It just feels especially tragic when we see the test results. She had surpassed her own expectations. But because she's been burdened her whole life, thinking that she was stupid, she just reverts back to that way of thinking and assumes that she failed. And so she fails herself.
Manning: Yeah. She was held down by her own mind, her own way of thinking. The whole time she was in prison, she was sponsored by the radical Christian anti-abortion group, but that was a fluke, in a way. She was just like, "Okay, what's happening? Okay, I have no idea." It wasn't because she was Christ-like. To me, it was like she was the Antichrist, in that she was the antithesis of Christ, the opposite of God. Her Biblical quotes didn't really add up to whatever she was observing. But over time, we saw her emerge as a true human being, becoming realized, becoming reformed. She was one of the lucky ones. If she had made it out, she would have been a happy, happy woman. Like, "Damn, this was great! Now I'm educated, and I want to get a job, and I'm going to have better relationships, and better sex!" I was so excited for her! And then, bam! [Laughs] That's why it's so devastating.
It's like what she says about being the exception to the rule. Many people become worse because of prison, not better. And if Tiffany Doggett can recognize the error of her ways and become friends with Suzanne Warren, if she can confront her racism and homophobia and realize that's not who she wants to be, maybe there's hope for other people as well?
Manning: I think that's spot on. And that's how they make the show, how relevant and pointed they make things, and that's why I'm so proud to be a part of this. You hear people do these things, say these things, and it's like, "You don't believe that, do you?" You know? If you were raised with your parents while your frontal lobe is still forming, whatever they say kind of goes. It might not even be your rhetoric, right? But when you hear your parent say something, you repeat it. So Tiffany, she was just programmed. That hate wasn't even rooted in any of her earlier beliefs. It was just popping off. Like, maybe she was repeating something her mother had said something against Mexicans or black people. It wasn't based on deep thought or a belief system. It was more like she was an empty vessel that was filled up with hate. That's so our society.
It all comes down to education, to be honest with you. I always say that it would be really cool if schools had spiritual classes. I don't know exactly what, and not necessarily organized religion, but just an opportunity for everyone to get quiet and meditate and be together. I do think that as a combined consciousness, we all are elevating, and there are people who are trying to stop this horrible, horrible racism. Like, I can't even think about what's happening with the border with Mexico, and these poor children who are being separated from their families in these detention camps. It's beyond words to me. But I just feel that with time and education and even just little acts of kindness slowly make a difference. Otherwise, I don't have the answer. It's so bad, you know? What would you do? So illuminating this, putting some light on it and making it as disgraceful as it is, will help for a lot of these issues.