Ryan Lochte is drowning in His Own Bullshit but White Privilege is Providing a Raft

Yesterday morning, I burnt my damn eggs.

I was making scrambled eggs, but on higher heat than normal because I was in the “get yo’ kid out the door and off to school rush.” So when you do this—the higher heat thing—you must keep your spatula moving so as not to burn the eggs. But Billy Bush, Hoda Kotkb and Matt Lauer started talking about the Ryan Lochte case. At this point, there was still only speculation on the Brazilian government’s part that the swimmers’ stories were false and the report was that two swimmers had been “ripped” off of their planes. The way that these 3 journalists were defending Ryan Lochte literally froze me in my egg-flipping tracks. The conversation went something like this:

Journalist 1: I know Ryan and I just don’t believe he could come up with a story like this.

Journalist 2: Right. And The Brazilian Government is after them because they are saying that there are inconsistencies in their stories; but their stories haven’t changed all that much.

Journalist 3: Well, one said the car got side-swiped and one didn’t, but . . .

Journalist 2: But was that cause for these Olympians to get ripped from the plane?

Journalist 3: And Lochte said he had a gun to his head but he didn’t.

Journalist 1: But, but, there was a gun—right? There was a gun.

Journalist 3: Yes, they ALL agree that there was a gun. Journalist 3: It just doesn’t make sense. The Brazilian government is saying that the videotape of the swimmers after they returned to the Olympic Park shows that they weren’t traumatized.

Journalist 1: Lochte said that they were just in shock.

Journalist 3: Lochte was adamant that he was telling the truth. He really was.

My fucking eggs burned. For breakfast, my son was just gonna have to make do with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and a lesson on White Privilege.

Matt Lauer and Billy Bush essentially said on National television that they believed a 23-year old over an entire government (which happens to be run by Brown people). Do you think that the Brazilian government would have publicly “ripped” (as many major media outlets have phrased it, as if these large Olympians were injured) these men off of their plane if they didn’t have real cause? But, Ryan and his friends are White, so regardless of what the national government of the fifth largest country in the world said, most in the United States presumed them innocent. What an enormous fucking privilege. For a Black man, the benefit of the doubt would be a gift; presumed innocence would be treasure (especially in a world where even with videotaped evidence, you are already a “thug”).

And now, even after it has been proven that Lochte was lying, he still gets to escape being called a thug. Indeed, they are not even calling him a liar – as his “lie” is not a “lie,” but rather a mere “embellishment.” When White boys get drunk, urinate and vandalize property in another country, it’s called “fun.” It is excused as boys being boys. They haven’t brought a bit of shame on this country. And all Lochte had to do was wake up on his 600 count sheets, roll over, pick up his iPhone 6s, tweet out an “apology” that was written for him (when he should be apologizing to his mother), and then fall back to sleep. White privilege will handle he rest for him.


https://www.instagram.com/p/BIis9E1BJvm/ Screengrab of Ryan Lochte's Instagram post of his new hairdo 7/31/16 Source: Ryan Lochte/Instagram
Screengrab of Ryan Lochte’s Instagram post of his new hairdo
Source: Ryan Lochte/Instagram

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About Randi B.

Randi is a diversity and inclusion strategist, speaker, trainer and writer, focusing on making connections and cultivating empathy in this diverse world one trip, speech, article, book and conversation at a time.

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