The situation in the states is pretty hard to avoid. It’s reported in the news, it’s shared on social media, it’s discussed among peers, athletes are making protests in different ways, and it’s become a national debate in the US. One of the most noted events is the death of Eric Garner, which later started the (it’s terrible to call it that, but effectively it’s what it is) slogan “I can’t breathe”.
I can’t breathe
Horrible things are going on and happening in the world that shouldn’t. But it’s not my world, it’s not the world I’m living in, because it’s not happening in my space. And like most people, I dismiss it with a “I can’t help or effect that in any way” and escape into another world instead: entertainment.
So I start up my Netflix and head into the last two episodes of Orange is the New Black of the current, fourth season. But there are other people in the world that did not dismiss the world they’re living in, and they decided to do something. And what those people, the people behind OitNB, decided to do was make sure even your escape into entertainment could go by without addressing the matter.
They decided to write the death of a character much like the events surrounding Eric Garner. And it’s followed up by the administrative bullshit that represents the way many people feel the matter was handled in the aftermath. Of course there had been things leading up to these events, but effectively they just fit the entire birth, and explosion, of the Black Lives Matter-movement within these two episodes. And they did it beautifully, showing motivation and effects on both sides, presenting how fear breeds fear, and that people, no matter how horrible, are still people.
No matter how bad the world gets, it’s still worth spending time in
But the pristine gem that made the season finale shine so brightly is how they contrasted the life of the victim, Poussey Washington, portrayed by Samira Wiley. The show usually shows the story about how the characters ended up in their current situation. Since we’ve seen Washintons past before there was no real reason to revisit this story. So instead we get to see what her last night before getting arrested was like. And it was adventurous and magical in a very improbable, but plausible way. She was very happy and we got a glimpse into her joy and a reminder that no matter how bad the world gets, it’s still worth spending time in and not all people are horrible.
I cried like I stubbed my toe on the leg of the table, then fell over and struck the bridge of my nose on the edge of the same table.