‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 5: Taystee’s Speech Blows Us Away

oitnb season 5
source: Instagram

Orange is the New Black season 5 dropped on Netflix on Friday and it is INSANE!

One of the best moments occurs in episode 5 “Sing it, White Effe.”

Warning, if you haven’t made it to episode 5 yet, then major spoilers ahead!

Ok, so back to it.

So Taystee and her crew are still dealing with Poussey‘s shocking death. And they’re still extremely upset over how Litchfield handled the PR — namely that they didn’t even say Poussey’s name in their statement.

Shortly into their riot, they decide to use Judy King (aka the imitation Martha Stewart) to get their message across to the media. At this point, the media thinks that King is a hostage and is dying to hear from her. So they know that using her to make their statement will certainly get heard.

But at the last second, Taystee realizes that they can’t allow a white privileged woman to speak for them and decides to make an impromptu statement herself. She says to the gathered media,

“She will not be speaking for us because Judy King can’t speak for the inmates of this prison. She was kept separate from us, held in a private room with better treatment and a seltzer maker. And moments after our friend, Poussey Washington, was murdered by a guard for doing nothing wrong, Judy King was packing her bags to go home on early release. Because she’s rich and white and powerful.

Now our fight is not with Judy King. Our fight is with a system that don’t give a damn about poor people and brown people and poor brown people. Our fight is with the folks who hold our demands in their hands. Which you people need to read, by the way, and stop watching this fool sh*t coming out here online and get a hold of our demand list because those demands are fair and necessary, and show that we intend to keep this demonstration peaceful and focused on change.”

Wow. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. In particular, the sentence “our fight is with a system that don’t give a damn about poor people and brown people and poor brown people” perfectly sums up one of the major issues with the U.S.’s criminal justice system.According to the NAACP, African Americans are incarcerated six times more than white people, despite committing crimes at approximately equal rates.

Our criminal justice laws are used to justify racism and discrimination. OITNB season 5 uses its platform to bring attention to these injustices and Taystee’s speech is only the beginning.

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.