Mistaken Identity Analysis

1311 Words 6 Pages
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is more than just a sit-com; it reveals issues that are still in the news today for example: Tulsa officer charged with manslaughter for shooting an African-American man, Shooting of Philando Castile and Tyre King (sparked Black Lives Matter). In the episode Mistaken Identity, Will and Carlton are driving Mr. Furth’s (Carlton’s dad’s legal partner) car down to Palm Springs for him. On their way down, they get lost and eventually pulled over for going two miles an hour. Carlton believes the police officer will help them get back on track to Palm Springs, while Will only believes the police officer will see on thing; their race. Will tells Carlton exactly what’s going to happen before it happens. Carlton ignores Will’s …show more content…
He never experienced racial profiling until this episode, but even after they’ve been bailed out of jail, he questions if bringing a map would have prevented them from getting lost and if they hadn’t gotten lost the police officer wouldn’t have pulled them over. If the police officer hadn’t pulled them over for racially profiling them as car thieves, Carlton wouldn’t be questioning if it were his fault for not bringing a map or institutional racism. Mistaken Identity is focused on Will’s single story counter storing Carlton’s single story. When Will and Carlton are being questioned at the police station, Will tells Carlton to keep his answers short and to the point. What Will is not directly saying is the police will see one thing and hear one thing; you are black and everything that comes out of your mouth is a lie. Carlton who has no experience with the police, tells Will he’s pre-law and knows exactly what to do, but when the police officers interrogate, Will gives broad answers while Carlton gives detailed ones. Carlton believes the police officers will let them go by telling the truth and their social status, but is turned around when the police officers accuse them of stealing the car. Once they’re bailed out of jail, Carlton tells Will the police were just doing their jobs and if they had only brought a map they wouldn’t have been put in jail. Will reveals to Carlton his single …show more content…
Police officers continue to pull over people based on their race. It’s not only that police officers are pulling people over based on their race; they’re also stereotyping them, which often leads to consciences. One recent case is the Tulsa officer charged for manslaughter of an African-American man. Betty Shelby a police officer open fired at Terence Crutcher, an unarmed African-American man. The police report states that Betty Shelby was heading to a domestic call case when she encountered Crutcher’s car straddling the centerlines (Fox Eyewitness News). The dashboard video shows Crutcher surrendering with his hands in the air. He walked over to the vehicle with his hands still in the air and reached into the rolled down window, a man in the helicopter that was circling the area says, “That looks like a bad dude, too. Must be on something” (Fox Eyewitness News) then a moment later Crutcher was shot. How would the man in the helicopter know if Crutcher was a bad dude or not, he was in the sky! Shelby and the man in the helicopter racially profiled Crutcher as a bad dude. Mistaken Identity was made 1990; twenty-six years later, racial profiling is still relevant

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