A Continuous Effort: What I watched and listened to since George Floyd protests

Just like how the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t a protest that started out of nowhere, racism has been a topic that continuously drew my attention ever since I set foot in the United States. While it has been a topic of interest for several years, I admit it was the recent death of George Floyd and the following protests that pushed me to think more deeply about this centuries-long civil rights issue. The following are Netflix shows and a podcast I watched and listened to after being more cognizant of what it means for colored people to live in a racially discriminatory society.

13th — Netflix documentary

Documentary by Ava Duvernay on Netflix.

This one was especially talked about a lot with the rise of BLM, so no surprise I jumped on the bandwagon and watched it. It is a huge paradox that the United States — a nation generally thought of as the protector of freedom and democracy — so easily locks people up, especially Black people.

As I watched the show and read more about the topic, it was quite clear that the police and criminal justice system had the purpose of controlling Black people in the U.S. and is not a simple matter of someone having committed a crime that truly deserves jail time.

Justice in America — podcast

Hosted by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith, Justice in America is a podcast I have been listening to for the past couple of months.

I am currently on the second season and the show touches on a wide variety of topics related to the criminal justice system in the U.S. — money bail, plea deals and public defenders, just to name a few.

This is a great starting point for anyone who is interested in and would like to learn more about how the current system is working and what’s wrong with it. Still got many more episodes left, but so far very informative.

Trevor Noah standup comedy shows — Netflix Original

Trevor Noah Afraid of the Dark (2017) and Trevor Noah Son of Patricia (2018) are two Netflix original standup comedy shows.

Already well-known as the host of The Daily Show, this South African humorously presents what he goes through as a Black person. Noah’s uniqueness lies in his nationality, being someone who experienced Apartheid and again faces discrimination as a foreigner in the U.S.

With a lot of media attention having been paid to racial discrimination in the U.S., Noah is a prime reminder that racism is not unique to one country, but rather is present in other places we often don’t come across as often (This of course may depend on where you live and what kind of news you primarily read about, but I am generally talking about how big news from the U.S. tends to carry farther and wider).

With the nomination of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate, the Democratic party seems to have taken a step further in actively reckoning with the status quo of the country. There is no such thing as a perfect country, and numerous voices speaking through various channels and media formats will hopefully help more voices be heard.

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Michelle Jo

Michelle Jo

A curious mind living in Seoul. Books, films, TV shows and documentaries are the content through which I make sense of this complicated world.