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Haters gonna hate and they have come out in droves to attack Gabby Douglas while she competes at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Instead of cheering for and supporting the 20-year-old, many have decided to take issue with her hair –just as they did during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, called the attacks “Black self-hatred.”

NewsOne Now panelist Lauren Victoria Burke said, “The fact that we are focusing on these types of things when we have so many huge issues in our community and the fact that somehow it means something deep” is rather foolish.

Martin said, “So she’s flipping on a beam, she’s doing floor exercises, vaulting,” and social media critics exclaimed, “Damn, your hair!”

With all of this focus on hair, the outspoken NewsOne Now host said he wished some of the NBA players would comb their hair.

Barbara Arnwine, the Founding President of the Transformative Justice Coalition, said, “We’d rather see the weaves falling out on the floor … this is just madness.” 

Martin began to dissect the broader issue as it relates to the criticism of Douglas and said, “These attacks on Gabriel Douglas, largely by African-Americans about hair, speaks to also deep-seated self-internal self-hatred that goes beyond entertainers – that actually happens in our families, that happens at church.

“This is something that we have to contend with, it is so deep-seated because we have been conditioned to hate Blackness.

“We have to understand how deep this stuff goes,” said Martin.

Arnwine asserted African-Americans should exhibit Afrocentric love for our beauty, noses, lips, eyes, hair, and tell their children they are beautiful.

In closing, Martin said, “There is a whole bunch of women who are at the Olympics who had some wonderfully flowing combed hair and they ain’t going home with a gold medal.”

Martin continued, “To anybody Black out there whining about Gabrielle Douglas’ hair, I wish you would shut the hell up.”


Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


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‘Shut The Hell Up’ About Gabby Douglas’ Hair, Roland Martin Says  was originally published on