Tensions between the African Americans and Caucasians have been present in America for decades. In the movie Crash, race and culture are major themes that can be seen in the lives of the characters in the film. One character in particular, Cameron, a prestigious yet blissfully ignorant director, displays the friction between two cultures. He is a proud, young African American who belongs to the educated, upper class of the Los Angeles area and therefore he seems to have no ties with racial discrimination. He has a light-skinned wife, attends award shows, and it appears that his acquaintances are predominately white. However, while he and his wife, Christine, get pulled over by a racist cop, he experiences emotions of powerlessness and helplessness that he never knew he would experience due to his upbringing and place in society. Cameron goes through a radical transformation where he comes to grips with his background and how he fits into these two clashing cultures. Also a depiction of classic stereotypes, Sandra Bullock plays Jean, a wealthy, upper-class politician’s wife who shows racist tendencies toward the majority of those she encounters with no regards to the circumstances. Although she is traumatized by an event that involves racial tensions, she continues to perceive all races other than Caucasians as a threat and even discriminates against a well-intentioned locksmith by directly accusing him of belonging to a Mexican gang. We later find that Jean’s accusations are confirmed assumptions and stereotypes based on racial profiling as we learn that the locksmith is a generous family man through the characterization of his daughter. The movie suggests that the majority of stereotypes are not only incorrect but would better be placed against those whom are least expected to prove them.
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