Saturday, August 20, 2016

This Is Awkward

My initial reaction the other day to the reports of the US swimmers' assault and robbery in Rio de Janeiro was 'what do you expect?' I have never been to Brazil or anywhere in South America. I have never allowed my lack of knowledge to keep from having an opinion and my entire view of South America is based on written and televised reports and the occasional update from Artie & Paul.  

Of course they were robbed! Made sense to me because....well, because, umm, I am ashamed to say, because it fit the predetermined notion of life in Brazil that I have formed supported, in no small part, by the stories on the water and the poverty and the chaos and the list goes on and on.

If there were similar reports from when the Summer Games were in Los Angeles or the Winter Games were in Salt Lake City, I choose to not recall. Besides, we would never do stuff like that, right? Nope, not ever.

And here I am, working very hard to be an open-minded liberal-hearted bi-ped of European ancestry and when I get a little itchy and you scratch me, what do we have here? Looks like a narrow-minded smug landshark, officer.  Expecting the worst from people about whom he knows nothing because that's really my default position.

If it's of any solace, and it shouldn't be. I'm not alone and I'm not unique. I'm disappointed in me but today is another day and I'd hope to take two steps forward for the one back I took on this.

Meanwhile it took someone with a special kind of stupid to catch me up by my short hairs, and I'm not talking about my haircut. Thanks, Ryan for how easily and more importantly, selfishly, you overshadowed every achievement, joyful moment and accomplishment of everyone at the Rio Games, not just on your team but all of us. It really is true about what happens when you assume, sadly.
-bill kenny    

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