It seems that Serena Williams has been getting some flak (the video has now topped a million views) for “besmirching Wimbledon” with the Crip Walk.
Another Fox Sports reporter, Jason Whitlock, downplayed the so-called controversy, saying: “What Serena did was akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church… Serena deserved to be called out. What she did was immature and classless. She made a mistake, something we all do.”
Read more at ONTD: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/70960194.html#ixzz22x4zOU27
Here I see an athlete at the top of their profession paying tribute to their cultural expression and hometown (Comptons). Its similar to the victorious Pakistan debate team doing Bhangra in Mexico, part of the diversity which makes the world an interesting place. As an aside Iran has done incredibly well at the Olympics and is aiming for another gold (to my mind the Medal Count table almost serves as a proxy for global influence).
At any rate the Olympics is about the Global Village and players should be free to express their culture; when a pariah like Iran can do well (just one slot above North Korea) it really does signal the International Reach of the Games.
What the debate over multi-culturalism vs. assimilation glides over is that multi-culturalism is very healthy if the populations within a country are constantly commingling. Britain (well London, or parts of London) has done a fairly good job at toleration what we need to change now (particularly among the Brit-Asians who are polarised between a traditional Brit-Asian mindsets and a small minority of “Brown English”) is that Desi parents cannot throw their children out because they’re fraternising/dating white or black kids. That’s where multi-culturalism has gone too far by allowing the segregated Brit-Asian mindset to remain unchallenged in the name of culture. In the short term we should look to British Chinese (model minority), in the medium term English Jewry (integrated into the mainstream) and finally the Huguenots (part of the population’s common yet exotic heritage blended in perfectly) for inspiration on where our communities need to be and the road map. I look forward to the day of blue-eyed Khans and brown Smiths as a normal part of what it means to be English and British.
Both U.S. athletes intended on bringing black gloves to the event, but Carlos forgot his, leaving them in the Olympic Village. It was the Australian, Peter Norman, who suggested Carlos wear Smith’s left-handed glove, this being the reason behind him raising his left hand, as opposed to his right, differing from the traditional Black Power salute. When “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, Smith and Carlos delivered the salute with heads bowed, a gesture which became front page news around the world. As they left the podium they were booed by the crowd. Smith later said “If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.”
International Olympic Committee response
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Avery Brundage, deemed it to be a domestic political statement, unfit for the apolitical, international forum the Olympic Games were supposed to be. In an immediate response to their actions, he ordered Smith and Carlos suspended from the U.S. team and banned from the Olympic Village. When the US Olympic Committee refused, Brundage threatened to ban the entire US track team. This threat led to the two athletes being expelled from the Games.
A spokesman for the IOC said it was “a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit.” Brundage, who was president of the United States Olympic Committee in 1936, had made no objections against Nazi salutes during the Berlin Olympics. He argued that the Nazi salute, being a national salute at the time, was acceptable in a competition of nations, while the athletes’ salute was not of a nation and therefore unacceptable.
Brundage had been one of the United States’ most prominent Nazi sympathisers even after the outbreak of the Second World War, and his removal as president of the IOC had been one of the three stated objectives of the Olympic Project for Human Rights.
Today, the official IOC website states that “Over and above winning medals, the black American athletes made names for themselves by an act of racial protest.”