Somehow, someway, there’s always a bothered Karen ready to risk it to all and make themselves a shining example of what not to do.
On Friday evening in the midst of the controversy stemming from Sha’Carri Richardson‘s month-long suspension from the Tokyo games after testing positive for marijuana, Claire Lehmann, an Australian journalist and founding editor of Quillette magazine decided to log onto Beyonce’s internet and spew lies, falsehoods, and fallacies over what she believes is a legitimate campaign to end doping among athletes.
“Not sure whether the nails are real or fake, but in case you didn’t know very strong nails & hair can be a side effect of steroid use,” she wrote.
Not ending the embarrassment there, she then dragged in the woman that Richardson is often compared to Florence Griffith Joyner, also known as Flo Jo, into her mess. Lehmann’s argument is based on claims made against Flo Jo that followed her throughout her career in an attempt to delegitimize her athletic prowess.
“Look, people in track now who is and who isn’t on the roids. Just because they couldn’t ping her on it doesn’t mean they don’t know,” Lehmann wrote in her next tweet.
“Flo Jo, obvious drug user, had the nails. She died in her sleep at age 38 because that’s what a lifetime of drug use does to the body (and why it’s supposed to be banned from elite sports),” she continued.
While there’s much to unpack here, it’s not Lehmann’s first time tweeting views based on racist notions. Her outlet prides itself on being the voice of the “intellectual dark web.”
To begin to unpack the layers of crap, it’s most important to set the record straight on Lehmann’s false accusation. Flo Jo died in 1998 at the age of 38 after suffocating from an epileptic seizure. The condition was congenital which means it was present at birth.
“The seizure was caused by a congenital abnormality of blood vessels in her brain called cavernous angioma, said Dr. Richard Fukumoto, the chief forensic pathologist for the Orange County, Calif., coroner’s office,” reads a 1998 report from The New York Times, which reported on the Olympian’s untimely death.
“Toxicology tests showed that Griffith Joyner, 38, had taken a tablet of the painkiller Tylenol and the antihistamine Benadryl, but tests for evidence of alcohol, recreational drugs, and performance-enhancing drugs were negative, authorities said at a news conference in Santa Ana, Calif.,” the report continues.
But the most glaring piece of her tweet was founded in misogynoir, classism, and racism. Bree Newsome’s take on the subject summarized Lehmann’s unfounded attack best.
“How do we get to a point of Flo Jo being dragged into the slander-fest? See how maligning Black women is a cultural pastime of white patriarchy? Every week a BW is targeted w/vile slander b/c ppl are socialized to behave this way, to treat BW as the bottom of social hierarchy,” she tweeted.
Lehmann’s account should be dinged on Twitter for spreading lies that are sure to be shared and widely circulated.