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Source: Courtesy Netflix / Courtesy Netflix


By: Taylor Wilkinson

The Netflix original, When They See Us is based on the true story of the Central Park 5 victims. Kevin Richardson, Antron Mccray, Raymond Santana Jr., Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam were falsely accused of the gruesome rape and attack on Trisha Meili in 1989. This Netflix original show exposes the system, we commonly refer to as the “justice system.” While the justice system is supposed to call for righteousness, the exonerated 5 were not given that opportunity. The movie also exposes the reality of men of color having a target on their back based on the color of their skin.

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As a society, we would like to think that situations like this are no longer happening, but it is still very prominent in America. Not only did the film expose the system, but it also exposed the press and how the media frame situations and people in order to dehumanize individuals and their circumstances. Ultimately, When They See Us is important because it also exposes the broken system that forces young individuals to admit to an unthinkable crime just because of the color of their skin. Although the men were exonerated in 2002, by Matias Reyes, the man who attacked and raped Trisha Meili, the men still live with their experience every day in both a positive and negative way. Every Man, Women, and child around the world should take part in giving the exonerated 5 men an opportunity to speak their truth and spread their reality so a Central Park 5 never has to occur again.




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