Imitation Of Life

gary-d-01I love TV crime dramas, but, I usually stop watching them after some time, as they become so “formulaic”, so to speak.  One such show is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, on CBS.  Like most of the other dramas that I watch/watched, I like the interaction of the characters more than anything else.  One of my favorite characters from the show was Warrick Brown, played by Gary Dourdan (check his official site).  Art truly does, at times, imitate life.  Ironically, one episode was actually entitled “Art Imitates Life”.  To further illustrate the fact, in the end, the character Warrick Brown imitated the recent life of actor Gary Dourdan, plagued by drug use.  His real-life antics got him canned from the show.  I had stopped watching the show for quite some time before Mr. Dourdan left the show, but, I made a hasty retreat when I read of his arrest in the news, and waited with bated breath for his last appearance on the show.  It ended as expected, but, there was such finality to the episode:  his character can never return as a regular.

There is a more prominent, more important aspect of art imitating life, and that was made evident with a more recent episode entitled “Say Uncle”.  Another character on the show, Nick Stokes (played by George Eads), was tracking down a lead and he and another CSI entered the home of an elderly Korean woman.  The woman got hysterical and began spewing the Korean language at the top of her lungs.  She eventually pulled out a gun and began pointing it at Stokes.  Stokes turned to look at her and asked in his most calming voice “Now, why you wanna do that?  Put that thing away.” Another CSI is anxious that the woman is going to shoot Stokes, but, Stokes calmly talks the woman into dropping the gun and they all live happily ever after.

That’s one prime example of art imitating life.  So many times, real-life officers are faced with immenent danger, i.e. the perp in question is weilding a gun, or a bat, or a knife.  The officers will speak in a nice, soothing voice, appealing to the “inner”, good person and, in the end, they all live happily ever after.  That is to say as long as the perp is not African-American.

Across the nation, so many African-Americans have been gunned down by the police.  Like other criminals throughout the nation, many had weapons and alledgedly posed a threat to officers and others.  Many times the weapons in question were guns.  However, more times than not, the weapons in question were baseball bats, and knives, and in a large number of cases, the human fist.  Can a gun-carrying officer really feel THAT threatened that they feel the need to fire a bullet into a suspect to subdue him/her?  In so many cases, the suspect dies.  A cold-blooded death.  Murder.

Why can’t African-Americans be “talked down”?  Where is our happy ending?  When will it stop?

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

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8 Responses to “Imitation Of Life”

  1. Well, I watch CSI faithfully. I am a true fan 🙂

    And I was upset that Gary didn’t have a chance to ever come back on ever again but we get L Fishburne in a few weeks.

    And I watched it last night too.

    I don’t know about all the rest of what you said. I mean I have opinions but I am keeping them to myself.
    Except for this one. . .I have a huge problem with the police gunning down black males. Black people.
    However when it happens we protest and march and testify and tell our story about who did what.
    But, the real threat to my son or any other black male is another black male so where are the protest and the marches when there is black on black crime.
    Instead we turn our heads and hope we don’t get called on as a witness and go about our business.
    I think that is a bigger problem.

    P.S. I saw the title and thought this was about my movie. “I am white”

  2. I, too, await Mr. Fishburne. I guess that I will have to start watching again.

    The outrage should be there when the crimes are Black on Black. I believe that both types of crime are equally as important and as devastating. See “Walking The Dog” post (the end part), as I turn my head as well, knowing that the murderous thugs that are destroying our community don’t think twice about killing any potential witnesses. Here, between two rival dealers, no less than six people over the past four years have been killed for threatening to hit the witness stand, and they were merely citizens, not part of the problem. With my tax dollars (our tax dollars), police are paid to do the dangerous work, and I believe that it is their jobs to put their lives on the line to make our communities safe. If we have to do it, then why do we even have a police force? As bad as it is, unfortunately, I have no answers. Peace.

  3. There’s no talking down when the person with the gun is either already afraid of you and what they think you are capable of, or if they have issues with the race of the person in front of the gun.

  4. Perhaps if they tried, they’d find out differently. On the other hand, our people who wield those guns are usually on their third strike with nothing to lose. Let’s bypass them for a moment and view those who have no weapon or just a stick. There’s no excuse for firing twenty, thirty, or fifty bullets into a basically unarmed perp. How much do you lose by simply backing up far enough and waiting things out? What is he/she gonna do – throw the weapon at you? The po-po take every opportunity to destroy our race with no thought of a peaceful resolution. “MURDER, SHE WROTE”. Peace.

  5. Growing up in a city like Flint exposed me to a reality (albeit a pretty narrow reality) of toughness and aggression. I hate to admit it – largely because suggests that black folks can’t be sophisticated – but smiling, calmness, gentleness, politeness, and acting even remotely intelligent are all capitol offenses according to street bylaws. Instead, actin’ “hard” tends to get the most validation.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time…

  6. You’re not wrong – not as I see it. As an “old head”, I am used to giving the “head bob” to another brother, and receiving the same in return. For the most part, when I do the same to younger folk, they look at me as if I’m crazy, continuing on without speaking or acknowledging the greeting. I do it as often as I can in my neighborhood, in the hopes that they will soon reciprocate. Some have, most haven’t. Tough is the keyword. Peace.

  7. I thought Gary Dourdan had turned a corner from Different World. And as a fan of CSI from the onset (though my affiliation has switched to Grey’s anatomy), I loved seeing Dourdan on a top-five TV show. Too bad his demons in real life had to affect his work life.

    Here’s my advise to actors of color, you need to not let your head get too big. Let the hype be just that. I’m tired of seeing brothers like Isaiah Washington and now Dourdan given a pink slip for controversies they could have controlled.

  8. I wonder how their lifestyles change so drastically that they seem to have but one goal – self-destruction? It’s such a pity that so many of them have fallen by the wayside. Peace.

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