Waitwaitwait, boogs are equestrians now too? My late wife was a professional Hunter-Jumper rider and a trainer as well, and I can’t recollect seeing any of our darker-complected brethren (or, y’know, sistren) at the many events she dragged me off to over the course of our tragically-foreshortened union. I mean, really now: who knew?
The New York Times, that intrepid warrior for anything and everything that the Left is hysterical about, on Friday published a lengthy piece about a source of systemic racism that no one has ever noticed before: It seems that equestrian helmets are racist because they don’t accommodate the dreadlocks that some black horse riders wear. One black rider’s mother lamented: “Mostly everything in this sport isn’t designed for us.” Well, that’s got to change, and these Jackie Robinsons of the Coiffure, with the Times’ generous help, are leading the way to the Equestrian Helmet Justice that our society so desperately needs.
Chanel Robbins, the Times tells us solemnly, “has been riding horses most of her life, ever since her grandmother traded a cow from their family’s farm in Ontario for a pony when she was 7.” Horse riding “offered an escape from thoughts that weighed on her,” which included the fact that “she was the only Black girl in the neighborhood.” But when she grew dreadlocks, her helmet didn’t fit anymore, and that, as you must know by now, is racist.
Fighting back tears (really, the Times actually said she was), Robbins said: “I finally freaking feel like myself, and now society is asking me to change. I just want to be able to ride.” How dare Whitey do this! Is there nothing to which he will not stoop? Poor Chanel Robbins can only find relief on the back of a horse from the systemic racism that confronts her every hour in Amerikkka, but now Whitey has taken even that away!
The Times generously ascribes this not to malice, but to callous indifference: “Black equestrians have long felt virtually invisible in a sport that remains overwhelmingly white. For those with natural hair, which for many is a declaration of pride and Black identity, finding a helmet that fits properly can be nearly impossible, creating yet another barrier to full inclusion.” Big Helmet (ah, but not big enough) is just as indifferent to their plight as Whitey in general: “Some are now lobbying for change, mindful that horseback riding is among the leading causes of sports-related traumatic brain injury. The helmet companies say there isn’t a simple fix.”
The second most-dangerous sport in the world, actually, or used to be anyway. Snow-skiing being the first, back when my wife told me about it. Spencer’s next bit is truly sidesplitting, so swallow that mouthful of whatever you’re drinking or eating before reading on.
Well, yeah. What are the helmet companies going to do, make the helmets three feet wide? This most first-world of all first-world problems brings Oscar Gamble to mind. Baseball fans of a certain age will remember Mr. Gamble, who played major league baseball in the 1970s while sporting an Afro of truly awe-inspiring proportions. In my neighborhood, baseball cards featuring Oscar Gamble with his baseball cap stuck on the massive thing, making his head and hair look like three planets of roughly similar size orbiting in close proximity to one another, were a coveted commodity. Many marveled at his hair, some dared to laugh, but Gamble himself took it all in stride. Never once did he demand that the people who manufactured baseball caps fashion one large enough to go around his huge hair. The white kids who played baseball in the 1970s often had long hair also, and got used to having it mashed uncomfortably under the cap. In life, sometimes one must put up with a bit of discomfort, or sacrifice one desired item in order to obtain another. But that was before everything, and I do mean everything, became racist.
A pic of Gamble—who racked up good enough stats over his long and storied career as a power-hitting Major League DH to be able to wear his hair any damned way he liked—and his ludicrous, totally off-the-chain ‘Fro.
Couldn’t say why, exactly, but for some strange reason that photo puts me in mind of the classic Mad magazine parody of Starsky & Hutch—renamed Harsky & Stutch, natch—wherein the Huggy Bear character was rejiggered (ahem) into “Buggy Hair.” Gamble is also remembered among baseball mavens for his brilliant Jive-speak quote referencing the general organizational chaos that plagued the Yankees at the time he was playing for them: “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.”
Heh. Anyways, onwards.
And so now the Times tells us that Caitlin Gooch, “who wears her hair in locs that fall to her mid-back,” takes her riding helmet along when she gets her hair done, “to ensure it will still fit.” That’s perfectly reasonable and sensible. If someone wants some extravagant hairstyle, it might cause difficulties in other areas. Sometimes one must choose between the two. But Gooch “started teaching riding lessons” and “found herself having to tell children they couldn’t ride if there was no helmet that properly fit them.” This was, once again, perfectly reasonable, but apparently it’s a new and heinously racist offense in the Times’ dizzy and ugly world.
Yeah, well, what ain’t nowadays, according to these determinedly miserable shitlib gimps.