Did 'OITNB' Go Too Far?
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Politics and Activism

Did 'OITNB' Go Too Far?

OITNB expresses issues in Black Lives Matter movement.

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Did 'OITNB' Go Too Far?

One of Netflix most popular shows "Orange Is The New Black" released Season Four on Netflix, Friday June 17, at 12:01 a.m. As we all sat and binge watched the show, were amazed by Episode 13. By all means, if you haven't finished watching stop reading now! Otherwise, prepare for spoilers.



We watched one of our favorites go too soon, Poussey Washington. I'm sure we all cried in disbelief that Poussey is murdered by a white C.O, Baxter Bailey (one of the "good guys"). The young Baxter Bailey, suffocated 90-pound Poussey to death (just like Eric Garner in New York City) and her remains were left in the cafeteria where she passed away for hours (like Michael Brown in Ferguson). When the prison decides to release a statement to the press about her death, Mr. Caputo portrays his officer as the victim without acknowledging Poussey. Which is pretty ironic considering that fact that, Mr Caputo is one of the "good guys" as well. He always wants to make sure he gets the story right and that the women are treated as equals. When he strayed away from his character it was almost confusing, this isn't the CA-PUTO! We know. But, when Caputo chose to cover his C.O./employee over a Black woman's life and dignity, she was left un-named and powerless.

According to BlackLivesMatter.com when we say #BlackLivesMatter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. Which is exactly what happened to Poussey, her rights and dignity was violated by Litchfield Prison. She was un-named and a victim, but somehow Baxter Bailey is named a victim and has full support of the prison.


Furthermore, the women burst out of their dorms enraged, with Poussey's bestfriend Taystee screaming "They didn't even (say her name)" just like the world cried when Sandra Bland died in police custody. But, what OITNB forgot to highlight was the racial profiling the correctional officers expressed that assaulted these African-Americans. Most of the officers in real cases of police brutality used excessive force to restrain African-Americans in a response to negativity and hate for African-Americans.

Granted, some of the officers may have been improperly trained like Bailey, which is why most of the victims pass away, but racism still plays a big role. If OITNB is trying to express the #BlackLivesMatter movement they would receive a B- in my book, yes we are glad that the show acknowledges how messed up society can be, but if you're going to show the movement, do it right in all aspects. African-Americans are targeted every day by the justice system, an profiled because of stereotypes and freedom. Then, here goes Baxter Bailey a kid who roams the city of New York at night just like Poussey (as seen in a flashback), not even capable of hurting a fly kills our beloved Poussey on accident.

As a viewer and a member who watches the Black Lives Matter movement, I was stunned and confused. A young teenager with the improper experience and no hatred towards black people murders Poussey. Baxter feels remorse about his actions, intended to go to apologize to the Black community, in other Black Lives Matter police brutality crimes the police officer has hatred against the African American people, and does not apologize for his actions. Instead the officer takes pride in his actions and boasts his killing, for instance George Zimmerman has sold the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin and named it as an "American piece of history," a bidder offered to pay $138,900 for the firearm. According to BlackLivesMatter.com #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society. Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.


Thank you, Jenji Kohan for highlighting the flaws of the justice system, and how it has deprived people of color in some instances. Even though we mourn the loss of our favorite character,that's what makes us so enraged to see change in the justice system. Rest in peace Poussey, we will forever miss your smile and personality! Our hearts mourn the loss of Poussey Washington. #JusticeForPoussey #RipPoussey


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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