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By cesar11x Apr 16, 2013 1086 Words
Race, Gender and Class
Crash Stereotypes
The movie Crash is a film that begs audiences to question all the discrimination and all the wrongs that occur and are often unseen by the general public. Crash tells joining stories of whites, blacks, Latinos, Asian, Iraqis, cops and criminals, the rich and the poor, all defined in one way or another by racism. The plot revolves around the city of Los Angeles, a city surrounded by violence and fear. The issue of racial stereotyping is highlighted in Crash when characters have a false or only partially true understanding of another racial group which leads to discrimination among the characters that are used to represent the various cultures in society. This is what the author, Ronal T. Takaki, was talking about in his book—that because he was of Asian descent he was stereotyped by his looks and not his American background. A lot of the characters in the movie were all put in different stereotypical categories because of their origin and ethnicity. In the movie the characters experienced the development of social barriers. The movie Crash displays the cruel reality that daily occurs in our society, especially in crowded cities, such as Los Angeles, where large numbers of the minority groups live. It shows the black perspective of living in a multicultural community where the differences between people and their race cause tension, racism, and discrimination among the varied ethnic groups. Racism is clearly the main idea and issue showed throughout the movie and Crash clearly shows the prejudiced behavior between ‘African Americans and Caucasians. The film has given me a better understanding of the term ‘white flight.’ ‘White flight,’ occurs when white, or Caucasians, leave an a geographic area as other minorities begin to populate the same area. Caucasians leave out of fear and anxiety of the real or stereotyped problems associated with minorities and immigrants. Any person can tell that in the movie Caucasians were clearly separated from the rest of the minority groups and were even seen as the ‘power-holders’ amoung the other represented races and ethnicities. Maybe this is due to the fact of white privileges in today’s society-in which Caucasians are perceived as more trustworthy and deserving. Racism is clearly holding society behind not only in the film but it is also a current issue growing on today’s American culture. Racism is a common issue throughout the globe and throughout American history. Many people ignore the history of slavery and the increasing amount of racism against immigrants coming from overseas looking for a better life. Racial prejudice has caused a great strain on America by allowing the racism to link events together and thereby causing more tragedies to occur year after year. Since the tragic event of September 11th, regulations and security has increased greatly throughout the nation, making racial profiling look even more noticeable and more acceptable. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has also made Americans more likely to stereotype those with a turban, Muslim features, or clothing. Racism has become a common image in America, so much that we hardly notice it anymore. In the first scene we observe a Muslim man inside a firearm store, trying to buy a gun. The owner is a male Caucasian and gives a negative attitude towards the customer because of his Muslim background. The owner immediately feels a, negative attitudes based on the combination of his stereotypes and the customers ethnic background of Muslims. Being immediately associated with the Al Qaeda terrorist group, which was responsible for September 11th is not only unfair but grossly over exaggerated. But what the white man did not know, was that the Muslim man just wanted to protect his store and we the audience discover that his stereotype was unfounded. There were three more scenes in Crash that where extremely important throughout the movie for stereotyping. The second one was when the two black car thieves were talking and arguing about the racial tensions between whites and blacks A white couple passes them, the woman taking the man’s arm. Anthony notices the movement and launches into another diatribe. “You couldn’t find a whiter, safer or better lit part of this city. But this white woman sees two black guys who look like UCLA students strolling down the sidewalk and her reaction is blind fear.”Then Haggis drops the other shoe: Peter and Anthony turn around with automatics in their hands and carjack the white couple as they approach their Navigator. This part of the movie shows that the two African American men are not blind and they know what’s going through the white women mind. She is thinking that the color of their skin and that their dress might be indicators of trouble and could possibly pose a dangerous threat. As a matter of fact, she was correct. So the viewers of the movie are left puzzled not knowing whether to believe if the stereotypes are true or whether it was this just coincidence. Later in the movie, a Hispanic locksmith gets grief from the shaken white woman whose Navigator got carjacked. Given what just happened, she is sure that the locksmith’s tattoos and clothing mark him as a gang member, who will sell the car keys of to his ‘homies.’ Separately, the Hispanic man enters the Muslim shop owners store to repair a lock-when he tells the shopowner that the whole door will need to be replaced, he becomes enraged, thinking that he is trying to get the best of him and his money. Despite these reactions, the Hispanic locksmith does not overreact, rather he just rolls with the punches. In any other movie, the mistreatment of the locksmith would confirm that he must be an upstanding citizen, though after the scene with the carjackers anything may be possible-anyone can be discriminated and anyone can reinforce or expose a preconceived stereotype. Still, it’s no surprise when he turns out to be a loving family man, in the end in a scene with his daughter, she runs to him and jumps on him and she is shot in the back with a blank. The main message of this movie is that no matter what you choose to believe you should never stereotype a person. Looks can be misleading, and should not be the only assessment to rely upon when judging a person or their character and integrity.

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