I’ve been a big fan of the hit show POWER since its first season. It has a good story with plenty of over the top twist and turns, chub inducing sex scenes, action, violence, in addition to eye candy. Like other fans of the show, I’m vested in certain characters’ growth and progressions like with the main protagonist’s son, Tariq.
One thing I’ve noticed is that Tariq garners no sympathy from the show’s vocal social media fan base. The levels of dislikes or major irritations with the character’s navigation through family life, school and how to interact with murderous goons causes contempt from viewers…but why though?
As we root for drug kingpin Ghost, his accomplice and wife Tasha, their childhood best friend, cartel partner, and god father to their children, Tommy; dead bodies are not the only thing they leave in their wake. Their criminally death filled dysfunction directly impacts their children.
Not only did Ghost’s infidelity break up his marriage it obviously negatively effected his kids, Tariq and his big fore headed little sister Raina. Couple that with all the past and present enemies a drug kingpin produces over time cultivating his empire.
Being that daddy is flush with drug money; Tariq lives in a high tax bracket luxurious condo and goes to private school other rich kids. Even though gaining “street smarts” wasn’t a part of his direct experience, he’s no dummy albeit naïve. The Tariq haters are under the impression that the extremely savvy and craftiness of hood born and raised Ghost should be instinctively and biologically present in Tariq; the spoiled rich kid.
When I look at Tyric’s character, I see the embodiment of countless middle and upper class Black teenage males across this country. Their families not only have wealth, education, a two parent household but also chaos and hella issues.
That doesn’t stop fan’s on social media from going in though. Now folks are blaming him for his sister’s death. They’re not blaming the girl he lost his virginity to that set him up. They’re not blaming the street goon who is now a dirty cop and anti-team-Ghost who pulled the trigger. They’re certainly not blaming heart-throb Ghost whose actions created this adversary in the first place.
Nope…it’s Tariq’s fault for not being a chivalrous 15 year old that didn’t leap from his hiding place, run and dive in front of the bullet (secret service style) right before his sister was shot and killed.
Naw, over the seasons, Black folk have been like…
For some strange reason/s they can’t see that Tyric is a victim of his parent’s (of who he is now rebelling against) actions which has gotten him kidnapped and almost killed on numerous occasions. All the fans seem to see is a stupid young black boy who isn’t acting in his father’s image and not fully ‘reppin’ the code of the streets. They don’t see a young Black male with multiple malfunctioning broken adults who are raising a malfunctioning broken black man.
Now the actor, who plays Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr) is taking the hate in stride, even reposting a few memes himself.
Yes this is TV, nonetheless it still offers a glimpse into our collective psyche where many times males can’t be victims, we don’t show compassion for Black boys unless they’re victimized by police and its expected that a 15 yr old boy should make adult decisions, even though the world is filled with adults who don’t make adult decisions.
To all they young Tariqs out there…stay strong.