To Kill a Mockingbird or a Minority 

African-Americans are a minority group in America. We comprise only about 11% of the population in this country. But what if that were flipped? What if African-Americans were the majority and White Americans only comprised 11% of the population? That’s the scenario Irv Gotti posed in the first episode of Tales on BET. Tales is an anthology that uses various Hip-Hop songs as the inspiration for the scripted, fiction show. Tales premiered with N.W.A.’s “F*ck Tha Police” last night on BET.

The song was inspired by the militarized police presence in Compton, California during the 1980s and 90s. This is the same environment that spawned the Rodney King attack, and the Los Angeles riots. Sadly, California is no stranger to police brutality. The Black Panthers were originally formed in 1966 in Oakland to monitor the policing practices of minority communities. Not to mention, the Watts Riots between police and residents that lasted for six days in 1965. There has always been tension between police and minority communities all over the country. For a quick history lesson, watch the video below by YouTuber, Chime.

In the first episode of Tales, we witness three killings as a result of police brutality. The racial roles are reversed, so all of the victims are White and the police are mostly Black. Visually, the role reversal gives viewers a different perspective on the narrative of police brutality. But let’s be honest. The anthology is on BET, so the audience is mostly African-American. There are certain plot points that were not at all surprising to Black viewers.

If You Are Black, You Already Knew That…

  1. Taye Gibbons was going to get thrown off of the Davis Report. How many times have you watched Bill O’Reilly when he had a Black guest and the moment the truth started to get too real for Bill, it was time for a commercial break, then the guest was magically gone? Yeah, that part.
  2. Brody was going to get killed. As soon as he cupped that Black girl’s ass, I knew his days were numbered. You can’t cross that line Brody. She was just slumming with you. You was just another nigga on the hit list. Which brings us to…
  3. Jenny called rape. How many Black men have been falsely accused of rape? From the fictional Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird to the very real Emmett Till to DeMario Jackson from ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise last week.
  4. Troy was going to get jumped by the cops. As soon as he opened the door, I knew Troy was going to get stomped. It’s sad, but true. If a cop shows up to your door without a uniform, or a warrant, he/she is on some “Your word against mine” mess. Be careful.

At the same time, there were moments that captivated the audience because we could identity strongly with what the characters were going through. The role reversal was a façade and these moments hit straight to the heart.

You May Have Shed Thug Tears When…

  • Unique tells, Ray Vance that she is the girl that Brody really needs. Her speech about understanding his struggle and his history truly struck a chord with me, as a Black woman. People laugh about how we feel when Black men date outside the race, but it does sting a little.
  • Jenny asks Brody to take her to the Jungle. We knew what she was after. She was not at all interested in his character or helping him. He was just a play thing to her. Something to joke with her girlfriends about over champagne. Black people are still fetishized in the media and real life.
  • The same officer that frisks Brody is the same officer that kills Evander. If you live in a neighborhood that is heavily policed, you learn the crazy cops. The crazy cops are in your neighborhood likely because they got too many complaints in the nicer neighborhoods, and this is their punishment. They know it, they feel it, and you are going to pay.

All in all, I really enjoyed this episode. I cannot wait to see the next episode on Notorious BIG’s “I Got A Story to Tell.”

What did you think of Tales? Did you live Tweet or did you watch and then discuss? Let me know in the comments section. As always, if you enjoyed this post, follow, like and share!!

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