Breaking Bad: Law Enforcement on Television
I have not seen a ton of crime-centric tv shows. I have seen AMC’s Breaking Bad which chronicles high school chemistry teacher needs to pay his medical bills for lung cancer. This drives him to manufacture methamphetamine and sell it in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As his introduction to the world of illicit substances is innocent and originally purely for the money, his motives grow darker throughout the course of the show. Walter White commits a myriad of crimes, including murder, but hides behind his demure high school teacher façade. White becomes famous for his “Blue Sky” strain that makes him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the pilot, we see s drug bust in which one of the characters is racially profiled and murdered by the police. A white meth cook, and a former student of Walt’s, Jesse Pinkman spaces the scene and is later blackmailed by Walt into helping him to cook meth to make money to cover his medical expenses.
Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank, is a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. This helps Walt to gain an understanding of the drug world and how he, as an individual who is unassuming to police forces can operate within this world. Walter White is an older white man who works in a school. He has an easy time sliding past law enforcement for the majority of the series. The who highlights the ease with which a white man who does not “look” like a meth dealer moves in the world of drug dealing.
Walt’s last name is White. He exemplifies the white privilege that white man feel when operating in this world. He kills multiple men of color, especially men from below the border. The expendability with which Walt performs these actions and slides by law enforcement is egregious but representative of real world phenomena.