THE IDEA BEHIND THE “EMPIRE”
Empire, one of the most known TV shows currently premiering has become very famous for the story line it is portraying. Empire’s character Luscious Lyon, his wife that just finishes her 15 years sentence and their three sons are going through the drawbacks and tragedy of the music industry. Since it’s Appearance on Fox back in January, the prime–time series brings more to the table than most ordinary TV shows do. The show emphasizes a broader variety of the African American experiences like police brutality and black lives matter; which are the hottest topics streaming social media today.
Black lives matter is an activist movement that was established within the United States and is a campaign stated to stop police brutality against African American people (http://isreview.org/issue/96/black-lives-matter). The movement was acknowledged after the death of two adult Africa Americans males that caused a riot amount the people. The death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner was a result of police brutality. Brown was fatally shot after he stole some cigarillos packages from a local store. Eric Garner was put into a chokehold for more than 15 seconds while he was being arrested after being suspected for selling single cigarettes without a tax stamps. Those are just two incidents that occurred publicly, image what happens inside prison. How many blacks has the authorities ruled their death as suicidal, over dosage or etc. In one of the scenes from the show, cookie Lyon gets attacks by the police while walking on the street on the phone; she loudly says “ call me a lawyer, I am being harassed by the police again.” The reason she was arrested was because she has an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court then after she gets shoved and handled by the cope, inside the car she states, “ if I die in police custody, I did not committee suicide.” Referencing to Sandra Bland ‘s murder. Cookie Lyon was not brought in to police custody because of an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court, she was arrested so the FBI can harass and threaten her so they can find out more information about her husband. Also Sandra, Michael and Eric were harassed, threatened and murdered for no obvious reasons and we can see that in more than one case; that’s were the show supports and represents the idea of police brutality. Discipline and punishment has been taken to a different level by the authorities but now it has been taken a step further.
The simple fact is that deep within the United States torture existed and was acceptable at some point in time in the Criminal Justice System and is still until this day tolerable. The unpleasant truth is for about 100 years hundreds and thousands of citizens were tortured between the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. There were many forms of torture in the South and also other parts around the United States were unarmed Africa American individuals were savagely attacked by police dogs and fire hose. Just image being targeted by the fire hose, the usual bursting pressure of a fire hose can very between 8 -20 bar and it can also reach 83 bar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_hose). It’s very difficult to comprehend how the JUSTICE (The quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness- dictionary.com) SYSTEM of our country does that to its citizens. Discipline and punishment author Michel Foucault describes a simple idea behind the penal process stopping the public torture. Foucault says “If it too strikes, if it too kills, it is not as a glorification of its strength, but as an element of its self that is obliged to tolerate, that it finds difficult to account for. “(pg.9) The only variance between the United States forms of punishment now and then is that the harassment, the sticking and killing is hidden because if it too assaults and if it too kills then its adoration of its strengths fades away. The system of protection has created a double tactic of justice were the citizens can be punishable but not publicly because what glory does it have when they are punishing by sticking and killing just like the criminals. The torturing didn’t discontinue because of justice, but it’s their worry of being over thrown or by losing power over the people by constantly punishing. Foucault goes on to say that now that penal process can’t make the punishments public, now it’s done in private and it’s not in case of the body but for the sake of the state.