Crashing Into Reality

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"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something." Detective Graham Waters from Crash Racism, stereotypes, and prejudices…these three topics are some things that we deal with daily in current day America. All though these are issues that we all deal with daily, they are also issues that we typically do not discuss. Crash is a movie that is based in Los Angels, California with not only an all-star cast, but an even better storyline. Crash introduces us to several stories and several characters from different facets of life, each with his or her unique cultural background, and throughout the course of approximately thirty-six hours, all the characters interweave with one another. This is not just simply another movie, it is a ride. This is a film that has left me questioning myself and those around me. Crash, I believe, makes us question the things below the surface, the issues that are always bubbling up inside us. These issues, I do not believe, are new or daring ideas. Actually, the issues that are confronted in this film are real. Paul Haggis, the director, does a great job of removing the "politically correct" cloud and presenting how people really think, how people talk and behave, what happens when people are not being polite, and what happens when they are reacting off of raw emotions. There are two major questions that this film left me with. First off, how well do I really know myself; and secondly, although the issues in the movie are relevant in L.A., are they just as realistic in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Just how well do we know the people who sit beside us in class and whom we encounter on a daily basis? Now that we know where we are heading, let's get this ball rolling. Analysis of Issues

The first question that I found me asking myself was actually derived directly from a quote in the film. Officer Hanson asks his supervisor for a new partner because of an event that had taken place the night before. Just before the shifts begin for the next day, we get to see into a small window of conversation that Officer Hanson has with his former partner, Officer Ryan. They shake hands and Officer Ryan says "Just wait till you have been on the job a few more years…you think you know who you are (Officer Hanson nods in agreement)…you have no idea!" This seems like a simple and self-explanatory statement, and I thought that as well, at first.

The question that Officer Ryan aroused within me was "How well do I really know myself?" I say that "I'm not racist" or that "I don't stereotype" or "I don't hold prejudices against certain people groups", but am I lying to myself? After much thought, I came to the conclusion that I am not a racist, not do I hold prejudices by enlarge. Stereotypes though, that is a different story. The one stereotype that I seem to hold on to is that most individuals that are Laotian only travel in groups because of strength in numbers. When I see a group of Laotian or Hispanic, males especially, individuals I automatically think "gang" in my head. A lot of my closest friends think this as well.

When I was a sophomore in high school, a group of friends and I was playing basketball. Every Wednesday night, just after the school teams finish practicing for the night, the gym would stay open for a few more hours and was open to any high school students to come play basketball. Four of my buddies and I would play together all the time, every single week. This one Wednesday was unique because a fight broke out. It started out with one guy on my team against one guy on the opposite team. Before too long it was the one guy on my team with the whole other team on top of him. Of course, the rest of our team jumped in to "even the odds", but we were still...
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