I 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
Check out BIKO by Peter Gabriel
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