In Defense of Tariq

By Ockydub | Posted Aug 29 2017 | 12 Comments  

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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.  

**SPOILERS**

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…

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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.

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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.

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About the Author
Ockydub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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12 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. takeyourmeds91
    takeyourmeds91 | August 29th, 2017
    0

    Nope. Won’t let you do this @ockydub . Ghost always showed that boy some love and Tasha too. Regardless of what was going on behind the scenes, all Tariq knew intially was that his parents were breaking up. Sure it’s hurtful but it happens everyday, B. They never took their issues out on the kids and always showed up for them. I went through a similar situation but I wasn’t out there in the streets doing drugs and shit just cus my parents weren’t getting along.

    He found out who his daddy was after the fact…

    I will say though, towards the end, what the hell was Tasha doing that she never knew where Tariq was half the time lmaoo

    And what happened to that baby? They did a really bad job at trying to decide whether the third child was real or not.

  2. hannibal
    hannibal | August 29th, 2017
    0

    I think it’s viewer psychology. It’s hard to like a child character that seems to have an irrational dislike for their parent that we have come to like. Tariq is no different than Zach on the strain in that way and that kid is THE WORST. Conversely, people like Carl on The Walking dead(more or less) because he respects his dad and hasn’t acted against Rick.

  3. Juan-Carlos | August 29th, 2017
    0

    Lol @takeyourmeds. Valid point. The baby is with the grandmother. It was never explained though I take it because of all of the drama that’s going on the baby was removed from ” the environment. ” Tariq needs his mfn ass beat. What he’s been doing lately is beyond acting out due to Ghost getting locked up and being defiant to his Momz. Being a man-child, you tend to seek a strong male figure to seek counsel. Why not Tommy? Tommy wasn’t a stranger to St. Patrick’s. Tommy was present and is very close. Tariq wanted to venture outside of his life of private. He wanted to see and be “about that life. From the being a part of the seedy element, and getting buzzed off of the sizzurp (lean) , and getting involved with the twists and receiving his cut from it. He’s playing a dangerous game and he lost his sister as a result of it. I think that’s why madd people are pissed because of his cowardice . The season finale I know is going to be on one. I hope out of this tragedy comes some good. Not sure what it could be though it’ll be interesting to watch. #damnittariq

  4. SB3
    SB3 | August 29th, 2017
    0

    She got Judy Winslow-ed

  5. Ockydub
    Ockydub | August 29th, 2017
    0

    In this scenario (the TV show) the parents – regardless of when / how it manifests – actions have a direct impact on their children and their subsequent actions.

    Yes many kids rebel regardless of their home environment and rebel in many different ways. I rebelled with alcohol, while others I hung with others who rebelled with sex.

    I just have the mindset that showing a child love in addition to…

    *Breaking up the home.
    *Constantly lying to your children.
    *Weekly or bi-daily murdering sessions.
    *Employing others who commit weekly or bi-daily murdering sessions.
    *Getting your son kidnapped and almost killed twice in one year.​

    …does not a good parent make, regardless how sexy or attractive the parents are.

  6. SB3
    SB3 | August 29th, 2017
    0

    Yea, I think ppl just hate 'bad azz kids' and especially, spoiled, entitled ones born w silver spoons in their mouths. And what's even more angering about him is that you're trying to tell me, that NONE of the shyt he's been through this season has affected an upper East side living, country day school attending kid, just because he spent a few weeks w some old head thugs?? Ok.

  7. Ockydub
    Ockydub | August 29th, 2017
    0

    How is his dislike of his parents irrational?

    I also like the main characters but my like for them doesn't blind me to their dysfunction and the impact is has on everything around them, including Tariq.

    As far as Carl / Walking Dead goes… if a zombie apocalypse happen in Power; something tells me the ill will feelings between Tariq and Ghost would dissipate quickly. And lets not forget Carl killed a person (I believe another teenager) back when they were at the prison and he didn't have to. The old man with the one leg was there and told Rick about it. So yeah…who has Tariq killed?

  8. hannibal
    hannibal | August 29th, 2017
    0

    I didn't say it was irrational, i said fro an audience perspective it just looks bad becuase we've been groomed to like Ghost. Also…Carl's the only smart one on the show.

  9. Ockydub
    Ockydub | August 29th, 2017
    0

    my bad…

    Carol is the smartest but the show is stupid af which is why I stopped watching it.

  10. takeyourmeds91
    takeyourmeds91 | August 29th, 2017
    0

    LMAO. You're so dramatic. I'm not defending anything that came after he started acting up but he initially started acting a fool cus his parents were breaking up.

  11. DreG
    DreG | August 30th, 2017
    0

    Tariq was raised by two criminals,benefit's from crime,and calls a cocaine dealer "uncle".Being a damn crook was in his blood.All of his behavior is what I expected with that environment and his parents being constantly focused on (self-imposed) life or death situations elsewhere. Lack of attention + shifting world view =Turmoil
    There were a few times he needed his ass whooped for popping off at his parents.His anger was justified,but you can't bring that kinda drama when you live under someone's roof.

    The only thing that bothered me this season was Raina crying all the damn time.:yeshrug:

    Just as she stopped getting on my nerves and manned the fck up,they kill the lil girl smh.
  12. SB3
    SB3 | August 30th, 2017
    0

    My 'dap' was for your spoiler, cus I still wanna bust Tariq upside the head w a bag of nickels. On sight.




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