The FX Network’s critically acclaimed show Atlanta is a juggernaut of raw emotion.
Last Tuesday’s episode took on a pivotal message in reference to racial inequality in America today. The scene details the hypocrisy in valuing the sanctity of animals over human life.
When Darius, arguably the most riveting character in the series, appears halfway into the episode, he’s seen carrying around a poster encased in a cardboard tube. He arrives at a shooting range, casually unravels the poster, attaches it to the target post, and begins practice.
The camera pans to reveal a dog outline as the target instead of the default human image found at most shooting ranges. It’s also important to note he’s the only Black person at the shooting range.
This is what Darius does–he lives in this world, but on his own terms. Darius is free.
“What do you think you’re doing?” another man asks in a thick southern drawl, clearly outraged.
Darius, confused as to why he would be questioned, incredulously responds that where he’s from, the dogs are “crazy.”
“You can’t shoot a dog!” the man laments.
But it’s Darius’ response that tore me to pieces: “Well, why would I shoot at a human target?”
Many compare Atlanta to Twin-Peaks, but it lives in its own lane–forcing us to laugh, definitely ponder, and sometimes well over with emotion at the sobering nuances of life for millions of young Black Americans.
For 30 minutes, the audience rides the wave of show-runner Donald Glover’s comedic wit. It’s amazing what the show accomplishes in a short period, capturing the doubts, fears, small victories, and defeats of life lived in a Black body.
Last Wednesday, we woke up to another police shooting, claiming the life of another Black man named Alfred Olango. The story is convoluted with different eyewitness accounts, along with a separate narrative by the police. Was he unarmed? Was he compliant? There are reports that Olango was disabled and in distress at the time of the shooting.
What remains irreversible is that Olango is dead. Another family in grief, another community ravaged. And sadly, even after police release the footage, “justice” will be difficult to measure.
There’s a fictional scene in the movie Fruitvale Station detailing the last days of Oscar Grant. Grant’s character finds a stray dog gasping for breath after a hit and run accident. In the scene, Grant and the dog become one–both will later die on the pavement. Will anyone help? Does anyone care? The scene begs the question.
Today, an animal’s life is valued over human life. There’s fierce advocacy for animal equality, but silence when it comes to the countless police shootings involving Black men and women in this country. Shootings where there are bodies left sprawled out for examination and visual consumption–like a dead dog lying in the street.
VIDEO SOURCE: Twitter | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
43 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 1 of 46
2. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 2 of 46
3. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 3 of 46
4. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 4 of 46
5. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 5 of 46
6. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 6 of 46
7. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 7 of 46
8. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 8 of 46
9. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 9 of 46
10. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 10 of 46
11. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 11 of 46
12. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 12 of 46
13. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 13 of 46
14. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 14 of 46
15. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 15 of 46
16. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 16 of 46
17. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 17 of 46
18. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 18 of 46
19. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 19 of 46
20. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 20 of 46
21. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 21 of 46
22. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 22 of 46
23. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 23 of 46
24. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 24 of 46
25. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 25 of 46
26. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 26 of 46
27. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 27 of 46
28. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 28 of 46
29. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 29 of 46
30. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 30 of 46
31. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 31 of 46
32. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 32 of 46
33. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 33 of 46
34. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 34 of 46
35. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 35 of 46
36. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 36 of 46
37. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 37 of 46
38. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 38 of 46
39. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 39 of 46
40. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 40 of 46
41. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 41 of 46
42. Stephon Clark, 2242 of 46
43. Danny Ray Thomas, 3443 of 46
44. DeJuan Guillory, 2744 of 46
45. DeJuan Guillory, 2745 of 46
46. DeJuan Guillory, 2746 of 46
‘Atlanta’ takes on the value of human life in stirring shooting scene was originally published on newsone.com