"When They See Us" is a new Netflix original show that brilliantly captures the brutal, injustice mistreatment of the five suspects from the 1989 Central Park Jogger Case.
The show was released on May 31stand was directed by Ava DuVernay. The four mind-engulfing episodes uniquely not only expose the unethical behavior of the New York City police force in their efforts to find Trisha Meili's attacker but the corruptness of the overall criminal justice system while providing a fascinating scope on what minority urban youth life is like.
While watching, you get an in-depth description of the five Harlem teens who were wrapped up in the case. The teenagers, four African American by the names of Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, and Kevin Richardson, and one Hispanic American, Raymond Santana are the names that become engraved in your mind once you understand their stories.
You feel attached to these five while watching them grow up under the corrupt criminal justice system. It is emotionally heartbreaking when you watch them get convicted of charges including assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder.
The wicked emotions intensify when you see all five teenagers receive a verdict that is ultimately guilty. Seeing these children being dragged away in handcuffs, despite being wrongfully set up for a crime that they did not commit is just horribly mind-blowing.
I recommend that everyone watch this show, especially people who come from totally different cultures. You get to (almost) understand the struggles that the minority urban population goes through on a daily basis.
These struggles do not just revolve around the criminal justice system. You get to watch what it means to grow up on the streets. You get to learn what life is like with an absent father who struggles from abuse. You get to see how an LGBTQ member is rejected. You watch on as a father replaces his son with a new family. You get to understand the hardships of a single mother.
Overall, you just get this vividly distinct lesson of a culture that you may not have ever personally connected with. You get to dissect the social construct describing minorities as evil, violent, gang members and transform that into the realization that these people just have revolting labels.
You also get the chance to see how President Trump was involved in the case. You get to understand where his political values are based and how he terrorized the Central Park Five and their families.
Again, I recommend that everyone watches this remarkable show. It is easily rated a five out of five stars. However, if you watch it, I ask that you do not just stop following the Central Park Five after you finish the show. Follow the real five in real life and on social media, and keep up with their activism work.
In the end, these five courageous men have stories that are ongoing. It's important to keep up with their journey so that we can prohibit this type of exhausting abuse in the future.