Monday, September 16, 2019
If you teach a unit on the life of undocumented citizens, consider using clips from season three of the hit Netflix show Thirteen Reasons Why. The timeline surrounding Tony Padilla (played by Christian Navarro) is super on point.
Check out episode 6 of season 3. I'd run 32:12-33:45. Tony is bringing his boyfriend home to meet the family but he finds an empty house. There's food cooking on the stove, the TV is on, but no one is there. Then a neighbor shows up and explains: "La Migra."
Follow this up with 50:47-51:33. Here's the dialogue:
Tony: My family got deported at the end of the summer.
Clay: Why didn't you come to me?
Tony: And say what, Clay? You can't save the world.
Clay: You can try to save your friends. I should've been there for you. Like you were there for me with Hannah.
Tony: I, there's a lot of shame involved, you know.
Clay: No, I don't know.
Tony: Maybe that's why I didn't come to you.
Clay: I love you man.
Tony: Love you too.
The concept of shame and deportation is very real. Like many of you, I ask my students to write about their family's immigration history. Nothing huge. Just a page. To center them on the course material.
One semester, a student wrote that a relative had been deported "for reasons I never wanted to ask." Perhaps the reason they didn't want to ask is tied up in the concept of shame that this television show captures.
Definitely good fodder for classroom conversation.