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Don’t Spin This!!!!!!

July 14, 2016

In the wake of officer related killings of unarmed minorities as well as the shooting of law enforcement officers in retaliation to these disturbing trends, we have to consider how we want these real life issues depicted in the media. All of these deaths are senseless and tragic, so we as a society should not allow anyone on social media or TV to present the death of officers in Dallas as a greater tragedy than the increasing number of unarmed minorities being killed across this nation.

On the topic of “spin,” I read several months before these latest events about an upcoming Fox Network series entitled “Shot’s Fired” which focusing on a fictionalized event which has become disturbingly all too familiar, a law enforcement officer killing an unarmed man and the subsequent fallout of the shooting. Some might surmise that this is just what we need, putting a spotlight on the issue and create a dialogue as to how these things happen?

When I first found out about the project, I immediately thought if it was done the right way it could perhaps make a point, but was still skeptical about how I felt about dramatizing an issue that is so potentially volatile and so polarizing. When I read the actual premise, I was annoyed and put off by the dynamics of which the story revolves around.

The series is scheduled to premiere in the 2016-17 season and focuses on the shooting of a White college student by an African American officer in a fictional town in the South with a history of racial tension. In the wake of the latest events, one would have to consider whether or not the Network would still go forward with this project and in the conversation of thinking if this show should go forward we also have to discuss the decision to make the victim White and the cop Black.

This move screams “political correctness” or an effort to take some of the tension off by changing this cultural dynamic, but I feel that if you’re gonna take on an issue, you can’t honestly take it on if you are disingenuous by making the victim White!

The story of the minorities and their problems with law enforcement policing them differently than White America has been well known throughout our country’s history, if you are going to tell this story, it should be told in it’s purest form, not some gimmick designed to make us feel more comfortable or balanced!

Making the victim White and the officer Black is a slap in the face of every minority family that has had to live this experience. Can you imagine having to deal with, not only the initial shock and tragedy of having a family member killed by law enforcement but also enduring a broken justice system that insults them by not holding ANYONE accountable for their death despite what the evidence and video shows?!!!

The very name Black-Lives-Matter has been vilified, and people rephrase the theme to all lives matter. The emphasis on “Black lives” is not about an ethnocentric way of placing importance on Black lives as much as it is reminding ourselves and the public that we matter. In the face of routine killings that are in many cases not even considered a crime we need affirmation that we matter. The premise of the show insults the real life story of which the show is based!

Some might dismiss my view on this issue and say “it happens all the time, it’s just entertainment?” but who is entertained by this premise? The show’s premise bothers me in the same sense that it would bother me if we allowed the media to spin the shooting of the police officers in Dallas as the primary focus and tragedy of the entire series of events that took place that week.

If we weren’t “outraged” or “saddened” by the deaths of countless minorities across this country since we’ve been keeping score, I don’t want to see people speaking out now as if this thing just got tragic with the death of the five officers in Dallas!!! I don’t want to see political candidates spin the deaths of unarmed minorities or law enforcement officials into some agenda to blame our current President or an opponent; we’ve seen enough hate and division.

I don’t care if the executive producer or writer of the “Shot’s Fired” story were an African American I would not support such a disingenuous story, and it is insulting!

Only in America, a country with such a rich history of racial divide and injustice are we still afraid to speak the truth on racism! As you read these words, I’m sure there are those that will spin my views into some hatred towards Whites or perhaps even declare that I’m a “racist.” When did speaking the truth about this issue become racism? My truth is illustrated in this pure ideology; not every Black man is “my brother” nor are all White people racists!

The fact is I’ve been racially profiled by police in my hometown since I was a teenager, but this fact does not make me believe that the issue is with all White people or officers, it’s systemic! We can’t allow small minded people to equate our protesting of law enforcement to us condoning the senseless killing of law enforcement officials; that’s counterproductive and stupid!!!

I’d rather see a documentary on this story covering the dynamics of what’s happening instead of a program designed to entertain us; this story is too raw and emotional to see it sensationalized!!! The actual story is sad enough that it needs no gimmicks to enhance it or make us relate. No spin necessary, just tell the real story if you’re going to say anything.

I don’t need people running for office to spin the Orlando nightclub shootings into “the War on Terrorism,” I also don’t need people who just want to watch the world burn manipulating the simple minded into a hate-filled daze all in the name of getting likes/followers! It would be most unfortunate if a TV show or film used the backdrop of our real life struggle all in the name of entertainment because telling the story they’re planning to tell is insulting, to say the least.

The truth needs no “spin cycle,” and it’s about time we the people realized this and stopped falling for these tactics. This story is too raw and too emotional to be edited to make us feel comfortable.

Either tell the truth or leave it alone!

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