In a creative mashup of two of America's most racially-charged cases, Law & Order: SVU's "American Tragedy" had Paula Deen shooting Trayvon Martin, and getting away with it despite some deep-fried epithets.
Detective Deval Bullock, who had been on duty since 4:00 a.m. and hadn't slept in 17 hours, fired a bullet that pierced Sal's heart. Unfortunately Sal's very last words were directed to the guy he thought was his friend: "Dude, what are you doing?"
"What are they shooting?" I ask, breathing hard. "Law and Order," she replies. She's not happy to see me, and who can blame her? My t-shirt is ragged, I haven't yet shaved and I probably haven't brushed my teeth, either.
There may be no more powerful force to influence public awareness and perception than the entertainment industry. Most of us probably don't even realize how much our attitudes and assumptions are informed by what we see on television and in movies.
Tonight's harrowing SVU about a college systematically mistreating its student/rape victims featured plot twists so shocking they hardly seemed plausible -- except that they were drawn directly from real-life cases.