20 Jun Feel Me?
Central Park five reference
If you have been keeping up with social media in the last couple of weeks, then you already know that ‘When They See Us” dropped on Netflix. This incredible piece of storytelling by Ava Duvernay about the central park five now officially known as the exonerated five. The film brings a little redemption to the exonerated five as it is pivotal to the layman’s perception of the American justice system. This, however, is not a review of the incredible four-part series itself but rather an observation of how most of us are not accustomed to seeing the brutal truth of our society. Many voiced online how they couldn’t take watching the whole film, “how hard it was” And how “emotionally draining” it was. So they went back to their safe spaces. Because we live in a generation where everything has to be comfortable, films must have a happy ending and puppy commercials must be made in abundance. Seeing someone else’s pain is weird.
I was judgemental about these comments. Until I saw “When They See Us Now.” Seeing the pain in Antron Mccray’s voice, hearing him say he refuses to go to therapy. I found myself being uncomfortable watching his pain, almost willing him to seek professional help and living happily ever after and putting a rainbow and sunshine over the darkness that he had to endure. We are uncomfortable with seeing the pain of others.
How are we going to feel compassion for humanity if we cannot allow ourselves to feel empathy? How can you switch off the television because the exonerated five stories are too emotionally draining and drink a cold frappuccino skipping in the sunset forgetting that there are millions of people today affected by the American justice system? How are we going to see the humanity of others if we refuse to look in their eyes and see their pain? And to Antron Mccray who said “I am broken,” as much as I wanted you to say you’re doing better, I am glad you made me uncomfortable, that you refused to put glitter over your pain so that we can all know and see what the system has done to you. To your fellow brothers and your innocence.