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White Privilege Runs Deep In The Morally Shallow Waters Of #LochteGate

Are we really surprised here? 

American Olympic swimmer and occasional reality star Ryan Lochte has been named the ringleader behind a fabricated story of a robbery that never occurred during a night out in Rio de Janeiro. The incident has been dubbed #LochteGate, or in some circles, #LochteMess. Either way, the very tangled story has revealed what we already know about white privilege and the lingering problems the nation faces among other countries.

The incident happened last weekend (Aug. 14) when Lochte claimed he and fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, James Feigen, and Jack Conger were robbed by men disguised as police officers after leaving a bar in a taxi. Quick, but ignorant instincts lead many to believe Lochte, who sent out an Instagram message to fans (and a text to his mother) shortly after it was reported by the media outlets. After all, a few click-bait headlines about the continuous issues in Rio before the Olympic games gave the athlete's story a piece of credibility. Even Lochte's reported quote of saying "whatever" during an interview with celebrity journalist Billy Bush  as the robber held a gun to his head was quickly overlooked.

Thanks to the power of CCTV, the much-sympathetic story was decimated after it was revealed the swimmers vandalized a gas station. An armed security guard reportedly approached them after the swimmers broke a door trying to get into the bathroom. During a press conference, Brazilian police admit that the swimmers paid money to the store's manager before they took off. While the incident was simple and non-life threatening, their alleged frightening experience made Rio's reputation worse.

Other athletes in Rio such as Carmelo Anthony have treated the city as their hometowns, opening up a conversation about respect when it comes to diving into unknown waters. The NBA star even used his day off to play ball with kids in the city's favelas

The good deed barely saw the top of a news site "must-read" list, but Gabby Douglas' standing salute during the US national anthem caused thinned hairs to be ripped out of the heads of critics. The International Olympic Committee did little to defend Douglas but came to the defense of Lochte and his morally corrupt crew by calling the 20 and 30-somethings as "kids" who made a mistake.

It's not hard to see the privilege that reigns supreme over the black and brown people of Rio. Brian Winter, vice president for policy at Americas Society and Council of the Americas, tells NY Times the incident is bigger than a broken bathroom door. “This incident has caused so much damage to Rio’s brand abroad that I think Brazilians deserve a clear, consistent account of what happened,” Winter said. "The entire episode has tapped into one of Brazilians’ biggest pet peeves — gringos who treat their country like a third-rate spring break destination where you can lie to the cops and get away with it.”

As police seek to indict Lochte and the other swimmers for falsely reporting a crime, #LochteGate kicked off on social media and didn't stop there. Stephen A. Smith slammed Lochte for lying about a drunken night out. "You went to the Olympics to represent your country," Smith said via Complex. "You're representing your country, you're supposed to be as upstanding as you are. To fabricate a story to cover yourself, it probably ended up being way bigger than you imagined, but you still look like a damn liar, and you have now embarrassed yourself, and that's unfortunate."

Yes, the incident is unfortunate, but as the smoke continues to clear out, new clouds form since it's painfully clear America--as a whole-- will now have to deal with the repercussions. Leaving his homies in Rio to cover up the crime, Lochte was seen just days later on Instagram making birthday videos without much care in the world.

It's a move we've seen from other celebrities who don't take responsibility for their actions until the social media taunts and memes are just too much to take. Bentz and Conger were free to leave Brazil Thursday evening. When asked if they will apologize for lying, then men remained quiet.

Lochte may or may not do the same, but only time will tell how far his privilege will take him.

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Kid Cudi And Jada Pinkett Smith Discuss Past Suicidal Thoughts On 'Red Table Talk'

Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk has tackled some giant topics including sexuality, race, love, and marriage. Now, the Facebook talk series is talking mental health with Kid Cudi.

Cudi – also known as Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi –  is no stranger to the conversation about mental health. Opening up about his struggles with mental health on the recent episode of Red Table Talk, the 34-year-old rapper detailed how he hid his struggles from his loved ones.

"I was really good at keeping my troubles hidden Like I was really good at that and it's scary because that's when you hear people say, well I had no clue," Kid Cudi continued. "I really went out of my way to keep what I was going through hidden because I was ashamed."

Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab in 2016 to combat depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, the "Day 'N' Nite emcee has worked to find the best ways to cope with his traumas.

Smith also spoke candidly about her battle with mental health. "I had gotten to LA and gotten a certain amount of success and realized that that wasn’t the answer,” she said. "[The success] wasn’t what was going to make everything okay. [It] actually made this worse."

Like many people struggling with depression and anxiety, the shame felt by  Mescudi is a normal feeling, but hopefully, through this talk, more conversation surrounding mental disorders will begin.

This episode of Red Table Talk will air Monday on Facebook Watch. Watch the clip above.

READ MORE: Kid Cudi Talks Being In A Positive Space Since Depression Battle In 'Billboard' Cover Story

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Bad Bunny Addresses Domestic Violence In New "Solo De Mi" Video

Bad Bunny is finishing 2018 as one of the biggest breakout stars in Latin music, and he's using his platform to stand up against an important topic. He's bringing awareness to domestic violence in his new music video for "Solo De Mi."

"Solo De Mi," which translates to "Just of Me" in English, was released as a single on Friday (Dec. 14). The video that premiered on YouTube a day later, has since racked up 5.1 million views and is currently trending on the channel at No. 10. The visual piece evokes emotions as most of the reel depicts a young woman nervously singing in front of a microphone with a battered face.

Towards the end of the video, the tempo switches and the broken woman becomes stronger as the camera pans to Bad Bunny and his entourage partying the night away while the Puerto Rican rapper spits bars in Spanish.

The Latin trap artist shared a clip of the video on Instagram with this caption:

"I'm not sure if cockfighting is abuse, but gender violence against women and the absurd amount of women who are murdered a month IS. When are we going to prioritize what really matters ??! We always want to blame everyone but the one at fault. IT'S TIME TO TAKE ACTION NOW! I know there will be many opinions, but I just tell them that something starts, and everyone does their part as they think they can. WE DO NOT WANT ONE MORE DEATH! Respect the woman, respect the man, respect the neighbor, respect life! LESS VIOLENCE, MORE PERISH! (AND IF SHE WANTS IT, IF IT DOES NOT LET HER SAVE ONLY AND DO NOT KILL IT) 🖤 [LINK IN MY BIO]"

Although the trap-influenced record has yet to debut on the charts, the 24-year-old artist continues to ride high off the success of his current singles, "MIA" and "I Like It," which are currently sitting at No. 2 and No. 42 on the Hot Latin Songs and Hot 100, respectively.

Check out the video above.

 

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no estoy seguro si las peleas de gallo son maltrato, pero la violencia de género en contra de la mujer y la cantidad absurda de mujeres que son asesinadas al mes SÍ LO ES. ¿Cuando vamos a darle prioridad a lo que realmente importa??! Siempre queremos culpar a todos menos al que tiene la culpa. ES HORA DE TOMAR ACCIÓN YA! Sé que habrán muchas opiniones, pero yo solo les digo que por algo se empieza, y cada cual hace su parte como cree que pueda. NO QUEREMOS NI UNA MUERTE MAS! Respeta la mujer, respeta al hombre, respeta al prójimo, respeta la vida! MENOS VIOLENCIA, MAS PERREO! (Y SI ELLA LO QUIERE, SI NO DÉJALA QUE PERREE SOLA Y NO LA JODAS)🖤 [LINK EN MI BIO]

A post shared by BAD | BUNNY (@badbunnypr) on Dec 15, 2018 at 12:44pm PST

READ MORE: Members Of Young Hollywood Appear On Forbes' '30 Under 30' List

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Scott Olson

Kenneka Jenkins' Mother Sues Hotel For $50 Million After Daughter Found In Freezer

Kenneka Jenkins' family is reportedly taking legal action against the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois after the teen was discovered dead in the hotel kitchen's walk-in freezer, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Jenkins' mother, Tereasa Martin has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the hotel, alleging that the staff were responsible for her daughter's untimely death.

The lawsuit names the hotel, F&F Realty, Capital Security, and Investigations and Murray Bros. Caddyshack – the restaurant that leased the kitchen – as  liable for Jenkins' death. Martin claims the hotel and other parties failed to secure dangerous areas and hire competent staff to monitor them.

According to court documents, the hotel and security staff ignored multiple warnings about the group of people that were partying in the hotel room where Jenkins was ahead of her disappearance. The lawsuit noted that Jenkins passed several hotel staff members who should have seen that she was in an altered state and prevented her from entering the kitchen.

Hotel personnel also neglected to thoroughly review security footage after learning of Jenkins' disappearance. If they had done so, "they would have been able to locate her which would have prevented her death,” according to the lawsuit. As result of the incident, Jenkins' family claims they suffered tremendous "conscious, physical pain and suffering," humiliation, and loss of wages.

As previously reported, 19-year-old Jenkins attended a hotel room party on the ninth floor of the Crowne Plaza on Sept. 9, 2017, around 1:13 a.m. in a fully coherent state, the lawsuit claims. Around 2:30 a.m. Jenkins' and friends reportedly were leaving the party when she realized she had lost her phone. Two hours later, friends told Martin that her daughter was missing. After Martin contacted the hotel desk, security reviewed the surveillance footage, but did not find anything at the time. Jenkins was officially reported missing at 12:36 p.m. on Sept. 9.

Jenkins was found 21 hours after she was reported missing. Her body was discovered in a double-door walk-in freezer located in an unused kitchen that was accessible to the general public, the lawsuit said. The sticker on the door of the freezer, which contained instruction on how to open was barely visible.

Upon further review, surveillance videos show Jenkins stumbling into the kitchen and walking toward the freezer around 3:32 a.m. She was reportedly visibly inebriated at the time.

Jenkins was pronounced dead on Sept. 10, 2017. Her death was a ruled an accident caused by  hypothermia, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

In addition to the damages regarding her death, Jenkins' family is suing to cover the expenses of her funeral, which was held last year.

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