How does the play "Chasing Mehserle" construct a response to hate in the killing of an unarmed young black man through the character Watts' pursuit of the perpetrating officer Mehserle?
In the play Chasing Mehserle the main character Watts represents a faction of the United States citizens that are oppressed by racism and prejudice. The limited options that he faces is hiding or fighting back. This creates a paradoxical relationship because if Watts is to fight back he will only solidify racism beliefs, only because they have Watts do actions like they expect them to do.
While Watt's acts may seem heroic and justified he is planning on murdering another human which creates a hipocratic paradox of murdering. The heinous deed that Mehserle committed came from hating and racial prejudice on African Americans. In this play it is an example of a oppressed person who feels cornered in America. After 200 years since the 13th Amendment was enacted there is still racism and prejudice that drives people choices. The slow process from slavery to now has many faults and horrible events. The KKK at large hanged and lynched black people when they got the chance. Neo Nazis in America and other American institutions against black people or any "other" people they have prejudice against. Martin Luther king and his push for civil rights act was a peaceful protest. Martin strides for a nonviolent path to equality and end to hating on black people. In the end Martin Luther was shot and killed. In the current world Watts cannot push for more civil rights act because there is ideal legal equality among people of different color. Watts in his mind only has one option to fix the problem, or at least this one case, and that is to kill the oppressors.
Mehserle's act of killing an innocent black citizen created a ripple effect of hate that was embodied by Watts. In the act of killing perpetuated more hate the set Watts on a killing path. Gandhi and his quote state the hopelessness of the act clearly. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind in true because when Watts kills Mehserle he only confirms hater believe and prejudice against black people. There is no positive outcome to hate. It is easier to embody hate than it is to be resilient to it. This is common theme in media and movies, for example, "Star Wars" has the dark that embodies hate and the light that is resilient to it. Continuing after the play in a theoretical conversation what would Watts say to Mehserle and not kill him. If Mehserle is to be full of hate and prejudice Watts would probably immediately kill him driven by more hate. If Watts had been able to stop himself and potentially forgive Mehserle the outcomes would still be grim, since Watts was arrested by yet another racist police officer. On the upside he would not create a gossiping story that a black man murders someone in cold blood, that would create more hate and prejudice in other people.