“Where There’s Gun Smoke There’s a #SCANDAL”
The episode of the ABC hit show “Scandal” that aired on 3/5/2015 was something I did not anticipate or expect! I thought it would be just another episode of congressional-level, political debauchery. The usual infidelity, deceit, schemes infused with greed, and the thirst for more control. However, Shonda Rhimes decided to take the viewing audience into a different direction!
The episode centered around a young black male gunned down by a police officer on duty (something that is all too familiar these days, i.e., Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin just to name a few). Then we have the loving father who refuses to believe his son’s killing was a justified police action and takes matter into his own hands by wielding a shotgun and refusing to let anyone near his son’s slain body. Finally, protestors appear as well as police officers in riot gear and a philosophical battle ensues.
There were two lines in this episode that shook me to my core. The first line stated by Olivia Pope to the Police Chief, “Just because they [protestors] stand there and say things you don’t like doesn’t make them a mob. It makes them American.” This struck me because it reminded me that in most cases the authorities often will fail to see blacks as Americans with equal liberties. The second line that shook me was stated by the police officer who killed the young black male. The officer stated “Questioning my authority was not his right.” The officer was referring to the young black male ‘not respecting his badge’. This is yet another reminder that blacks lives doesn’t always matter. But they should matter. Nearly 45 million black people live in this country. We are diverse people and the invaluable contributions due to black history is American history!!!
In the end, the police officer tampers with evidence from an earlier arrest in order to cover up for shooting someone in the line of duty. In this episode, it was the cover-up that reminds us of the dark history of whites exploiting blacks in this country, which is still happening in the 21st century.
This episode left me with 3 take-a-ways:
1) – All of us must evolve to listen to learn as opposed to listening to respond.
2) – Acknowledge there is always truth and then there are facts. Facts and truth do not always equate to the same thing.
3) – Shonda Rhimes is a world class director and producer!
As a black man and a father, this episode reminded me that even though I’ve attained an Accounting degree, MBA and in the process of becoming a licensed CPA; that is not enough to ensure that my son and daughter would be given a fair shake should they ever encounter a police officer in a judgment call situation. This episode painfully reminds me that although I have no criminal record, and pride myself on being a law bidding citizen, that I too could also be subject to social injustice merely due to the color of my skin. I don’t like this feeling, but I will continue to press on and teach my family to respect themselves as well as the authorities.
Thank you, Shonda