As soon as Viv wasn't being listened to, I knew this was going to be an episode I would not be able to enjoy on any level.
And it comes down to this --- Viv has no agency and no voice.
He is part of an extraordinarily small minority already and now he is powerless.
He tries to talk to Gene and he gets shot down, by everyone. He tries to help his cousin and gets captured and beaten. He tries to explain his actions, and immediately he's dead to Ray. Forget the fact Chris did something arguably ten times worse in S2. And then, what does Viv get? ACTUAL DEATH.
I have to live surrounded by this every day. And it's different, of course it's different. Different contexts, different circumstances. But enough is the same that this was too confronting and upsetting and I cannot handle it, I'm sorry. Because I am thinking about these things, a lot. I am thinking about my students having to live in a world where they will always be seen as substandard --- either by the white racist dicks who live around here, or their own family if they're 'too piranpa'. I am thinking about how rare it will be that my kids will truly have a strong agency and voice and will be able to have everything they work for and deserve. Because they do not have the same opportunities as other kids, the systems continue to drag them down, and there is nothing I can do to rectify that. I am thinking about an unjust world where there are tropes in fiction that are inherently problematic (because they reflect this unjust world) and the people who think to say 'this is not cool' are overthinking it, or taking it the wrong way.
People getting silenced and holding no power, having to deal with double standards and rules, with unfair attitudes and expectations from all sides. If you're black you must be this, do this, have this, and if you don't fit into that box you should fit? There's no place for you.
I'm not going to say writers should never kill a black character simply because of the connotations it might evoke. That black characters can never be forced into making mistakes. That you shouldn't tackle these themes. And, you know, it is likely it's my own damage on show here. I know this was meant to be upsetting, and confronting, and is being presented as Not Good.
But why is it that it's the only character of colour who gets no reprieve? Shaz, Chris, Ray, they get to escape from their fuck ups alive and well. Viv gets to die.
I AM SICK OF THIS SHIT. I AM SO SICK OF IT.