Oprah Network Drama Bemoans 'Modern-Day Forms of Slavery'

Alexa Coombs | October 27, 2021

The Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) drama Queen Sugar has a college student liken social justice concerns such as "voter suppression" and “discrimination” with “modern-day forms of slavery,” and offers praise for "The Squad" and Stacey Abrams.

In the October 26 episode “They Would Bloom and Welcome You,” Micah West (Nicholas L. Ashe) is on a vocal collegiate quest to highlight the plight of African Americans. His professor, Parker Campbell (Amirah Vann), challenges and is ultimately impressed by Micah’s presentation and his answers.

Micah: Thank you. Thank you for your attention in this exploration of the processes by which enslaved Africans from diverse societies created new cultures in the Americas and on the present day status of surviving Maroon cultures, in Suriname and French Guiana, Jamaica, Colombia and elsewhere.

Professor: Well, hold on, Mr. West.

Micah: Yes.

Professor: I wanna interrogate that a little bit more.

Micah: Okay.

Professor: So, what are these modern-day forms of slavery that you refer to?

Micah: Redlining, voter suppression, school defunding, employment discrimination, loan discrimination, mass incarceration.

Professor: Oh, that's a list, it's not an argument.

Micah: The list is the argument. It's... It's evidence.

Professor: Evidence of a flawed system, yes, but isn't every system flawed in some way?

Micah: Perhaps, but not every system is designed to subjugate a specific group of people.

Professor: So then how does that make Black-Americans Maroons?

Micah: If... the structures of a system are designed to keep a people out of neighborhoods, out of government, out of education, out of the workforce, and in some instances, out of society, and in prisons, and in a constant state of danger, what else do you call that, but being on the run, out in the wild?

Professor: [Clapping] Thank you, Mr. West.

Micah: Thank you. 

Queen Sugar isn’t the only show focused on comparing such societal ills to even larger ones. While this show compares them to “modern-day forms of slavery,” Paramount+’s Evil towards the end of its most recent season, featured a pastor claiming “redlinings” and “police shootings” are a “spiritual attack.”

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As if to prove the American "system is designed to subjugate a specific group of people," in the episode “Or Maybe Just Stay There,” police raid Nova Bordelon's (Rutina Wesley) home with SWAT team gear, wantonly pointing their weapons at her and referring to her as “liberal trash” and a “professional shit-stirrer” for her journalistic and activist crusade to defund the police. It is clearly meant as an intimidation tactic and the police are cartoonishly evil.

Police: Don't make any sudden move. Hands over your head. Get out of bed.

Nova: My name is Nova Bordelon. I am the owner of this house and the only person who lives here. I have no weapons, why have you broken into my home?

Police: We have a warrant to search this property for narcotics.

Police: Looks like a bunch of liberal trash from this liberal trash.

Nova: Huh. Hey, wait!

Police: How long have you lived at this residence? You need to answer me. How long have you lived here?

Nova: I've been here for 13 months.

Police: How can you afford a home like this by yourself? You taking money from the movement like all your friends?

Nova: I work. I have speaking engagements. My book was on the Times bestsellers list. And our website gets over two million unique impressions a month.

Police: Professional shit stirrer. Got it.

When a neighbor comes over to ask what's going on the police needlessly escalate the situation, drawing their weapons on him and pushing them both to the ground.

Dominic: Are you okay?

Nova: Dominic, there's nothing you can do.

Police: You live in this residence?

Dominic: I'm her neighbor.

Police: Then this doesn't concern you.

Dominic: Anything you do to her, anyone on this block concerns me, this is my community. Where's my phone? I want to document it.

Police: No, no.

Dominic: You can't stop me from recording.

[Nova and Dominic Thrown on Ground By Police]

Dominic: Hey. No, no, no. Look at me. Focus on me. Don't give them that power, Nova. We're okay. 

Nova: We're okay.

When she sees her sister Charley Bordelon West (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) after the police encounter, Nova says, "They terrorized me. But really, this is about my power... My activism, my voice... My skin, my gender... My everything." Charlie tells Nova that "They didn't take anything from you. They gave you something. More power. More fire."

Charley has decided that she is going to run for Congress, a prospect Micah is quite excited about when it comes to the thought of “My mom on The Squad” and “hanging with AOC and the crew,” and this furthers her resolve.

When Charley calls her DNC contact to announce, he explains that “our real goal is to change the political dynamics across the map, to give people a reason to hope again, and a reason to vote again, just like Stacey [Abrams] did in Georgia.”

Of course, only in a show created by leftist BLM activist Ava DuVernay would The Squad and Stacey Abrams be talked about in glowing terms, along with discourse on "modern-day forms of slavery" and ham-handed depictions of racist white cops.

Related: Stacey Abrams Complains She Wasn't 'Entitled' To Be Governor of Georgia