#BlackLivesMatter if you own a shotgun
Last nights episode of Scandal “The Lawn Chair” was one for the books. I like many other Americans tuned in waiting for Olivia Pope to “fix” some major issue going on at the white house and catch a glimpse of the infamous “quivering lip” when she interacts with Fitz. The story took a different turn as it opens with Olivia entering a crime scene in which an unarmed black boy was killed by a white cop (sounds familiar). As the story goes the cop was in fear for his life because he believed that the teenage boy was going for a knife so he shot and killed him. The story was by far all too familiar given the recent deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Trayvon Martin all killed at the hands of other white men who believed them to be a threat.
I shed tears when actor Courtney B. Vance who played Mr. Parker the father came to the crime scene and saw his teenage son lying on the ground. Knowing he wasn’t going to get justice Mr. Parker pulls out a shotgun and demands that the cops bring him the officer who killed his son. I rooted for Mr. Parker, it was like when actor Denzel Washington played John Q and took over the hospital demanding his son get treatment. I didn’t want Mr. Parker to ever give in to the police, but why? Why did I not want him to give into the police who are supposed to help protect him? Why did Mr. Parker have to have a squeaky clean image when Olivia checked his background? Why did his son Brandon Parker also have a squeaky clean image for his life to be valid enough for Olivia to keep digging for the truth?
What if while Olivia’s team checked out Brandon’s background he used to be a drug dealer or maybe was in a gang would the story still have ended the same? What if Brandon did pull a knife out on the cop, would it have been okay for him to be killed then? There were so many thoughts running through my mind because in our world that’s how they paint our black boys who get killed by cops. Their parents are not depicted as saints, and the dead children become the ones who are on trial, while the cops are painted as victims who although trained to be cops become in fear of their lives every time they deal with black people, it is their fear that ultimately ends up leaving a black person dead. In the beginning Olivia is hired to help the police, she then switches sides once she realizes the police are wrong. She comes to the scene to try and talk Mr. Parker down, but he doesn’t back down, he had to resort to bringing a shot gun and sit over his dead son who was sprawled out on the ground for anyone to take an interest in his sons death. Was I the only one who caught that? The cops told him that his son pulled out a knife and that is why his son was killed. I always watch shows and think of the bigger picture, at certain parts in this episode I felt like someone got it, but I realize that there are other people who will watch this and truly believe that at the end of the day the bad guys get caught go to jail, and if thy don’t go to jail then they are innocent, and justice is served.
The fact that even in a scripted show the father had to come with a shotgun and demand justice should show us all what type of world we are living in. I watched the show and I rooted for the father, I wanted the bad guys to finally be caught even if it was only in Shonda land. When the cop that killed Mr. Parker’s son made his speech about “you people” not respecting authority and “killing ourselves” I was glad he at least told the truth. He finally said what we all think some white cops believe about black people, especially black people in poor neighborhoods. They were finally exposed, but then I realized that this is just a show, in the real world the cops who kill our black kids go home, they don’t go to jail. I was so happy that somewhere justice existed, somewhere the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter rang true even if it was only in Shonda land. In the real world Mr. Parker wouldn’t have lasted three minutes without being shot, the tapes would have never seen the light of day to prove Brandon was innocent, and the cop would be on paid leave while the family of the murdered boy is left to try and fight for justice. There were real messages is this episode but I couldn’t help but notice that even in Shonda land justice still needed the aide of a shotgun and a determined father to be achieved.