immigration in orange is the new black season 7: the shit end of the stick

the seventh and final season of the netflix series orange is the new black is a highly relevant dramatization of the heartless reality many immigrants in the united states are living these days.

orange is the new black season 7 poster

this article by carolina paiz, a producer and writer for the show, elaborates on how the issue was researched (investigated) and includes personal content based on paiz’s own immigrant experience. she describes the experience of telling prisoner stories and how immigration detention compares…

for the past seven years, our writers, our cast, and our crew have been immersed in the world of prisons. federal. state. private. we’ve toured them. we’ve read about them. we’ve listened as former inmates shared their stories, cracking open their pain and revealing the scars an unjust justice system had inflicted upon them. we should have known immigration detention would be the same. it’s run by the same fucking people.

read (pronounced “red”) is the irregular past participle of read. we’ve read is present perfect.(so are [they] have been immersed, we’ve toured and we’ve listened). former means ex, previously. crack open means open but delicately and with some difficulty. pain is suffering. scars are permanent marks left by physical or emotional trauma. should have known, which is third conditional, indicates an error in judgment, ignoring the obvious. fucking is an adjective here and emphasizes negative feelings about the people who run private prisons/immigration detention centers.

cracking open a beer

crack open a cold one is a common way to say open a beer

paiz talks about the motivation for including immigrant stories and how it is important for these stories to move people to action…

we hoped our immigration storylines this season would play a similar role in humanizing the immigrant experience to those who see us as subhuman. maybe I was naive to think this. but I have to believe that stories amount to something… while stories can help spark change, it’s up to all of us to take that spark and start a fucking fire.

naive means not sophisticated, lacking experience or wisdom. amount to means produce, become important, or successful. spark as a verb means generate. as a noun spark is a particle of fire. up to means it’s our responsibility.

a welder making sparks

welding produces sparks

paiz remembers the impact american tv had on  her as a kid in guatemala and she explains how this season of orange is the new black can give global audiences an authentic view of how immigrants are being treated in the u.s.

for years, I thought I was making tv solely for an american audience, somehow forgetting how i myself was changed by american entertainment. how tv helped shape my own values. only after having written on this season of orange do i remember that it will cross borders. that it will provide people in countries like guatemala a real glimpse into the promised land, a look inside our detention centers and the corporate greed and institutionalized xenophobia that fuel them….

solely means only. shape means form. a glimpse is a limited view. the promised land, is a biblical reference that in modern contexts means a great, happy place and in paiz’s example refers to the united states. corporate is pronounced with two syllables and the final syllable contains a schwa (shwuh) sound. listen to the correct pronunciation here. greed is selfish desire. xenophobia is hatred for people from other places.

a glimpse inside the immigration detention center in

season 7 gives viewers a glimpse at the inside of an immigrant detention center

most important of all, carolina holds the u.s. accountable (responsible) for their part in creating the environments that immigrants want to escape from.

our guatemalan civil war began (as many wars do) with a u.s.-led coup against our democratically elected president. the conflict that ensued was fueled by an oppressive, u.s.-backed military that grew increasingly violent against civilians, especially the indigenous majority who lived in the countryside. by the time the war ended almost four decades later, 200,000 people had died, leaving the country ravaged. ripe for gangs, narcos, and corruption. two decades later, we’re still picking up the pieces….the current migration patterns into the US are inextricably linked to this historical context. I’d call it karma, except it’s the guatemalan people who keep getting the shit end of the stick.

a coup is a violent removal of a government. it sounds like blue, shoe or knew. listen to the correct pronunciation here. the -cally at the end of democratically is pronounced CLEE. listen to the correct pronunciation here. ensue means happen after. grew is the irregular past tense of grow. it sounds like blue, shoe or knew. had died is past perfect (had is an auxiliary verb). it refers to the moment that the guatemalan civil war ended and the time before it. by the time is used to talk about what has already happened when something else happens. it frequently appears with past perfect and can usually be replaced by when. ravaged is destroyed. ripe for means ready, in position for or vulnerable. pick up the pieces means recover after a trauma. it is the title and the only lyric in this popular 70s song.

inextricably means can’t be separated. the shit end of the stick is unfair treatment.

diego rivera's la gloriosa victoria depicts the 1954 guatemalan coup orchestrated by the u.s. state department and the c.i.a.

diego rivera’s painting la gloriosa victoria shows how the indigenous people of guatemala got the shit end of the stick as a result of the 1954 coup orchestrated by the u.s. government. (wikipedia)

do u watch orange is the new black? what did u think of season 7? what do u think about the current u.s. position on immigration? share your opinions under leave a reply

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