Monday, November 16, 2009
Crash (2004) is one of the most thought-provoking films that I have seen in a while. This film is one about racism and how every day, people are confronted with racism. Although racism supposedly isn't as widespread anymore, I think that people just don't realize that it really still is. People don't realize that although they don't necessarily act as hatefully towards certain races as they did in the 1960's and earlier, they still have ideas of certain stereotypes, and expect certain traits from certain races. In the movie, when a black man gets a ride from a police officer, he notices that the officer has St Christopher on his dashboard. When the man reaches in to his pocket to show the police officer, the officer thinks that the man is reaching for a gun, and shoots him. The stereotype of black men carrying around guns and killing cops causes an innocent black man to be killed. Although it wasn't a hate crime, it was done out of fear because stereotypes are what keeps racism going strong. In another part of the movie, two thuggish-looking black men are offended that a woman clung to her husband when passing them. They then hijack her car to get back at her, feeding the stereotype that the woman was probably thinking when she grabbed on to her husband. Although racism is a nasty thing, people act as though it is with out cause or justification. When people reinforce a stereotype, they are not helping their case. This is two-sided though. When someone expects another person to act a certain way, they often will. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone vandalizes a man's convenience store, calling him an Arab even though this man is not an Arab. However, he grows so angry, he finds the locksmith that didn't fix his door and pulls a gun on him. The racism of the vandalizers causes the shop owner to act in a way that a stereotype might expect him to act. This film calls to attention a lot of social stigmas that are often ignored. It causes you to stop and think about the way you act yourself.