Laying in my bed, I decided that I was going to get off of YouTube and go watch something on Netflix instead. I’m aimlessly scrolling through my options on Netflix even though I know what I am going to end up picking. I clicked on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I’m on episode 16 of season 4; the episode is titled “Moo Moo”. I always love the pre-theme song skits that they do on the show, and this one in particular consists of Charles and Terry wearing the same clothes to work and having an argument over who looks better. I skip past the theme song because I’m tired of hearing it for probably the thousandth time. The Episode goes on normally until Terry, who is a sergeant for the NYPD, gets stopped in his own neighbourhood by a police officer solely because he is a black man in a good neighbourhood.
The Episode continues to Terry being told to not file a report against this officer because It would only hurt Terry’s career. The episode then tackles the terrible issue of police brutality and systemic racism. At one point in the episode, there’s a disheartening scene where Terry’s two young daughters ask about the racism that their dad faced. The episode ends and I sit there just thinking about how they changed the normal mood of the show by tackling a very serious issue. I continue to sit there and think about how I will never experience mistreatment based on the colour of my skin and I will never have to explain to my children that they will get treated differently because of what they look like.
I think to myself, “there’s no way that this happens as often as the movies and TV shows say it does”. So I pull out my phone to look into it a little more. I find hundreds of articles that talk about racism involving the police as well as articles about white privilege. I read about all the benefits and advantages of being white and realize that I have a lot of those advantages. I used to think that my place in life had nothing to do with my skin colour, but those articles help me realize that my skin colour does affect my place in this world and how I am treated. I can’t do anything about my privilege and advantages because I can’t control how other people treat me, but I can use my advantages to help other people. Every time I watch a movie or read an article about racism or privilege, I remember that time when I realized that I am going to use my privilege and my voice to stand up for those who are often ignored or mistreated based on things beyond their control.