Introduction : Racism in Society
The movie Crash is about several different scenarios of everyday people from different racial backgrounds in Los Angeles. Crash was “the only movie that is not afraid to tackle the themes of race and ethnical tension in today’s American society.” The film compelled people to examine their own prejudices. (Orbe & Kinefuchi, 2008). Within a two day period, the characters will come in and out of each other’s lives and show the racial interaction between them thru “collisions”. Two black thieves rob an attorney and his wife; attorney’s wife is racist against her locksmith, who also changes a Persian mans locks; a black detective who is working on a case with the attorney and whose brother is one of the thieves; a racist cop who molests a black woman and cares for his father; a black health insurance lady who has to put up with the racist cop; a black director and his wife get pulled over by the racist cop; a Persian store owner has his locks changed and blames the locksmith when his store is vandalized. The movie shows collisions of these characters and the stories that lead up to the collisions (Kinefuchi & Orbe, 2008). I think what Paul Haggis, the co-writer and director of Crash wants us to believe that all types of racism are part of all of us and illustrates the reality of it among our society in the movie. Crash examines the racial interactions between several ethnic groups through cleverly constructed scenarios. It also identifies individual struggles with racial prejudice and how it affects choices they make in their personal and professional lives. In reality, we think we are unaffected by racial prejudice by avoiding certain encounters. We pretend we are invisible to its effects. But if we were placed in a particular situation, we would be forced to deal with our prejudices. Only when we recognize and admit our prejudices can we begin to deal with racism in our society. Some of us are aware of this and are not afraid to expose it, while others go to great lengths to conceal it. Some people are not aware of their prejudices at all. Sooner or later, we are all confronted with our prejudices, and how we choose to react to them is what really matters. Racism is prejudice or animosity against people who belong to other races and includes both attitudes and behaviors. It is a complex issue that stems from a simple concept: Ignorance. We are ignorant about other races and this lack of knowledge causes us to be fearful. Instead of trying to find out or exercising tolerance we embrace the stereotypes. We choose to hate the things that we fear instead of exploring the fear. Because people want to believe it doesn’t exist anymore. Its effects are far reaching and can leave the race on the receiving end with a sense of hopelessness so profound that they are driven to do just about anything (Matthews, 2005). People attempt to live their lives evading racism and prejudice, yet they are trapped. We have to realize that we are in this world together and we must understand and work together against these racial problems since we are all capable of negative stereotypes, racism, and prejudice. Crash addresses the unspoken prejudices and biases that are embedded in our collective unconscious and until we confront and examine these harmful and dangerous issues, we will not overcome them. It portrays many acts of racism and social injustice that may be conscious or unconscious (Ahlquist and Milner, 2008). We need to face our own prejudices and confront feelings of self-hatred that are typically unspoken, but are very much vibrating below the surface of our conscious mind. The movie covers the reality that people do hold stereotypes about others that drive us consciously or unconsciously to live out in sort of a love-hate duality (Taulbee, 2006). Crash very effectively equates and replaces the term “race” with the term “prejudice”, and then argues that...
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