The Chi is the best show on television for a long time, maybe ever. Lena Waithe has created a masterpiece of a Chicago Black community drama that rivals and perhaps exceeds both The Wire and Do the Right Thing. I don’t want to give it a full review until I’ve seen all of it, but I want to emphasize one of the key points the story is making. We all know that at least in some cases, the street violence in the Black community is orchestrated by the police, who snitch on their own snitchers to keep the cycle of violence going. But it is also painfully true and subtly underscored by The Chi that the violence is perpetuated by the fact that no one in the Black community can trust the police, so people find it necessary to take matters into their own hands to protect – and avenge – their families, often with disastrous results. This is an angle I hadn’t thought of before and one that urgently needs to be brought into the discussion of criminal justice reform. What if elected community control boards were charged with interviewing and vetting the police that were allowed into the neighborhood?
The Chi is on Showtime which costs money but has a Free Trial option.