Ryan Lochte
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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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T.I. To Address Controversial Comments About Daughter On ‘Red Table Talk’

T.I. will be joining Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk to address the controversial comments that he made about his daughter’s virginity nearly two weeks ago. Pinkett Smith revealed that the Atlanta rapper recently filmed an RTT episode with his wife, Tameka “Tiny”  Harris.

“T.I. coming to the table yes, indeed, the actress and producer told Entertainment Tonight at the AFI Film Fest screening of her new show, Hala. “Of course he’s going to address the controversy that’s been swirling, then he and Tiny sit down and talk about how they survived in regards to their marriage.”

The father of seven has been radio silent on social media in the days since his viral interview on the Ladies Like Us podcast. During the podcast, which is co-hosted by Miguel’s wife Nazanin Mandi, Tip casually explained how he takes his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, to the gynecologist to check her hymen.

The aftermath of the graphic and disturbing admission led to Mani and her co-host, Nadia Moham, issuing an apology. “The comments that were made and the reaction that followed are not in any way a reflection of our personal views on the topic,” the duo stated. “We support and love women and feel that their bodies are theirs to do as they wish. There was absolutely no ill intent toward any party involved & feel deeply awful about the entire incident.”

Deyjah has since deactivated her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

T.I.’s Red Table Talk episode airs next Monday (Nov. 25).

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Ryan Theriot

Ari Lennox Voices Frustrations Over Soul Train Awards Snub

Ari Lennox might officially be quitting music after getting snubbed at this year’s Soul Train Awards.  The “BMO” singer, who earned three nominations and was a presenter during the award show held in Las Vegas last weekend, shared her disappointment in a series of tweets on Tuesday (Nov. 19).

“No one will have to worry about me complaining after this current complaint,” Lennox began before adding, “Lol what I will not do is ever be this depressed again.”

Lennox continued, “It’s not just an award. It wasn’t any award show. It was the soul train awards. As you can see I’m [a] big fan of soul music and a huge fan of soul train history.”

The Washington D.C. native was nominated in the Best R&B Soul Female Artist, Best Collaboration and Album/Mixtape of the Year categories. H.E.R took home the award for Best Female Artist, Chris Brown scooped up the Best Collaboration category and Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You grabbed Album/Mixtape of the Year.

“Being snubbed was something I always expected and was definitely prepared for just not by them,” Lennox wrote while making it clear that her frustrations weren't aimed at fellow nominees. “My intent was to never shade other nominees. I’m hurt and don’t expect soulless haters to understand that.”

“[Every time] I wrap my mind around it I just can’t accept it,” she continued. “It feels like a break up. I made a soulful album. I never ran from who I am. I just expected the one platform to understand that. It takes a lot of energy to do these things and ultimately this was a hard loss for me.”

Lennox also pointed out that she's been grinding in the music for a decade and hit back at those who misconstrued her candor for being ungrateful. “Me being honest doesn’t make me less gracious or less star worthy.”

In another series of tweet, Lennox pondered leaving music to join the army. “I’m not selling out. So I quit. It’s clear I’m not ‘cool’ enough. Not trendy enough and I don’t care to be. I don’t strive for that. I’m not going to chase this sh*t ever again. No more fake sh*t on my part.”

Despite the critical acclaim of Shea Butter Baby, Lennox has been open about the struggles of the music industry. “It’s not just the awards,” she tweeted. “[Shea Butter Baby] was slept on in so many ways. I’m too emotional to pretend like I can play this game.”

Read her tweets below.

You know what I realized? People who genuinely fuck with me understand my frustration. People who are self hating haters and clearly have never given my music a chance got the biggest problem with me always.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

No one will have to worry about me complaining after this current complaint. Lol what I will not do is ever be this depressed again

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

It’s not just an award. It wasn’t any award show. It was the soul train awards. As you can see I’m big fan of soul music and huge fan of soul trains history.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

Being snubbed was something I always expected and was definitely prepared for just not by them.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

My intent was to never shade other nominees. I’m hurt and I don’t expect soulless haters to understand that

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

Everytime I wrap my mind around it I just can’t accept it. It feels like a break up. I made a soulful album. I never ran from who I am. I just expected that one platform to understand that.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

Me being honest doesn’t make me less gracious or less star worthy.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

I’m not selling out. So I quit.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

It’s clear I’m not “cool” enough. Not trendy enough and I don’t care to be. I don’t strive for that. I’m not going to chase this shit ever again. No more fake shit on my part.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

It’s not just the awards. SBB was slept on in so many ways. Im too emotional to pretend like I can play this game.

— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 19, 2019

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White Teen Girl Arrested For Plotting Mass Shooting At Black Church

Police in Georgia have put a stop to what could've been another tragic mass shooting at a predominantly black church.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports a 16-year-old girl was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder after her plan to attack the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church was revealed. Gainsville Police shared in a news released how they teamed up with Gainesville City School officials to prevent the tragedy.

Gainesville High school resource officers were notified on Friday (Nov. 15) about the white minor's plans by school administrators. Students claimed the teen wrote a plan in her notebook to attack members of  Bethel AME Church based on the color of their skin.

“Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographics of the church members,” police Chief Jay Parrish said Tuesday (Nov. 19). “The church was immediately notified of the incident by Gainesville police to ensure the safety of our community and the current threat was under control.”

The teenager is now at the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center.

“This is an active investigation and a prime example of how strong relationships between the student body, school administration and law enforcement can intercept a potentially horrific incident,” Parrish said.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Please see recent news release.

A post shared by Gainesville Police Department (@gainesvillepd) on Nov 19, 2019 at 10:40am PST

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