Argument and Research
February 11, 2011
Racial profiling remains a topic that is still being debated on today especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The events of that day sparked a new way to look at others that do not look like exactly like us. Since the effects of that day, airports have been in the midst of racial profiling discussions, but these are not the only places that this can happen. In the movie Crash (2004), a Persian-American man has a difficult time purchasing a gun because the storeowner views him as a terrorist due to his skin tone and voice. Because of what happened during 9/11, people who resemble terrorists are usually the victims of racial profiling. The film provides a very stereotypical look at racism and how everyone, including Caucasians, is profiled at different times during their lives.
The film Crash is an amazing example of how different races work and interact with each other. The characters are racist because of the bad experiences they have had with the races around them. The stereotypical white marriage involves a stay at home women who is scared of African-American men. While some say she is being prejudice against all, she actually has reason because she was car jacked by two African-American men at one point in her life. This is just one example of how the film Crash proves that different people will respond to others based on the stereotypes the community has given them. After viewing the movie, one could see racial profiling as a normal, good thing that may keep them safe, especially when it comes to a life or death situation.
Racial profiling is a very controversial topic in today’s world. Should racial profiling be legal? Is it immoral to profile someone by the way they look and the way they talk? These are questions that do not have a direct answer. It is hard to put a yes or no answer to these because every situation is different. If an African-American should not be profiled while going through to security to get on a plane, should an Indian be seen as a threat and therefore be profiled? People have the thought in their mind that something bad will happen due to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Those terrorists changed the way people look at their race and to change this back to the way it used to be is somewhat impossible.
An important scene involves a Persian man trying to purchase a gun. He and the storeowner end up getting in a fight and he is thrown out. The Persian mans daughter buys the gun and bullets in response. This is a direct connection to how people profile other races. The storeowner saw similarities to him and Middle Eastern people and was uncomfortable with selling him the gun. Situations like this happen every day. It may not be with buying guns, but people are profiled day in and day out.
Airports are a very different place today compared to pre-September 11, 2001. Various security measures are now in place that can help prevent another catastrophic error. If one passenger is uncomfortable with another, they can request various measures to be taken. TSA officers can pull passengers aside and search them if they look suspicious. Some argue that this is racist while others say it is a practical step to keep the flights safer. All-American looking people usually will not be pulled aside because they look like they are from this country. There is a safe feeling knowing that the person sitting next to you is potentially from the same place.
Airports are not the only place where races are profiled. In the movie, the police officer suspects more when he pulls over the African-American couple rather than if it were to be a Caucasian couple. This happens in everyday life as well. Stories flow in that cops mistreated citizens although they are supposed to treat everyone with the same set of moral rules. Imagine three Caucasian males on a city corner at night. Most people would walk by without a problem and see it as nothing out of the ordinary. Imagine the same situation but replace the Caucasian men with three African-American men. People would see this situation very differently. They may not be so easy to walk by them and if they did, they would not get too close. Although this is a hard truth, many people would agree with this. This exact situation is shown in the movie. The governor and his wife are uneasy while walking by two African-American men and their fear came true. The men acted in their stereotypical manner and car jacked them. After this moment, the wife was always on guard and worried that something like this might happen again.
Racial profiling occurs in other ways that one might not realize at the start. In the movie, an African-American insurance agent writes off the Caucasian cop as soon as he walks in. She views Caucasians negatively and therefore does not try to help him and his father. It is also more difficult for minorities to get jobs because most Americans unconsciously profile others. It can even come down to common public settings. Some are uncomfortable sitting next to others but even more uncomfortable when it comes to sitting next to other races. Some may not want to sit close to other races on the train or stand too close while in line for the bank. Racial profiling happens everyday in the most places and the movie Crash truly emphasizes this point.
After watching Crash, one may see the true nature of humans. Our society profiles others to a very large extent. Whether it is racially profiling someone because they have a negative stereotype that comes along with them, or whether you may just be prejudice against another race – it can happen to anyone. People normally say that they aren’t racist, and that they believe that all men should be treated equal, but almost everyone has either racial profiled someone or has had it done to them. Crash shows us how this simple act done by people in the most common of settings is actually hurting us though it may be an unconscious thought. This film can really make you think about the important things in life, and how racial profiling benefits you very little.