4 Bentley Caitlin Bentley Darvay 31 March 2010 The True Meaning Nowadays, a person does not need to look hard to find social injustice, stereotypes or racial discrimination. With the way everything looks now, one would assume that the cycle might not end any time soon. The movie Crash functions as a source of entertainment for the viewers but forces the audience to think more deeply by sending a social message using repetition, exaggeration and many of hooks? ideas to hone in on the ethnic prejudice and stereotypes that are prevalent throughout American culture. A variety of the ideas presented by Crash bring to light the ideology of racism instilled in peoples? minds and provides a good racial critique of America. The idea of ideology, as illustrated in Barthes? essay ?Toys,? makes it harder for people to step out of their comfort zone and believe something different. The images of racial profiling and discrimination are exaggerated to show what happens day-to-day, but no one is willing to leave their bubble behind and fix the viscous cycle at hand. Jane Elliot once said, ?Education in this country is about how to maintain the status quo and to perpetuate racism.? As a youth, people are conditioned to believe certain ideals, stereotypes being one of them. The way that a person treats another being or race depends on how that individual is a raised or the different experiences that person has had. As bell hooks argues, beginning in elementary school, children are taught the story of Christopher Columbus, but as they are educated the history of Columbus, the students are also trained to believe white supremacy. hooks stated, ?it was the whiteness of these explorers in the ?New World? that gave them greater power? (200). It all boils down to how people were raised to treat other individuals. If the public were brought up differently would there still be discrimination? Society claims opposition against racism, but what do they do to change the situation? In the movie Crash, Anthony and Peter fall into this category. After eating at a coffee shop, the two black men grumble about the stereotypes of black people in LA. Soon after Anthony becomes offended when Jean, a white woman, grabs her husband, the District Attorney, as the men walk in their direction. The impact of the offensive rapidly dissipates as Anthony quickly fits the mold, which he claimed to despise, as he holds the two at gunpoint and highjacks their car. This scene gives a vivid portrayal of how the general public contradicts themselves and their way of life by simply falling into the role that the world expects them to play. Not only does Crash display the traditional white and black dispute, it also shows racial profiling against hired help. Daniel, a locksmith, works on Jean?s locks the night her car is stolen. The minute Jean realizes who is changing her locks; she demands another person change them the following day. Jean accuses Daniel of being a thug because of his tattoos, but in reality he is just a workingman, trying to provide for his family. This scene demonstrates how ideology creeps into the plot of the movie. One could assume that Jean has been taught to associate tattoos, all over the body and neck, with a hooligan. In another sense, an additional social issue the movie addresses is white supremacy, as hooks describes. Jean is depicted as though she feels she is better than her hired help around the house and that they are below her. hooks could use this scene to strengthen her argument that white is equal to civilization because a white woman feels superior to the minorities around her. It seems as though Crash makes it a point to expose America?s dirty laundry. The drama Crash is set in LA. This fact played a key role to the storyline of the movie. In LA there are so many different cultures that one has the chance to intermingle with in everyday encounters. Crash exaggerates daily life events that society tends to overlook. An example is when Anthony and Peter ate at the coffee house and claimed that the service was bad because they were two black men, who were assumed not to tip well. Through experience and stereotypes, many waiters and waitresses use racial assumptions when serving customers. This part of the movie taps in emotionally to the older age audience, the people who had personal experience with being mistreated because of their color in the 1960s. Another example of stereotyping is Daniel, a hardworking man, merely trying to keep his family out of the ghetto, but Jean sees him as a thug who means no good. People who experience incorrect stereotypes solely because of their looks can relate to Daniel; this helps them engage in the movie. Crash uses the repetition of different stereotypes and racist acts to engage various age groups and audiences by giving them something that is relatable to them. Crash provides an ?in your face? depiction of the racism around the world by incorporating applicable scenes and furthermore, allowing the audience to have a chance to step back, think about their lives, and recap on how they can make a change for the better. The movie administers the audience with many different scenes that portray racism and how people handle racial stereotypes. Best said by Florynce R. Kennedy, ?Everybody's scared for their ass. There aren't too many people ready to die for racism. They'll kill for racism but they won't die for racism.? People are too scared to venture out of the ?norm? and try to reverse the negative past. Walking on the paved path is a lot easier than ?taking the road less traveled.? hooks argues that we are taught ideology at a young age and those teachings determine how we will act in the future. Crash provides a well thought out racial evaluation of America. The movie parallels the multiple literary works such as hooks? ?Columbus? essay and Barthes? ?Toys? composition. Crash, in a sense, validates hooks? thesis of white supremacy by giving scenes that are relatable and simple to understand, in turn engaging different audiences. By using examples of ideology, Crash gives a picture of the perfect portrayal of the on going cycle of racial injustice. Will this discrimination ever cease?
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