TrumpWorld: The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

It’s time to Break It Down!

For months prior to the November 2022 Election that catapulted the GOP to a razor-thin majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, many GOP House members presaged their intentions to launch broad, full-scale investigations into Democrats due to their weaponization of governmental agencies and institutions. The most ardent far right members of the Republican Caucus in the House fought to and succeeded in extracting an array of concessions from Kevin McCarthy amid his quest to secure the Speaker’s gavel. One of their top demands was that he provide robust funding and sweeping jurisdiction to a special committee to investigate their claims of pervasive bias in the federal government against conservatives.  

Interestingly, the first public hearing of the new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, back on February 9, produced virtually nothing in the way of new evidence about government misconduct, or of targeting the right. Rather, most of the forum focused on reiterating old, mostly debunked grievances about how former President Donald J. Trump and others have been treated by federal law enforcement officials, Democrats, and the news media.

The proceeding was so devoid of even right-wing worthy news that Fox News cut away and declined to carry most of it. Anchor John Roberts said, before cutting away, “We’ll get back into it for anything newsworthy.”

Fast forward roughly 6 weeks; it looks as though the GOP has not only figured out what the weaponization of the federal government is, but in the service of the Party’s de facto leader, Donald Trump, has decided to do just that. 

Mr. Trump’s GOP allies in the House are doing what the former president taught them to do – use power to try to keep his legal threats a bay.

Last week, without evidence, Trump said he could be arrested Tuesday (yesterday/he wasn’t). Nevertheless, in response to his symbolic cry for help, some would call it a dog whistle, his cohorts and cronies have been using their new House majority to demand Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s testimony and to thwart his investigation relating an alleged hush money payment to an adult film star before the 2016 election. It looks, feels like an extraordinary attempt to influence an open grand jury investigation.

In short, it appears the House GOP appears to be using the exact same tactic they accuse the Biden Administration, Bragg, and any other Trump investigators of doing – weaponizing the powers of the government to advance a partisan political end.

House Republicans are not alone. While Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan are among the lower chamber’s elite who’ve stepped up to run interference for Trump. Both are clear beneficiaries, satellites in the Trump orbit. But even his newest favorite political adversary, Ron DeSantis, along with January 6 foil, Mike Pence, have joined the fray, attempting to besmirch the investigation…while issuing an ever-so-slight admonishment of their rival. After making a perfunctory diss about the scope of the investigation against Trump, DeSantis pivoted. The Florida governor took a jab atTrump, noting, he didn’t know anything about “paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair.” Pence was less direct.

Not surprisingly, Trump was not amused. He responded with a vicious screed, full of unsubstantiated innuendo about Ron DeSanctimonious’ (sic) personal life. Suffice it to say, the exchange is apt to be just a prelude to the sparks that may be ignited in the pending campaign for the GOP nomination. “TrumpWorld: The Best Defense Is A Good Offense!”

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Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

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Murdoch Throws Fox Talent Under The Bus: They “Endorsed” 2020 Election Lies

It’s time to Break It Down!

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News. The suit is one of at least two that have consumed more than a little of the conservative news outlet’s time and attention of late. Smartmatic, a global election technology company, headquartered in London, lodged its suit in February 2021. In their opening statement, Smartmatic noted, “The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election.” As kids like to say, before dropping the mic, “facts!” The $2.7 billion defamation suit initiated by Smartmatic has been greenlighted by a New York court. So, while Dominion’s suit is underway, and the subject of this post, stay tuned. There’s more to come.

Let me premise this discourse by stipulating the obvious, Donald Trump is not the cause of the great American culture schism. The issues that divide us are as old as the nation itself. But let’s not kid ourselves, the former president most certainly played a role in our having arrived at the space we currently occupy. His willingness to fan the flames poor White discontent, along with his reluctance to disavow White nationalists and their ideology provided a not at all subtle signal to culture warriors. Thank you very much 45.

But I digress. Mr. Murdoch, alas, has found himself in court, where his responses are under oath. As such, all the cutesy doublespeak, spin, and half-truths that just seem to be a part and parcel to the conservative media ecosystem, are off the table.

Shortly after Election Day 2020, Rupert Murdoch knew the hosts on his prized Fox News Channel were endorsing lies from then-President Donald Trump about election fraud.

Of course, that was just the appetizer. The entrée was he did nothing to intervene.

In fact, the controlling owner of the jewel of Murdoch’s enterprises opted to sidestep the truth, allowing his network to run with a narrative that the big lie for truth, in order not to further anger Fox’s Trumpcentric audience by confronting their sensibilities with more election facts. After all, the network had already left its audience, and Donald Trump confused, incredulous, and down-right mortified by calling Arizona for Biden before any other network.

When Mr. Murdoch was asked whether he could have told Fox News’ chief executive and its stars to stop airtime to Rudy Giuliani – a key Trump campaign attorney peddling election lies – he assented, and answered, “I could have, but I didn’t.”

That picture emerged in evidence presented this week in court, based on evidence presented by Dominion. Conversely, Fox Corporation is arguing that the parent company and its executives are wrongly being held responsible for reporting on the baseless assertions of a president and his advisers.

This is where I pause to note that even Fox News attorney are not arguing with the assertion that Trump and his associates were making baseless claims about rampant voter fraud and stolen elections. Please, all conservatives who either still believe, or at least, who are still arguing that point, take note of the posture/position of folks who have seen the test questions, and who know the answers…Trump’s allegations did not happen…as if the more than 60 lost or dismissed lawsuits filed by Team Trump weren’t big enough clues. Plural.  

Fox called Dominion’s stance “extreme, citing free speech concerns, calling Dominion’s legal position “a blatant violation of the First Amendment” that would prevent journalists from basic reporting. While my non-legalistic interpretation of that statement is, Fox basically argued that the freedom of speech clause essentially means, their network is free to tell lies to their viewers…with no repercussions, Dominion took a more strategically nuanced tack. They introduced the Fox Unplugged, or you might say, in their own words.

Under oath, the senior Murdoch confirmed the suggestion by a Dominion lawyer that Fox was “trying to straddle the line between spewing conspiracy theories on one hand, yet calling out the fact they are actually false on the other.”

Asked by a Dominion attorney whether “Fox endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election,” Murdoch demurred, saying, “Not Fox, no. Not Fox. But maybe Lou Dobbs, maybe Maria [Bartiromo] as commentators.”

The lawyer pressed on. Did Fox’s Bartiromo endorse it?

Murdoch’s reply: “Yes. C’mon.”

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro? “I think so.”

Then-Fox Business Network host Dobbs? “Oh, a lot.”

Fox News prime-time star Sean Hannity? “A bit.”

Pressed whether they endorsed the narrative of a stolen election, Murdoch finally gave in: “Yes. They endorsed.”

Fox denied its executives played any role in broadcasting false claims, and argued there was no evidence showing the Murdoch’s involvement. In response Dominion laid out the Murdoch’s hands-on role after the election, introducing emails and other communications reflecting deep involvement by the Murdochs and other Fox Corporation senior executives. Detailed memos showed the elder Murdoch’s concern that Fox was getting killed by CNN after it called the election for Biden on November 7th.

On Nov. 8, Rupert Murdoch sent an email saying that Fox News was “[g]etting creamed” by CNN. Under oath, he later said that he, Scott, and Lachlan Murdoch held “a long talk” about “the direction Fox should take” that day in response to the falling ratings. They decided together to give play to Trump’s baseless assertions. “[T]his was big news,” Murdoch said in his deposition. “The President of the United States was making wild claims, but that is news.”

At the end of the day, the courts may be the great leveler. In an environment where there are consequences for dissembling, rather than telling the truth, even the powers behind the great Fox News may be motivated to be truthful. In this case, “Murdoch Throws Fox Talent Under The Bus: They “Endorsed” 2020 Election Lies!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

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Men’s Health: A Compelling Quality of Life Issue Vol. IV Redux

It’s time to Break It Down!

(Disclaimer: This post appeared originally on June 29, 2011 and was reprinted on July 2, 2014 (  It contains references that are graphic in nature, and which may be considered offensive; reader discretion is advised.  The initial catalyst for posting this information was my 2011 Colonoscopy.  I had a second procedure in 2014, a third in 2017, and a fourth last year. But this is not about that. Yesterday, I had my Annual Physical; my last scheduled before the onset of my septuagenarian era. Today seemed like a perfect time to reprise this post).

Colonoscopy, is the endoscopic test of the colon and the distal part of the small bowel with a camera.  The procedure is recommended for men over age 50, on a periodic basis; every 10 years if no irregularities are found, and more frequently if non-benign polyps or other issues arise during the test.  In my previous tests, the results indicated non-benign polyps were found. Subsequently, I was scheduled for a follow-up after 3 years, as a regular sequential step in my Annual Physical regimen. That is a precautionary measure, not any kind of alert or scare.  That is as it should be.

I am delighted to end the suspense, as it relates to my most Colonoscopy. And the one before that. My tests revealed normal mucosa, and no arteriovenous malformationdiverticulapolypsmasses, evidence of colitis or any other abnormalities. That’s about as good as it gets. Given my previous history, my next exam is scheduled for 5 years from now instead of three. I’m moving in the right direction. Perhaps if I garner comparable results next time, I can earn the 10-year periodic exam.

This is not intended to provide a blow-by-blow of either my procedures or of my physical. I am addressing the overarching need for men to get serious about and take better care of their/our health. Consider it a public service.  I have observed both anecdotally and from numerous data streams, men in general and African American men, are notorious for neglecting our health.  There are too many reasons to enumerate, but a few include:

  • Distrust of doctors (Some black men still reference the Tuskegee Experiment)
  • Fear…of doctors, of medicine, bad news, of pain, of surgery, of anesthesia, the unknown
  • Unawareness of early warning signs
  • No regular doctor
  • Lack of health care benefits (African Americans are more likely to be Unemployed or Underemployed, and therefore less likely to have insurance)
  • Misplaced priorities (some men take better care of their homes and/or cars than they do their personal health)
  • Good intentions: bad execution (Many of us “intend to” schedule an appointment to see a doctor, but don’t)
  • Procrastination (Delay, delay, delay)
  • Superman complex (The perception that one is young, healthy, and totally bullet proof)
  • We are on a super-secret suicide mission (No, we just act like it)

Those are 10 of my own very unscientific, totally straight off the top of my head reasons.  After setting them to paper, I decided to look for an expert opinion…OK; I checked to see what a doctor thought.  Not surprisingly (to me anyway), there was a fair amount of overlap.

Dr. Sharon OrrangeAssistant Professor of Clinical General Internal Medicine at the University of Southern California has weighed in with what she believes are “The 10 Real Reasons Men Don’t Go to the Doctor.”  Since she actually practices medicine, I will allocate more weight to her opinion than mine…though keep in mind, I do have the inherent advantage of being a man.  Dr. Orrange’s 10 most compelling (or real, as she puts it) reasons are:

  1. You are afraid we will put our finger up your butt. We will, especially if you are over 40 or have any complaints related to your bowel movements.  Yes, you get a rectal exam after the age of 40 once a year for a feel of your prostate and so we can check your stool for microscopic blood that you can’t see.
  2. You are afraid we will examine your balls.  We will if you are 40 or younger. The peak age for testicular cancer is 18-40 so guidelines recommend you get a once-a-year testicular exam. Don’t worry it won’t hurt at all.
  3. I feel FINE.  I am glad you feel fine, but you can feel FINE with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugars.  Your mother or wife won’t feel fine when they are taking care of you after you have a stroke.  Don’t wait until you feel awful to come see us.
  4. Going to the Doctor is a chick thing. Many of you feel this way but remember we live longer than you do.  If doctor visits are a chick thing well, then, nursing homes are a guy thing.  You must get over this.  It’s true, the waiting room magazines are not for guys but when you come see us you will see that many of the medical assistants, doctors, phlebotomists, and medical records folks are men.  Real men go to doctors.
  5. You are embarrassed to talk about what’s going on with you. The bright red blood on the toilet paper when you wipe, the red itchy rash in your groin and on your feet, the problems you have at times getting a boner, getting up at night a few times to pee, we hear it all the time.  You are not alone, and our job is to show you how common this is and help fix it for you.
  6. You don’t find the office hours convenient.  I get this and urge you to find a doctor who is accessible and can work around your office hours.  Seriously though. The average guy watches 16 hours of TV a week, you can come for a 30-minute visit once a year and maybe a couple of follow-up visits as needed.
  7. Going to the Doctor is giving in to your nagging wife.  I had a patient who gave his wife for her 20th anniversary a copy of his Lipitor prescription, thinking this was a GIFT to his wife that he was taking care of his medical issues.  It is true; women rightly do nag their dads, brothers, and husbands to go to the doctor because they are tired of square dancing with women at the assisted living facilities.
  8. You don’t realize we are here for prevention. You don’t have to be sick to come see us and if you establish a relationship with us, you have easy access when you do get sick.  Once a year we can touch base with you to discuss age-appropriate screening, which we KNOW, helps keep you well.
  9. You don’t have a relationship with a physicianIf you are not attached to a regular physician by the age of 40 you are more likely to get in trouble. Unlike women who need annual pap smears and contraception, you haven’t had to see someone regularly from the age of 18-30.  Find someone your friends use or enlist your partner’s help to find someone that might be a connection.  You want someone accessible and younger physicians are much more likely to e-mail so look until you find the right match.
  10. You think we will pick on you for your habits.  Drinking a 12-pack on the weekends, not exercising, and eating bad foods, among other things.  These things are not as uncommon as you might expect.  We will put you on a long leash and let you pick and choose the habits to get rid of as needed.

If you are a Doctor Dodger, the reality is, it is of little consequence whether your reasons for doing so more closely resemble Dr. Orrange’s list or mine.  If your recalcitrance leads to a preventable heart attack, some form of cancer, or a stroke, you will have contributed directly to reducing your quality of life, as well as that of your family members.  Such actions could also lead to premature death.  It really is pretty simple; fear, embarrassment, death (sooner rather than later)…pick one dude!

Let’s be clear here, human beings are not immortal.  Psalms 90:10 advises us: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”  Proponents of the Bill Maher School of Thought dismiss such biblical advisory as akin to magic, wizardry, or witchcraft.  But I am reasonably certain even Mr. Maher concedes that we all will die.  Moreover, I “wouldn’t” bet the farm that he has no regular physician, regardless of his rationale.

The point of seeing healthcare professionals on a regular basis is not to live forever; none of us will.  Rather, the idea is to leverage the best possible existence out of our all too brief time here on earth.

As most of us know, women live longer than men.  Once upon a time, this was largely attributable to the rigors of backbreaking manual labor, and long before that, due to the results of men losing too many battles with the lions or other members of the Wild Kingdom, in the quest to determine who would eat…and who would be dinner.

Neither of those historical tableaus aligns with today’s American reality.  No, the underlying contemporary contributory factors for those of us now living in the USA are that poor exercise habits, irresponsible dietary choices, too much smoking and drinking, and eschewing regular checkups and prevention screenings combine to lead to a lower quality of life (health wise), and ultimately, to a shortened lifespan; on average five years less than for women.

According to a 2007 Harris Interactive survey that included over 1,100 men, the American Academy of Family Physicians found that:

  • Many men go to the Doctor only when they are very sick
  • Before they did, many of these men waited several days to see if they felt better
  • Most of these men had a regular doctor
  • Most had currently active health insurance
  • Most said they felt comfortable talking to their physician

In an even more recent survey, conducted by Esquire magazine in January of 2011, researchers found that:

  • Roughly half of American men ages 18-50 had no primary care physician
  • One third had not had a check-up in more than a year
  • More than 40% had never had their cholesterol checked
  • 70% had never had a prostate exam

Do you perchance know the leading causes of death in America?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), complete information available in 2007, broke down like this:

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

  • Heart disease: 616,067
  • Cancer: 562,875
  • Stroke(cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
  • Diabetes: 71,382
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
  • Nephritis, nephritic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
  • Septicemia: 34,828

Source: Deaths: Final Data for 2007

Based on CDC research, Heart Disease and Cancer, the top two causes of death in the United States in 2007, led to nearly twice as many deaths as the cumulative totals of causes 3 through 10.  In fact, the number of deaths attributable to Heart Disease alone, (616,067), nearly equaled the total for causes 3 through 10 (667,589).

It is important to recognize that the relative death rate for men is higher than that for women for all causes listed in the Top 10.  While there are hereditary factors that contribute to individual proclivity to develop Heart Disease, a timely and committed change in lifestyle in concert with an appropriate medical remediationprevention, and/or maintenance strategy can help most men (and women) live a relatively normal life.

In a departure from my previous posts on the subject I am compelled to add that in addition to whatever periodic schedule one adheres to for his or her Colonoscopy, one should also schedule an Annual Physical. I had mine yesterday, and as with the Colonoscopies, the metrics were good. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to institute a regimen to monitor and promote positive health consequences. This is where I could make a call to arms for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) or healthcare reform. But I’ll leave that for another day. This pitch is for men…and women who have men they care about in their lives.  Of course, women require Colonoscopies too. But as I noted elsewhere in this post, as with most medical matters, they already do a much better job than men. I enthusiastically urge all of you to do everything within your power, individually and collectively, to do the right thing for your own health, and for the health of those whom you love. Schedule your physical. Do it for anyone whom you love…or who loves you.

In summary, this post is a cry for help on behalf of men.  Perhaps, more aptly stated, it is a call for men to step up and help themselves.  As a general rule, ours is an interdependent society.  That means, someone, somewhere relies upon you.  So men, I urge you to unite on behalf of a cause that is intuitively selfish, but intellectually selfless.  I entreat you to recognize this undeniable truth; “Men’s Health: A Compelling Quality of Life Issue – Vol. IV”  Yes, this is a cause that requires you to think of (and act) for yourself first.  But in doing so, your wife, or significant other, your children, your siblings, your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your career, your civic association, your fraternity, and yes, your state of mind, will all benefit.

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link  A new post is published each Wednesday.  For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

An Opinion: By Onnie Willis Rogers

It’s time to Break It Down!

Black History Month 2023 (BHM ’23) ended yesterday. I’m taking an extra day to honor an elevate the occasion in this space because…well, honestly, because I can. My blog, my rules. 

More importantly though, I am choosing to share this story because I think it’s an important reflection of the culture, because it’s enlightening, because it’s compelling, and because it tracks as a splendid example of affirming the adage Black History is American History.

I don’t know Onnie Willis Rogers; can’t say I recall having ever heard of her. As you might imagine, I’m not an avid fan of gymnastics. You may not be either. Yet, regardless of whether we are, her story, and the one she shares in the following Opinion, they really are two separate, but intersecting chronicles, are both worthy of passing along, and of Black Americans, nay, Americans of all stripes, knowing and appreciating. What could be more Black…or more American, than the evolution of an American sport from one with negligible Black female participation to one in which Black Girl Magic and those who personify it, rest comfortably at the very apex of that sport?

Gentle readers, without further ado, allow me to present Dr. Rogers, in her own words:

I’m one of just five Black women in history to win the NCAA individual all-around title in gymnastics. It was a tremendous accomplishment which, when I won it two decades ago, left me elated.

But it was a particular kind of joy, tinged with the frustration often felt by the Black athlete who excels in a sport where they are one of only a very few.

I grew up in the sport in the 1980s. I took my first gymnastics class at the age of 3 and finished my final competition at the age of 22. Throughout all of my years training in the sport, I was often the lone brown face in a gym filled with tumbling, somersaulting, hand-standing kids.

Before accepting a full ride sports scholarship to UCLA, I was an elite gymnast, a member of the National Team for USA Gymnastics (USAG). As a Black gymnast growing up, being one of few was normal. And as I progressed up the ranks, the sport seemed only to get whiter.

Even during my four years at UCLA, an urban school with a sizable Black population, I was the only Black female gymnast on my team. In 2001, the year I won my NCAA title, I could probably count the other Black women gymnasts at top-ranked schools we competed against on one hand.

But I’ve noticed something different about gymnasts today, and perhaps you have, as well. There are more Black and brown athletes in the sport than ever before. And they are turning out to be a force to be reckoned with.

This year marks 20 years since my last gymnastics competition, and a lot has changed in the sport — but perhaps nothing so much as the dramatic increase in racial and ethnic diversity. The change has been nothing short of astonishing — especially at last summer’s stunning National Championships, when African American women swept the podium.

I’d been involved in gymnastics my entire life, and I never saw it coming. The diversity — and the excellence — exhibited by the top-performing women of color in the sport has been something to behold.

There’s Simone Biles who, of course, needs no introduction. She’s a global icon who has earned seven Olympic medals and 25 world championship medals — more than anyone else in gymnastics — and is regarded as the GOAT in our sport. Some have even argued that she is the greatest athlete of all time, period. Before Biles, there was Gabby Douglas, who was crowned the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, becoming the first Black gymnast to capture that title.

To be honest, it’s hard to name all the women of color who have made it to the top ranks of the sport since I stopped competing. Laurie Hernandez, who is Puerto Rican, was the youngest gymnast to earn gold in Rio 2016. Jordan Chiles helped Team USA secure the gold at last year’s world championships. And there’s Sunisa Lee, a Hmong American who became the first Asian American to win the Olympic all-around title. The list goes on and on.

The standouts of color at the collegiate level have been no less impressive. Florida Gator Trinity Thomas holds a breathtaking record of perfection. UCLA’s Chae Campbell, Chiles and freshman standout Selena Harris continue to grab headlines in our sport, as does Jordan Rucker of the University of Utah and Haleigh Bryant of Louisiana State University — and, astonishingly, too many others to name.

These women of color are setting new records and breaking the internet with performances of exceptional style and athleticism. I can’t think of another major sport that has seen its ranks change so dramatically. Swimming? Golf? Tennis? No, not really. These predominantly White sports have seen a relative few breakthrough athletes of color, but overall, the complexion of the sports haven’t changed much.

Over the years, structural racism has powerfully shaped access, opportunity and identity — all of which help explain why gymnastics was so White in the first place. The long arm of economic inequality touches every facet of life, including sport. 

Sports where Black people have been represented have traditionally been those accessible through schools, such as football, basketball and track and field. Gymnastics is a very expensive sport, costing thousands of dollars and requiring long, intense training hours. High-quality instruction is only accessible in private clubs and at elite training facilities that are few and far between. Growing up, my family fundraised furiously, did extra jobs at my gymnastics club, and housed visiting gymnasts to offset the unreachable high cost of tuition.

There is no magic that has “created” gymnasts of color in the past decade. There have always been strong, talented Black and brown girls capable of excelling in the sport. Many of the first Black women in the sport, like Diane Dunham and Wendy Hilliard, simply were not acknowledged because our society has for so long refused to value or validate Black women. Instead, the sport favored a Nadia Comaneci-style waif, thin and childlike. That doubtless kept a lot of women who looked like me on the sidelines. Elite gymnastics did not always see them or make space for them.

Luckily for me, there were always exceptions, and these women became my inspirations. Betty Okino and Dominique Dawes were the trailblazers in my day. I watched them represent Team USA with their brown bodies and Black girl hair and I knew it was a little more possible for me.

I vividly remember being 16 years old laying belly down on the green shag carpet in my living room in Tacoma, Washington, captivated as UCLA — and even more significantly for me, Stella Umeh — clinched its first-ever NCAA Title. 

On the floor, Umeh was Black, full-bodied, and fierce; her hair was a close shave; the music for her floor routine was rhythmic and pulsating. She was unlike any gymnast I had ever seen. I attended UCLA after Umeh had graduated, but walked confidently and fully in her footsteps, not simply because she too was a Black woman, but because she remade the mold.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the NCAA Metroplex Challenge gymnastics competition with my 11-year-old daughter and her gymnastics team. There were multiple Black gymnasts competing for every school on the floor.

As a developmental psychologist who studies youth identity development, I couldn’t ignore the significance of the moment. I couldn’t fail to register the awe in their eyes as they watched their possible future selves from their front row seats, a real image of who they may become. In short, identity and representation matter. How many Black girls even enter the sport in the future will be influenced by what they see as attainable or impossible.

Meanwhile, the breakthroughs in gymnastics just keep coming: This year, Fisk University is the first HBCU to have an NCAA gymnastics team — an entire team of Black and brown girls doing gymnastics. It’s radical. It’s transformative. And as Black History Month draws to a close, it’s a reminder of what is possible.

In fact, it’s fair to say, well beyond the possible, firmly entrenched into the world of manifestation. Dr. Roger’s story is yet another in a litany of examples why anti-CRT mania is in fact, misguided anti-knowledge. “An Opinion: By Onnie Willis Rogers!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right-hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects related to this post, consult the links below: