The only differences that would have taken place had it been three Black American Olympic athletes, say the core of the 4 x 100 relay team, that had gotten drunk at a gas station in Brazil and trashed the place would have been that – assuming the authorities had been so kind as to let them go after paying for it – they wouldn’t have lied about it and they’d be getting banged by the media.
You wouldn’t hear their 32 year-old ring leader being affectionately described as a “kid“, but what you would hear would be how this situation further damaged the US’s already tenuous standing in the world and demonstrates best what everyone hates about Americans; the arrogance and the privilege.
If them niggas had won anything, it wouldn’t be surprising to see those medals stripped and they could forget coming home to lucrative endorsement deals.
The best they could hope for is that on their long image rehabilitation tour where they’d have to preface every interview with both how sorry they were and how much they’d learned since their unfortunate and horrible mistake would be that they could win long and many enough for that whole unfortunate to eventually become a blip on the radar and a passing blurb mentioned only once in relation to themselves during each television appearance and not the lead questions asked about after each new competition.
And that’s if they were lucky.
How many times this many years later do you still hear dogfighting referenced whenever you hear the name Mike Vick?
Contrast that with the number of times you hear rape mentioned whenever you hear that name Ben Roethlisberger.
And I’m not really coming for Ryan Lochte on this one if only because I know what it’s like to get stone drunk somewhere as a way of celebrating something, go somewhere, piss all over everything, have the cops come and get/be mad as fuck.
The only difference is, being Black, it might not be fair to say that I’d have more respect for authority, but having the authorities show would have certainly sobered me up enough to understand my complicity in their appearance.
That’s the difference right there.
That’s what some people mistakenly label “white privilege”, that caliber of arrogance that would allow Ryan Lochte and his US Swim team buddies to not only not even to attempt to sober up in the face of authority, but to have so little respect for that authority that after having been rightfully forced to pay for their destructive damage, to actually feel like they’d been robbed!
Then to go and commit to a story that actually fancied themselves as the victims of robbery.
And, like I said, this is not white privilege.
White privilege would have been at work if, after the authorities showed, they were compelled to forgive the swimmers, honored as they surely would have felt by being in the presence of such greatness.
What Ryan and his mates are actually guilty of, if, due to that uniquely American phenomenon called “affluenza” we’re to allow that they’re guilty at all, is forgetting that they weren’t in the United States and that, believe it or not, there are some places in the world where no matter how they look, the guilty actually pay for their crimes.