‘The Staircase’ Shows Whiteness on Display

MJ Adia
4 min readMay 17, 2022

There are three things anyone who watches murder mysteries will know, but the fourth is that white men often get the benefit of the doubt.

man falling down the stairs, blood splashing
Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash, Edited on Canva by Author

I am about 6:38 minutes into a series The Staircase, and I can’t help it, I had to open up Medium and start writing. WTF? is all I can ask.

Ok, first, a man calls 9–1–1 saying that his wife has fallen down the stairs and she is unconscious. After the police arrive, his drunken son stumbles into the house. The officer guarding the door says, “Ok, just you,” allowing him to pass without his friend. At the foot of the stairs, it looks as though a woman was sliced somewhere in her body, and she is sprawled out at the bottom of the staircase, blood splattering the walls. The husband is, get this, in the kitchen, ALONE, sobbing into his blood-stained hands. No handcuffs, because according to him, his wife “fell down the stairs.” I was wondering if perhaps a cop would go over to the stove and offer to put on a spot of tea for the despondent widower.

Error number two, the father runs to the dead woman’s body, clutching her and weeping.

“Get him off of her,” says an officer calmly to the other police, but no one makes a move to remove the man. I guess they don’t want to add to his grief? The son eventually has to pull him off.

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MJ Adia

Black-Filipina. Lived in Peru for 5 years. LICSW, dancer, meditator. Writes about multiculturalism, cinema, race, social issues.