Typically, I shy away from topics where one race is pitted against another, however, over the last few weeks I have seen white privilege vs. black judgement. Take the US Olympic team for instance. You have Ryan Lochte and Gabrielle Douglas, two Olympians. Two amazing athletes extremely dominate in gymnastics and swimming. One [Douglas] admonished for not showing patriotism, while the other coddled for their bad behavior [Lochte]. Gabby Douglas, an African American woman and four-time Olympic gold medalist ridiculed from her hairstyle, her patriotism, and her love for the country she’s representing. During a time where we should be cheering these athletes on, some choose the internet bullying route.
Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte lies, embarrassing himself, his family, and his country. The Olympic committee suggested we should give him a pass–oh he’s a kid making mistakes. Stop it! Ryan is a 32-year-old man who should be held accountable for this bad behavior. Still, the difference between Ryan and Gabby. Ryan is white. So when we say “white privilege” we mean white people getting a preverbal pass. Ryan showed zero patriotism when he hightailed a flight [I’m sure at the advice of lawyers] back from Rio to the US leaving his buddies behind to take the fall; never fully apologizing or assume responsibility for his lies. Still, some [Billy Bush] in the media justified his actions. Gabby didn’t put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem (by the way, if you have a military background we either salute or stand at attention) social media dragging her through the mud.
When the National Anthem is played or sung (Proper Etiquette):
- Designation: The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
- Conduct During Playing: During a rendition of the national anthem:
- When the flag is displayed:
- individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
- members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
- all other person’s present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act, in the same manner, they would if the flag were displayed.
America something isn’t right with this picture. It’s wasn’t very patriotic of Lochte when he lied to his country about being attacked and held at gunpoint. He has stated he is remorseful for his “shenanigans.” I sincerely hope Ryan truly changes his actions, stop blaming the Brazilian people for your petulant ways. He receives a wake-up call of sorts this week. His lost all four of his sponsorships—Speedo and Ralph Lauren. In closing, it’s not my nature to bully anyone; I don’t condone it at all. However, in this case, we should support both Douglas and Lochte—we are a nation of unity, there is no need for a divide.