RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: (R to L) Gold Medalists Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Alexandra Raisman of the United States stand on the podium for the national anthem at the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The charge against Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas is another example of how social media has reared it’s ugly head.

The alleged offense is that she disrespected the Flag and National Anthem by not placing her hand over her heart.

This is utter non-sense!

Here is a 20 year old young lady that has represented this country with nothing but grace during two Summer Olympic games, bringing home the gold and yet cowards sitting at a computer saying the most outrageous and disrespectful comments they can think up has forced her to apologize for some minor issue. Yes, I said minor issue!

This reminds me of 2008 when then candidate Barrack Obama’s patriotism was questioned for not wearing a “flag pin”, which of course he ultimately capitulated and was force to pin a American flag button on his suit coat to appease his critics.

It is my belief that such concessions fuel more cyber-bullying.

At some point good-willed people must start to stand up to these cyber cowards and swing back against these vicious attempts at internet intimidation. The only way to get a bully off your back is to throw him off!

Apologizing to bullies only makes them feel empowered and they look for the next victim to attack and harass into submission. When victims of such browbeating start to return fire and refuse to stand-down against unjust hatred, then and only then will the cyber bullying decrease.


Franklin A. Fudail is the Publisher of the Muskegon Tribune Newspaper and the author of two books, Taking Back Your Manhood and Straight Talk for Black Women.


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