn't be long till they had to put up metal detectors and wand people who bought tickets, but still, everyone's used to that already. It is a celebratory black cultural event after all.

rehajm said...

oh! a Human Resources position? Sure, okay! i can see her easily getting that

It will soon be law that every company of a certain size must employ a mandated number of woke studies majors to fuck things up. My guess to that size more than 29 employees. It will guarantee every business remains a small business...

michaele said...

I was just wondering the other day how the gymnastics and swimming world is going to react when the transgender males to females (without yet having having "package' removal surgery) start competing in their events. They most likely will be able to do amazingly athletic moves but will they wear the cute skin tight outfits? Will cheering on the athlete of color take second place to celebrating the "brave and beautiful" (thanks South Park) transgender athlete?

Jeff Brokaw said...

Glad we got that figured out!

And what did we learn today, class?

Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Leland said...

It reminds me of this UCLA gymnastics routine(https://youtu.be/xfnnGSkJ-2U). It went viral too, and also seemed more dance than gymnastics. The link does go to a somewhat sexist commentary, but I think it is no less objectifying than the initial commentary of the more recent routine.

Krumhorn said...

At first, I thought the controversy was because she was shaking that grooved thing...but then who doesn’t? After she has been a racial scold for awhile, she be able to appear on Dancing With The Stars.

- Krumhorn

Mikey NTH said...

Look at all of these SJW lampreys latching on to the gymnast's performance for their own selfish reasons. Looks like a form of appropriation to me.

Iman said...

Blackalicious!

rehajm said...

Blackety black. Don't talk...black?

daskol said...

It's all so banal.

Iman said...

#WoodenWeeps

iowan2 said...

I did watch first.

I too, thought the performance was long on dance short on gymnastics. but, I am only an expert on gymnastics during the olympics. I assumed each performance at each of the stations were required to hit a minimum number of defined elements. The score represented all elements met with a near perfect execution.

So color me not surprised the woke left sets out to ruin a very fine execution by a very fine athlete. My reading of this post, informs, the college PR flaks set the table for controversy by declaring this as a black performance, and not an athletic performance.

If we had never had Obama, we would have never been so far along in our racial healing.

Jeff Brokaw said...

What’s the over/under on “percentage of Slate articles worth reading in the last 20 years”?

I’m going with 1 — probably too high though.

You’d need a Steve Sailer (to pick one example) article for each one to balance out the toxic leftism and correct all the b.s. statistics and narrative framing.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Sorry Althouse but every issue must be identified as racism and the focus of feminism must adapt by becoming about racism too. Just cuz an issue seems to miles away from racist criticism and you THINK a criticism is based on evaluating an issue as it pertains to feminism that is just white privilege or institutional racism clouding your vision and good loyal feminists will applaud the subservience of their goals and principles because when racism wins we all lose. Gymnastics is not the hill you want to watch feminism die on, not when we are in the verge of declaring FACTS, SCIENCE and even LOGIC and clear LANGUAGE as irredeemably racist! Cmon man we be so close to total racism the point when we can declare the UNIVERSE ITSELF TO BE RACIST AAAAAH!

jerpod said...

Needs that flaming gay guy from the Grubhub ads.

Iman said...

#RudyRayMoore #hippyhippyforwardhippyhippyhippyhippyhippyshake

iowan2 said...

I forgot to speculate. The judges, noting the color of the skin, ignored the ratings requirements when arriving at their scores.
The commentators here are so diverse in expertise, I would appreciate a person that actually knows and understands scoring this routine, and explain if in fact all the elements were exhibited by the athlete and if the level of execution was near perfect.

Thanks in advance

Wince said...

What I noticed were her teammates (seemingly mostly white) along the perimeter of exercise floor wildly appropriating her moves in distracting fashion while she did them, visually stealing the thunder of her performance, in a very inauthentic "you go girl" fashion.

Is that something they all do for each other?

stevew said...

How do we know the routine was a celebration of Black culture? It wasn't obvious to me when I watched it, looked like a fairly typical gymnastics floor exercise (which I generally don't watch, btw). Do they announce or explain their routine before or after? Is there a plan document that is shared with the judges? These folks on both sides of the 'backlash' sure do get their panties in a twist pretty easily.

Paco Wové said...

I think the "blackity black" thing originated with this clip.

Paco Wové said...

From the outside, American black culture does appear profoundly narcissistic and ethnocentric. If it's not a celebration of them, it ain't shit.

iowan2 said...

After she has been a racial scold for awhile, she be able to appear on Dancing With The Stars.

Careful.. That is a minefield. Our own(Iowan) Shawn Johnson, killed it in the Olympics and also won DWTS. But she's White. It sounds to me like you are attempting to start a race riot in Fairfield by creating a Black/White throw down on DWTS

Larry J said...

Imagine, a black female gymnast! That must not have ever happened before, right? Obviously, judges would have a hard time judging something they've never seen before. But then, there's Simon Biles who has won 14 gold medals and is considered perhaps the greatest female gymnast of all time.

stevew said...

Here is what Wiki says:

Scores are based on difficulty, artistry, demonstration of required elements, and overall performance quality. Deductions are taken for poor form and execution, lack of required elements, and falls. The gymnast is expected to use the entire floor area for her routine, and to tumble from one corner of the mat to the other. Steps outside the designated perimeters of the floor incur deductions. The gymnast will also incur a deduction if there are lyrics in the music.

It would seem based on this that her routine was performed consistent with the requirements. Not sure why she scored a 9.95 vs a 10. Must have been the Russian judge.

Rusty said...

I suppose this is really controversial to some one who cares.

wendybar said...

Lucid-Ideas said...
What I don't understand is why they don't just start their own competition that celebrates black 'gymnastic' cultural variation?

I know it wouldn't be long till they had to put up metal detectors and wand people who bought tickets, but still, everyone's used to that already. It is a celebratory black cultural event after all.

1/27/21, 7:28 AM

Great idea!! They could have their own black Olympics and give out the awards on BET!!!

Fritz said...

Blacklash.

Leland said...

Are we certain she voted for Biden, because if she didn’t..

Fritz said...

gilbar said...
she's running out the clock with lots of dance moves and not doing enough gymnastics.

WHY should she have to do gymnastics to win a gymnastics completion?
She is a Person of Color... Should be an AUTOMATIC WIN... If it weren't for Systematic Racism!!


There might be a Native American transwoman in the competition.

Wince said...

"Blackity black" is reminiscent of the Coaster's Yakety Yak.

Lesson being: "Don't talk back."

William said...

Lots of wow moves. Impressive enough to be watched outside of the Olympics context....The only time gymnasts attain superstar status is during the Olympics. No Olympics, no Wheaties box.

Amadeus 48 said...

stevew--she didn't use the full floor on her tumbling runs. There was a big gap between this and what we see at the Olympics. She was graded on the curve.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@Paco Wové said...

"From the outside, American black culture does appear profoundly narcissistic and ethnocentric. If it's not a celebration of them, it ain't shit."

Liberia is proof that culture matters. Liberia is proof that you can give black people their own version of the constitution, their own country rich in natural resources, literacy, legacy, and trade skills and leave them alone to manage it for 170 years and instead of going to the moon or building nukes like white people they’ll have cannibal wars with child soldiers while strip mining for compressed carbon and raping babies because they think it cures their HIV.

Amadeus 48 said...

"pretty sure THAT would require a PhD; so NOT going to be her job, next year"

Are you sure about that? All those Black and gender studies graduates need to do something. It's like supply-side economics--supply creates demand.

GDI said...

Lucid-Ideas said...
What I don't understand is why they don't just start their own competition that celebrates black 'gymnastic' cultural variation?

It's called breakdancing ... Olympic sport in 2024.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

problems problems ... so many problems.

tim maguire said...

michaele said...I was just wondering the other day how the gymnastics and swimming world is going to react when the transgender males to females...start competing in their events.

Swimming: you'll never see another biological female win a medal.
Gymnastics: scoring will have to change to accommodate the lack of flexibility by the transgender males so that biological females no longer have an unfair advantage.

In both cases, the advantages of the biological males will help them win while the advantages of biological females will be eliminated through rule changes.

J. Farmer said...

Yet another article that makes the absurd claim that it's black "excellence" that causes panic and anxiety among non-blacks. It isn't. It's black mediocrity, particularly in the classroom and the neighborhood, that's the problem. Pathetic white people apologizing and excuse-making for it isn't going to solve the problem. And neither is a tributary gymnastics routine with lots of exclamation points.

Fernandinande said...

The standard term or phrase is "black black blackity black", which IIRC Sailer invented to refer to black writers obsessed with their own race, which is most of them.

Ice Nine said...

I saw a bunch of herky-jerky "dancing", some twerking and, oh yeah, three running flip gymnastic maneuvers.

Another example of the attempts (I'm talking to you Kwanzaa) to "celebrate" a Black "experience" that is so meager that, sadly, they have to struggle to construct things to celebrate about it.

Lurker21 said...

I'd give her 10 out of 10 for brilliant trolling. If the routine were performed in the Great Hall of the People in China or North Korea it would have a clear political meaning. As it is, it's just an opportunity to push people's buttons and give them a chance to spout one way or the other.

daskol said...

LOL at that CB4 clip. At least the rest of her team danced along rather than kneeling on the side in kente cloths, aka pulling a Pelosi.

daskol said...

Chris Rock came up with that, not Sailer.

Lurker21 said...

Did she strut like Obama, or hobble like Biden? Did she rat-a-tat-tat like a drive by?

Owen said...

“I am offended by those who profess to be offended by those who profess to be offended...

...by (those who profess to be offended)^N [where N is large]...

by [whatever today’s object of offense happens to be]. Here: watch me soil myself in rage.”

Boring.

Roughcoat said...

Yet another article that makes the absurd claim that it's black "excellence" that causes panic and anxiety among non-blacks. It isn't. It's black mediocrity, particularly in the classroom and the neighborhood, that's the problem.

Good on you for that one, Farmer. Hitting the nail on the head. I'm going to use this, if you don't mind.

Fernandinande said...

Slate: While whiteness has dominated the sport,

Where do they find these creatures, and how and why did their lame Newspeak become so pervasive?

mikee said...

I recall Debi Thomas, Olympic figure skater, who ended her skating career with a loss to someone -Katerina Witt? - and a comment along the lines of, "Well, I'll just have to go back to Stanford and finish getting my MD." Classy lady, darn good skater, fine doctor. The sports commentaters were confounded by her not taking ice skating as seriously as they did, and for being a Stanford MD student rather than 120% only ice skater.

Temujin said...

Everything is being let loose now that the Dems own everything. Her's was a great dance routine with a bit of gymnastics thrown in. But I have to say it was more entertaining than watching a typical floor exercise. I did not see any political hat tips, but then, I don't look at my world through an 'everything is race' lens. But, boy...a lot of others sure do. All day, every day.

Nothing but non-stop virtue signaling and you will be made to care. What you stated, Ann, is exactly correct: It's the theater of sensitivity,... It is all theater. At the point of a gun.

Michael said...

What's that back-up group doing there? Do college gymnasts generally have people (teammates?) at the side of the mat mimicking their dance moves? And yes, this was dance with a few tumbling runs thrown in - very well done, to be sure. A lot more showing off (hoping to go viral?) than one might like.

Fernandinande said...

It's black mediocrity, particularly in the classroom and the neighborhood, that's the problem.

"Mediocrity" is a funny word for it:

"Police are looking for about a dozen people who attacked a man in Chinatown on Friday morning.

The assault on Canal and Allen Streets was caught on camera. A group of men and women beat up the 26-year-old victim, took his cellphone, and removed his pants, underwear, and shoes.

The victim was also slashed with a sharp object.

The suspects then fled in multiple cars.

The victim was taken to the hospital for cuts to his head and body,

The motive behind the assault is still unclear."

Bobb said...

I assume she only got 9.95, rather than a perfect 10.0, because she was not a trans-woman.

Whiskeybum said...

I prefer the dance moves on the GEICO hip-hop dessert tag-team commercial.

“Scoop! Choc-o-lata, choc-o-lata, cho-o-lata”

That one should be a 9.98

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

So there’s a high school called UCLA or what? These are adults? God help us.

pacwest said...

The Bee or Not The Bee.

Lurker21 said...

To our Midwestern comrades: Ice fishing and lutefisking have long been dominated by Whiteness. Take advantage of COVID and strike now.

brylun said...

I'm with Whiskeybum:

“Scoop! Choc-o-lata, choc-o-lata, cho-o-lata”

rehajm said...

Yet another article that makes the absurd claim that it's black "excellence" that causes panic and anxiety among non-blacks. It isn't. It's black mediocrity, particularly in the classroom and the neighborhood, that's the problem.

Heck I'm fine with black mediocrity, too. Wanna be average? Knock yourself out! The problem is with mediocrity proclaimed as excellence.

Lurker21 said...

Blackity Black Black, Juneteenth's on its way ...

rehajm said...

I'm with Whiskeybum:

“Scoop! Choc-o-lata, choc-o-lata, cho-o-lata”


There it is.

tim maguire said...

Temujin said...I don't look at my world through an 'everything is race' lens.

Not looking at your world through an 'everything is race' lens is white privilege. That's the beauty of it--there's no escape.

Nonapod said...

Oh, I don't think anyone is really that sensitive. It's the theater of sensitivity, not anything arising from a deeply feeling human soul. And none of it is at all astounding. It's crushingly, thuddingly dull. Exactly what you would expect.

Social media has turned a small percentage of people into drama addicts squabbling over who is the most offended and the most victimized. People are addicted to the little dopemine hit they get from "being right" and the righteous compupance of a percieved enemy. Ironically social media was designed purposefully to reward behavior that could almost be categorized as antisocial. In particular, it seems to reward traits associated with Vulnerable Narcissism.

Lewis said...

As a former gymnast I thought her routine was ok but boring. Of course I'm really old school. For men, floor exercise was all about showing 3 things - flexibility, strength, and tumbling skills. Women's added the music and some dance but was still mostly about tumbling and flexibility. And having your teammates participating on the sidelines would probably cost you points off your score if it would even have been allowed.

Dancing on the balance beam, well that takes real skills. On the spring loaded floor exercise mat, not so much.

CWJ said...

When IRead blackity black black, Boaty McBoatface immediately came to mind. That is, until I made the substitution. Oops.

AlbertAnonymous said...

I don’t think the “scoop there it is” dudes were celebrating blackness. Seems like they weren’t taking themselves too seriously.

Probably happy to be getting paid for the recycled one-hit wonder via commercial.

These writers, though, like Tennessee Coats (I spelled it that way on purpose) and others always finding racism in everything, just one trick ponies like Van Jones and the “Whitelash” comments.

GMAFB

Unknown said...

They really, really want the populace to hate black people so they can lend credence to their ridiculous black lives matters canard. It's working.

Big Mike said...

She is a 'senior sociology major'... What sort of JOB is she going to have NEXT YEAR?

Hmmmm. Add a pole and make her outfit easier to shrug off and she’d be a headliner at any of a number of “gentlemen’s clubs.” At least I assume such clubs exist in the city — didn’t I read that Governor Newsom ordered such clubs reopened while churches remain closed?

Big Mike said...

I had thought that worrying about the skin color of an athlete ended in early 1988 after a clueless reporter asked Super Bowl XXII winner Doug Williams how long he’d been a black quarterback.

Joe Smith said...

Liberalism is cancer.

It infects every aspect of daily life and eventually kills it.

Joe Smith said...

"And sassy."

Why does very black woman on TV have to be sassy?

Every TV show is written by liberals.

Isn't this unbelievably stereotypical and racist?

Btw, Captcha is a pain in the ass lately.

Geoff Matthews said...

I'm glad that others have recognized Derbyshire's phrase for black-centric praise.
I'm sure he'll be amused that it was used, unironically, to praise black-centric navel-gazing.

wildswan said...

To me, it looked like the routines that go on in football in the end zone when someone makes a great touchdown. In this case, you have the gymnastics, then the strut, then some more gymnastics, then another strut. Cheerleaders on the sidelines. It's a new routine so that's to her credit. But it was getting pretty tedious in football and it will be pretty boring if they start doing struts, not skills, elsewhere.

Rick.T. said...

Ice fishing and lutefisking
——————-
Fish was once fisk as ship was once skip hence the surviving modern word skipper. (Hat tip to Lexicon Valley podcast).

MadisonMan said...

The only thing worth reading at slate is the absurd and comically woke advice columnists. It's especially predictable when Jamilah gets a race question, or when Danny gets a work-related question.

Tina Trent said...

I thought they were supposed to land at the edge of the mat.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

CWJ,

When IRead blackity black black, Boaty McBoatface immediately came to mind. That is, until I made the substitution. Oops.

What, you too?

Ann, you have a rather unusual readership if three different readers can remember John Derbyshire. (Well, four, counting me, but after he was fired from National Review I don't know where he went.) Still, I always thought "blackity black" was derived from "blankity blank," i.e., "censored" curse words.

Lewis, I didn't realize men even had floor exercise. I've long thought that gymnastics might be spared the transgender mess, simply because male and female gymnastics are completely different sports. At least, I thought they were. Men's events were parallel bars, horse, rings, and high bar, yes? All of which put much, much more emphasis on upper body strength than women's gymnastics does. (OK, I've broken both shoulders, so I'm not a typical woman, but just seeing even the most elementary men's moves makes me blench.) But if there is male floor exercise I would expect it to emphasize, as you say, flexibility, strength, tumbling skills. Not (e.g.) how well you can strut with your butt sticking out back.

You guys citing the "Scoop! There it is!" guys left out the best part, at the end: One of them flings his arms up and yells "Sprinkles!"

rhhardin said...

Dick Cavett was a gymnast.

Big Mike said...

To me, it looked like the routines that go on in football in the end zone when someone makes a great touchdown.

I always thought the best touchdown routine in the end zone belonged to John Riggins back in the day. He’d casually flip the ball to the nearest official in a zebra-striped shirt and jog over to the bench. Message: “I’ve been here before and I’ll be here agsin because it’s what they pay me to do.”

Big Mike said...

What sort of JOB is she going to have NEXT YEAR?

@gilbar, Joe Biden just appointed a sociologist to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy, so it’s not like there’s nothing for a sociologist to do with her degree.

rcocean said...

How tall is she? the only interesting thing about women's gymnastics is they're so tiny. Most of them are 5-1 and under. Otherwise, who cares? Another Black woman "sticking it to the man"!
Protesting "Racism".

Boring.

rcocean said...

we live in this weird society where due to the color of their skin, black people are given advantages in hiring, promotion, business, etc. And they're even not supposed to held account for crime, y'know like white people.

But then we're supposed to pretend they're VICTIMS of RACISM, to justify all their benefits, quotas and government and societal advantages. Its getting weird. And it will only end when the dumb white boomers die off.

Markoni said...

Betcha if any judges gave her lower than a 9, they wouldn't be a judge for much longer.

Wikitorix said...

Gymnastics: scoring will have to change to accommodate the lack of flexibility by the transgender males so that biological females no longer have an unfair advantage.

Nonsense. No change is needed. Male gymnasts are better at the women's events than the women are. Here's a video of Olympic gold medal winning gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson watching clips of guys doing women's gymnastics. Pay attention to the number of times they say things like "I can't even do that." These aren't Olympic male gymnasts or anything - they're just guys messing around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvz3F4HP170

Earnest Prole said...

Look at it from Slate’s point of view. Every morning you must wake up and feed the outrage monster you yourself created; if you don’t, the outrage monster will go live somewhere else and you will die.

rhhardin said...

It s from long ago but Thylias Moss "The Warmth of Hot Chocolate" is a pleasant read, back when black writing could be good. An Oberlin graduate too. I think she's since gone PC.

Being good is too white.

The Warmth of Hot Chocolate

Oso Negro said...

@ Althouse - yeah, it's a "term". You can even buy a t-shirt with the expression.

https://seferer.store/product/blackity-black-black-history-sunflower-african-american-gift-t-shirt/

Order one, sport it around Madison, and see how that works out.

Sebastian said...

"thuddingly dull"

So you want boring but not dull?

Anyway, much as I like the fisking and parsing, it's also beside the point. Backlashism always devolves into a prog power play.

Big Mike said...

@mikee, IMHO Debi Thomas is the saddest post-Olympic story since Spider Sabich. Look her up in Wikipedia. She did get her MD, but the sort of single-minded drive that made her a great athlete made her a poor colleague. She seems never to have caught on with any practice and in the end she tried set up her own practice in southeast Virginia — which went bankrupt. Last I heard she was living in a trailer park.

robother said...

This is why we need a NKL (National Kneelball League), so Kaepernick can be MVP. Genuflection is gonna make a huge comeback in the BLM era, followed by backlashing. "Gonna get Medieval on your ass!"

Ann Althouse said...

"So you want boring but not dull?"

I don't think you understand the concept.

Many things SHOULD be dull and boring. I want the things that should be dull and boring to be dull and boring — for example, the functioning of my heart and liver.

Some things are good when interesting but are also perfectly fine not being interesting, for example a snack when you are hungry.

Some things need to be interesting or they're bad, such as a movie.

Get it?

I like government in the category with heart and liver.

A gymnastic performance is in the category with movies. And so is an essay on the racial dynamics of reactions to sports. A news report on sports scores is good when interesting but is also perfectly fine not being interesting — like the snacks when you are hungry.

Snacks when you are *not* hungry need to be interesting.

Ken B said...

Like Althouse I thought it was a lot of low difficulty dance moves and very little gymnastics. But I never watch the sport, if that’s the word for it.

Rosalyn C. said...

Simone Biles. Most decorated Olympic athlete. Black. Gymnast. Top professional.
I also thought the routine by the student athlete was too much dependent on dance moves. But she was entertaining and athletic.

Bob said...

After the video ran, I was offered "Top Women's Gymnastics Floor Routines of 2019" for comparison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6SGlCnuJ2o&feature=emb_rel_end

To my deeply non-expert eyes there were more gymnastics and more non-racialist diversity than in the Nia Dennis performance.

Bob said...

Wikitorix said, "Male gymnasts are better at the women's events than the women are."

Thanks for the link. Interesting. Makes me wonder how other nations will react to the USA sending men to compete against their women in the Olympics. They say, "If the US leads, the rest of the world will follow." I guess that means womens' sports are on borrowed time.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, you have a rather unusual readership if three different readers can remember John Derbyshire. (Well, four, counting me, but after he was fired from National Review I don't know where he went.) Still, I always thought "blackity black" was derived from "blankity blank," i.e., "censored" curse words.

Derb still blogs over at unz.com and at Vdare.


A lot of people seem to be familiar with "blackity black" from a scene in the 1993 Chris Rock movie CB4, which is a spoof on N.W.A (and I don't mean the National Wrestling Alliance). I'm no Hip Hop historian, but I remember the adding of the 'ity' suffix to words as being a practice common in 90's Rap.

Bilwick said...

The first time I encountered "Blackity Black Black" was in the comments on Instapundit, after a review of yet another movie about the struggles of Blacks against The Man. I think the movie was about young Thurgood Marshall. The full comment was "Black Black Blackity Black Black," which summed up my feelings as well: just bored by, and surfeited with, the whole topic.

Skippy Tisdale said...

That relates to my perception that there's too much dance, not enough gymnastics, but I did not notice the paying of "tribute" or any political protest.

I coached Olympic women Gymnasts from several countries back in the 1980s and have been watching floor routines for more than 50 years. I was a floor-ex specialist at a Big 10 university and I thought the very same thing Ann did. Keep in mind this is just college level, but at best, her routine was comprised of three moderately difficult tumbling passes and far too much hopping around. As to her alleged social commentary, I suspect that could be "seen" in each and every floor-ex routine ever recorded for analysis.

Which begs the question, what if a White, Hispanic or Asian gymnast did the exact same routine?

Andrew said...

Derb actually has a website, where you can find his most recent articles. I still read him on occasion, because he has good insights into this country's political and social decline, while he retains his British wit and bemused detachment.
https://www.johnderbyshire.com/Recent/page.html

Regarding what some commenters have mentioned, I had a family member in high school gymnastics, and I observed many floor routines at various meets. It was typical for the rest of the team to cheer someone's routine from the sidelines, and mimic her signature moves. Each member would tell the team whether she preferred no cheers so as not to be distracted, or exuberant cheers to help motivate her.

Skippy Tisdale said...

The Slate writer, Rebecca Schuman, flies into a fluffy huff:

The astounding sensitivity among so many observers to the mere mention of the word Black in the context of praise for a stellar athlete who just debuted an entire exercise celebrating Black culture is a reflection of life in a country where it’s still somehow controversial to opine that Black lives matter.


Behold the cooning of America (please don't ban me because it is true). Example: Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune is bragging about hiring its first black sports columnist, oblivious to the fact that the Minnesota Spokesman–Recorder, an African-American, English-language newspaper headquartered in Minneapolis, hired its first black sports columnist 87 years ago in 1934.

Skippy Tisdale said...

To me the Race Card means you have no argument

There are two race cards in every deck:

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-95e70c9117565251854b7bf3b1172960

JaimeRoberto said...

she's running out the clock with lots of dance moves and not doing enough gymnastics.

The women's floor routine always has some dance moves between the tumbling passes. The had the required 3 tumbling passes. The gymnast needs time between them to recover. That said, it seems that her dance moves involved staying in one place, which wasn't my cup of tea, but the artistic part is subjective.

As for discrimination, the top gymnasts in recent years have been Simon Biles and Gabbie Douglas, both black. The last Olympic team included Laurie Hernandez who I believe is Puerto Rican. Not much discrimination there. Gymnastics is an expensive sport, so it favors families with money to spend, so on average that will favor white and Asian families.

Signed, Former Gymnastics Dad

Skippy Tisdale said...

The back flip early on was amazing.

A tucked double-back somersault is a high school element.

Mark said...

This entire post is emblematic of the entire problem --

People just want to watch the damn sport. Period. No politics, no messaging. Just do the damn sport. And no in-depth talking about or writing about the meaning afterward.

It ruins everything.

Skippy Tisdale said...

When did teammates on the sidelines become part of the routine? Very distracting.


No shit. When is the last time you saw college basketball game where the teammates on the sidelines pantomimed dribbles and shots?

Leland said...

I like Katelyn Ohashi better in 2019, and you can see Nia Dennis cheering her on to a perfect 10.0 in the NCAA Championship. Still too much dance for my taste, but Katelyn seemed more natural with the dance.

(also testing linking to a video, which didn't work earlier because it didn't like https?)

Mark said...

perfect 10.0

Yeah, this too.

Skippy Tisdale said...

Lurker21 said...
I'd give her 10 out of 10 for brilliant trolling.


I'd like to grab a beer with you. :-)

Skippy Tisdale said...

Dancing on the balance beam, well that takes real skills.

Oh fuck yes. I don't know of a single male, women's gymnastic coach who would throw a cartwheel on the high-beam. Even in my prime I wouldn't have done it on a hundred dollar dare.

n.n said...

The diversity racket, especially rabid racism, but also sexism, and genderism, too, and ageism, and classicism, is a progressive institution in the multi-trillion dollar sociopolitical complex. #HateLovesAbortion

Skippy Tisdale said...

Lewis, I didn't realize men even had floor exercise.

Just for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IrrgKLrWHA

MadisonMan said...

I have to agree with upthread: The only thing that strikes me when I see women gymnasts is their tiny tiny size.

JaimeRoberto said...

As long as the beam is one of the women's events, I don't think you'll see many transgenders competing with the women. My daughter tells me that splitting the beam is painful, and it made her gun shy, but I have to believe it's far worse for men.

That said, the power that men bring to their events is on a whole different level. One of my daughter's coaches was a former college men's gymnast. It was almost frightening to watch his events.

Jim at said...

It's incredible how quickly I turned from a dedicated sports fan of more than 50 years to no longer watching or following any of it now.

Thanks, leftists.

Francisco D said...

Skippy Tisdale said...
The back flip early on was amazing.

A tucked double-back somersault is a high school element.

To an old guy like me it was amazing because there is no way I could ever have done it. I suffer from the delusion that most of the sports I watch are things that I could have done if I had just applied myself more in HS. I studied and worked too much.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Snacks when you are *not* hungry need to be interesting."

That's the best time for Huffy Fluff Puffs!!!

I am Laslo.

Deevs said...

I'm fascinated by this part of the first quote, "...and Kamala Harris (like a soror, she strolls and she steps!)."

I had to look up soror, and I guess it's short for sorority sister. So, now I'm wondering is being a "soror" something that's ever been associated with Kamala Harris? And is strolling and stepping something sorors are known for, or something Kamala Harris is particularly talented at? Seems the writer was just really stretching to fit a reference to Kamala Harris in there. That was probably tricky considering the gymnast wasn't wearing any shoes the writer could compare to Kamala's Converse All-Stars.

MadisonMan said...

wasn't wearing any shoes the writer could compare to Kamala's Chinese-Made Converse All-Stars.

FIFY. (wearing red-wing boots at the moment. Made in America)

PM said...

Jamaica Bobsled Team Reforming.


Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Skippy Tisdale,

Dear God. And notice: No BS dance moves at all; when he wasn't doing his runs, he was doing moves generally seen on the horse. In other words, no "time outs." At all.

Tinderbox said...

Manufactured controversy.

Skippy Tisdale said...

@Michelle Dulak Thomson

And yet it's extremely unlikely that he'd turn a cartwheel on the high beam for a C-Note.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

"The astounding sensitivity among so many observers to the mere mention of the word Black in the context"

Yeah. pull the other one, it plays jingle bells.

If someone attacked her for being "black", we'd see some "astounding sensitivity" from people like Rebecca Schuman.

If you can't attack for X, then you can't praise for it, either.


That aside, there was nothing all that special about the moves in her routine. She knelt? Which is to say, "at some point in her routine her knee touched the mat for at least 1 second"? Yeah, so do 99% of female gymnastics floor routines.

She raised her hand up into the air? 100% of routines.

She did dance moves to the music? 99% of routines.

The people blabbing this BS have no clue what they're talking about?

Yes, that would be correct

SensibleCitizen said...

I know nothing about gymnastics, but the transitions from dancing to the running/flipping/gymnastic part struck me as awkward. As if the dancing was briefly interrupted for the obligatory gymnastic stuff. The transition wasn't continuous or smooth.

Otherwise, it was fine.

daskol said...

It's pretty the obvious the kid writer didn't know a damn thing about gymnastics. Probably saw a video on the tik tok. I didn't either prior to this post, but at least I'm better informed now. All seems to be proceeding as Althouse predicted re women's sports, but this is not one of those sports that seemed excessively roughly competitive for the fairer sex where quitting it is closer to the nature than persisting in it.

daskol said...

It s from long ago but Thylias Moss "The Warmth of Hot Chocolate" is a pleasant read,

So the literary champion of World War Hair didn't even know about it yet.

stutefish said...

The only backlash I experienced was the complete tonal disconnect between the dance bits and the gymnastic bits.

She'd be doing this prancing dance routine. And then suddenly put it all on hold for a few seconds to stop, gather herself, and execute a very muscular and energetic run-and-tumble maneuver. Then set that aside, and go back to prancing.