3.06.2015

The Bar Bows to Courtney B. Vance #ScandalABC

Last night, Scandal showed a young black teenager get murdered by a young white cop.  Apparently the reaction online has got tongues wagging and supposedly several white viewers are swearing off the show.

Anyways...the episode was pure wish fulfillment, of course, because the cop is proven a murderer and goes to jail.  However, there's a slight twist I wasn't expecting.

The episode opens with Olivia lying that she's resting to Jake when in fact she's off to meet with the Chief of Police.  A black child is dead, a white cop killed him, and El Jefe needs Liv to fix it.

Yeah, I know, right?  And everybody sees through it right away except for Liv, but moving on...

Before Liv can do her thing, a loud warning shot rings out and all heads to turn behold a not-in-the-mood-today black man wielding a shotgun who bellows, "Bring me the cop who killed my son."

And I'm like, Dayum.

The bad motherfucker man is Clarence Parker (Courtney B. Vance) and the slain is his son, Brandon.  And he ain't lettin' no damn cops near "the crime scene" lest they start messing with things.  As Parker's neighbors and members of the press begin to form a crowd, a local activist named Marcus Walker (a very delicious Cornelius Smith, Jr.) shows up with a lawn chair (hence the title of the episode).  He tells Parker to stay strong because the minute he leaves, he loses all leverage.

Cornelius Smith, Jr.
Parker places the chair over his son's body and sits, perched with his shotgun, daring anyone to make him move.

Ever watch Suicide Kings (1997)?  Christopher Walken gives a masterful performance, dominating every scene he's in, outshining every other actor he interacts with, and he does so while spending most of the film taped to a friggin' chair.

Courtney B. Vance doesn't get a whole film, but damn...I bet he would give a great hour-long performance from a chair, because his character refuses to rise from that lawn chair for over a day.

He tells Liv about his son, about how hard he worked to get the boy to eighteen, and the grief at his failure is so moving.  Nothing forced, nothing false,  nothing weak.

He better get some kind of acknowledgement for this episode because I was thinking of swearing off Scandal once and for all...starting this very week.

And now, I want to talk about the cop who killed and his little bitch-rant to Liv about how "you people" don't have respect, and dare to question authority, and how eighty-four people were murdered in DC this year and it wasn't cops doing the murdering (three guesses who it was).

Okay, fine.  Poor black people killed other poor black people.  And in typical American fashion, what drives them to kill, steal, etc. is all "their fault."

Excuse me, I grew up in Appalachia, specifically West Virginia.  I spent most of life around poor white people.  I grew up to work in mental health and social work there.  For anyone who's lived there or done their research, you know what I mean when I talk about the soul-crushing poverty that has plagued that region for generations.  There are a few rich people, but they're not rich by Outside standards.  To be comfortable = barely getting by, and the "comfortable" ones typically work more than one job to do so - I myself worked three at one point while carrying full course load in graduate school.  And the government which has all but left that region to rot, has no problem showing up before every single war to convince Appalachian kids to die for them.

That type of poverty does more than "inconvenience" you; it gets in your blood.  It plagues your dreams, it hangs over your head all day like a thick depressive cloud.  There's plenty of violence and drug abuse in Appalachia, but most Americans can't even point that region out on a map because it's America's dirty little Third-World secret, it damages the nation's credibility abroad, and derails its own racist narrative at home.

In Cameroon, West Africa, I lived in the city, the town, and the village during the early 1990s.  But it was in Appalachia that I witnessed true poverty and misery.

So, yeah...poor people are killing each other, have been for ages.  If you have such a problem with it, why don't you do something about the poverty itself?

2 comments:

  1. Courtney B. 'Nuff fuckin' said.

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  2. Maybe I'm seriously late but Courtney has outdid himself with his acting. My god..Shonda knows how to pick them. I almost came close to forgetting about Scandal, until I just randomly changed channels and seen it. If he don't have any Emmys he deserve one ( Though I don't think he would get one..especially when it comes to race related stuff like this). I felt Courtney's spirit portraying his role> the mans acting was impeccable!

    Although the White cop in Scandal was acting, I have seen a combination of Tamir Rice( sound familiar ?), Michael Brown and Eric Garner. I just love it when the attempt to tell is about the Black on Black thing and associating the Black vs Black jive. I'm glad that you did bring up about Poor Whites. I was just thinking about a news article from my mom's small Georgia hometown and just looking at the paper in general( as I do each week). One thing that I've noticed was the race of people who was getting in mess. This week, a White guy robs and kill and African conveience worker, another time, 4 White males bust into a hotel room of a guest jumps and robs him, another goes and his whole entire family and another gets in trouble for sexually molesting a little girl. All of their faces plastered in the newspaper.

    Supposedly, crimes like the ones that I've mentioned don't happen in small towns or suburbia..especially like her hometown Whites predominate the place. i was joking with my mom about this telling her that it seems that you see more White folks faces making front page of their paper than Blacks. I find it incredibly annoying when someone have the NIMBY( not in my backyard mentality. It'a an insintuation that only Black communities only know about crime. I know Black communities that don't even know what drive by's is and White ones who seem to experience crime on a daily basis. I was looking on my local news where a woman was robbed under a parking garage at a shopping center. One of the things people kept saying was "This is a nice area. It wasn't suppose to happen here? Why" because more Whites have moved into the area? Man.. I just trip out on people taking their dogs out for walks in the most isolated area in dusk dark. I just trip on this. It's the 21st century, not 1972. I live a mostly White area and I don't feel safe in for naive attitudes. I've noticed that more White area are more robbed than Black areas. I remembered an area that was inhabited by Black people and was known to be lightly rough,but when the White gentrified this community guess what? ITS EVEN WORSE!.. to me one of the worst spots in Atlanta because robbery seems to be the theme of that community but you'll never hear it on the news because some folks will bar media from letting it be known. Sadly, it supposed to be one of the most attractive places to live in. I had to quit a job several years ago in a NIMBY community because I feared the crime out there. Every it seems week or more crime is predominating this community and it's supposed to be a " safe " community * rolling my eyes* but White areas are supposed to be crime free.yeah right!

    Even though I have never been to West Va , far as poor Whites, other than their genetics, I really don't see any difference in their crime and those Blacks living in the inner city. I mean..you go to those some of those trailer parks.like you mention drug problems( meth seems to be craze), robberies , assaults. take place in those places and it's awful! but I got to see a documentary about West Va and I'm like" wow..are you serious? " That is what you call poor and its sad. I've seen poor but not like that. Like you said those folks have been plagued with some unbelievable issues that makes people in the inner cities look wealthy yet you don't see cops faulting them for any crimes that poor whites do. the racist excuses got to stop.

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