Racism is a scenario of social behavior that has existed since time immemorial. It exists because of the way different people perceive themselves and people around. In most cases, racism divides people in accordance to their social, cultural, geographical, and biological lines. This paper will focus on racism as depicted in the movie The Crash by Paul Haggis.
TYPES OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT ON THE CHARACTERS
1. Racial discrimination between an American detective and an Asian woman
When detective Waters and his colleague Ria approached the crime scene, Ria and Kim Lee, who was an Asian woman, got into a disagreement; later they started uttering racial insults against each other. The hatred the Asians were experiencing could have been the cause of human trafficking by Lee’s husband.
2. Gun storeowner and a Persian (Farhad)
Farhad had gone with his daughter Dorri to a gun store to purchase a gun. While being there, they started quarrelling, and even the storeowner could not cope with their argument. Thus, he ordered them to leave the store, using racially biased remarks.
Because of this racism experience, Farhad could not trust Daniel when he was trying to warn him about his door. Farhad misunderstood Daniel and thought he was cheating, and he refused to pay him. When he found that his shop was looted, and the insurance company refused to compensate him due to his carelessness, Farhad vowed to revenge as he thought Daniel was responsible for this.
3. Racialism between whites and blacks
Jean narrates how she got carjacked by two black men. When the detectives went to another crime scene, they found a black detective dead. His colleague, who was a white man, had shot him. This was not the first time a white man had shot a black one. Black people are usually stereotyped as criminals’. In the studio, where Cameron works, his producer ironically tells him that he is not acting well enough for a black person. Even though it is not his fault, he fears losing his job, and agrees to act the scene again.
4. Racial discrimination between the detectives
When Water and Ria went to investigate the accident scene, they met an Asian woman. When Ria was arguing with the woman, Water went on with his work of investigating the crime scene. This caused their profession as detectives to be at permanent risk since they could not understand each other.
5. Racial discrimination between the locksmith and Farhad
Despite the fact that Daniel, the locksmith, was a family man at heart, both Farhad and the carjacked couple could not trust him. Jean thought of him just like the two blacks who had carjacked her. On the other hand, Farhad thought he was lying to him when he told him that the door lock needed to be changed. Daniel is depicted as a character with a good heart, and he did not think of revenging (Howard, and George 121).
CHARACTERS THAT PERPETUATED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE MOVIE
1) The two black teens that carjacked Jean and her husband help to continue the racial perception of blacks as criminals
2) When Cameroon wanted to shoot at Antony, he also mentioned and emphasized on the racial stereotype.
3) When Farhad wanted to kill Daniel for revenge, he portrayed Persians as violent people who like arguments. In addition, the fact that Farhad did not understand English made it easier for others to discriminate him.
4) On the other hand, Daniel, the Latino locksmith, who endures mockery, did not perpetuate racialism.
CHARACTERS THAT DID NOT DEPICT RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Antony was the only character in the movie that did not perpetuate racism. When he finds Kim Lee at the hospital searching for her husband, he gives her a check, and tells her to go cash it. When Antony finds Asian immigrants locked up in the back of the van, he sets the Asians free and gives them some money to ensure that everyone has gotten something to eat. (Howard and George 121)
REPRESENTATION OF HOW PEOPLE ACT IN SOCIETY REGARDING DISCRIMINATION
This movie is an accurate representation of the society today. Fred, Cameron’s producer, talks ill of him. He discriminates Cameron because he is a black and talks ironically about him. Fred is a real racist.
Some people do not want to be associated with people from a certain religion, or people with certain disabilities. Discrimination is present in the daily lives. People discriminate others because of their color, gender, disabilities, social classes and religion. People often avoid areas associated with the disabled and the poor in the society.
I was once a victim of religious discrimination, where Christians and Muslims were not allowed to use the same facilities in the hotel. There was also different food for each group.
RELATION OF THE MOVIE TO OTHER READINGS
The movie demonstrates various ways people can discriminate each other. Likewise, in the book, Race Class and Gender by Margret and Patricia Collins, the authors show the various avenues or aspects that people are judged in accordance to. For instance, in some areas, people are discriminated based on their gender while in other based on their religion. A good instance is Jews, who have had to constantly keep changing their names to avoid being prosecuted for a long time. (O'Reilly 233)
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH DISCRIMINATION
Once, some white boy referred to one of my black friends as a daughter of a chimpanzee. This was extremely uncomfortable and infuriating. I stood up to him, and made him apologize in front of everyone. It was terribly wrong of him to treat the girl like that, yet she was the same human being as all of us, he simply had another color of skin, yet she performed better than most of us in class, and didn’t deserve to be treated that way.