Dear Shonda Rhimes,
You have done it again. It’s now fourteen seasons into ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and somehow you still manage to impress me every Thursday! I think I just found my new favorite episode, "Personal Jesus." This episode couldn’t have come at a better time with Black History Month finally here. Being a WOC, I am so proud of my culture and value both young black boys and men, and it saddens me to see so many innocent lives taken on a daily basis. This is why I am so happy that you have created a episode to highlight the value of their lives.
You have never been afraid of tackling such important issues in your shows. We’ve seen issues regarding domestic violence in previous episodes with Joe and her husband but now you are back at the forefront of another issue, race and the criminal justice system.
The Black Lives Matter Movement focuses on the issue of both violence and systematic racism within the Black Community. BLM have in the past protested against police brutality, police killings of unarmed black people as well as racial inequality within the criminal justice system. In episode 10, "Personal Jesus" you found a way to create a storyline to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement. Making your viewers understand that still to this day we are faced with this recurring problem throughout our nation. Thank you for using your show as an outlet to talk about topics that some may shy away from because they are too afraid or scared of what critics might think. You have made my love for Grey’s Anatomy grow even more and I am almost certain you have done this for so many others.
Alexis M. Martin
Personal Jesus Recap:
For those of you who have not seen the episode, here’s what happened:
Eric, a 12 year old boy, was shot in the neck by police officers after reaching for his cellphone which the police officers on the seen believed to be a gun. The officers thought Eric was just another black kid in a neighborhood where he didn’t belong. However, what they didn’t know was that this was Eric’s home, and today, he had forgotten his keys which forced him to crawl through the window to get inside. According to Eric’s mom, he had forgotten his keys many times before. Yet, this time it would ultimately determine his fate.
Unfortunately, in the end Eric dies from the gunshot inflicted wound. The death of Eric brings Jackson back to a memory he tried to bury. A time where he to was face in the same exact position but unlike Eric was able to survive it.
The most compelling part of the episode was when Bailey and Ben sat their son down to give him “the talk”. A talk that so many other people of color are faced to give their sons and daughters every day. A talk that unfortunately shouldn’t have to happen. The fear on Tuck’s face as his parents spoke to him reminded us all of the realization of how hard it can be in a world that often times doesn’t value you.
Bailey and Ben then go on to give their son, Tuck the proper way to handle situations when it comes to the police. Telling him to never run because that will make him look suspicious and to always be polite to show the officer respect. Which can be watched here:
Shonda Rhimes, you are amazing! Continue to never hold back.