Black Lives Matter : Navigating White Silence, Fear, Denial, And Privilege
The final shot of Poussey Washington’s lifeless face sent chills down my spine. Her cold body—the end result of a blonde haired, brown-eyed white woman using her white privilege to maintain a monopoly on her illegal panty-selling business in the hit Netflix’s series Orange Is the New Black (OITNB). This final shot exemplifies the current issues in our county concerning law enforcement, white privilege, and black lives.
For those not familiar with the show, Piper Chapman, the white protagonist, ran an illicit panty-selling ring at Linchfield Correctional Facility. Maria Ruiz, after being rebuffed by Chapman to join forces, elected to start her own panty-selling business. Chapman, economically threatened by Ruiz, reported to the chief prison guard Piscatella that gangs were forming in the prison, and specifically pointed towards people of color. Piscatella instructed the guards to conduct random and discriminatory searches of all minority inmates, allowing the white inmates to roam freely. Additionally, Piscatella order that the minority inmates could not gather in groups of four or more, while allowing the white inmates formed a white supremacist group. This bigoted treatment, among other things going on in the prison, caused the prisoners to protest, which resulted in Poussey’s death.
Is Piper prejudice? Maybe. Did Piper use her white privilege as a weapon to maintain white…