Free Custom «Portfolio» Essay Paper

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It is difficult to deny that Crash has become one of the most important and most notable challenges to racism in the present day cinema. Crash is a compilation of several different stories; of several different plotlines: a young woman inviting a Hispanic locksmith to change the locks in her house and next day changing these to make sure a Hispanic person does not have the second copy of her keys; a District Attorney using his racial politics to promote his career; an African-American car thief, who believes that his society is increasingly biased against the blacks; a police officer, who sexually molests an African-American woman, pretending he is searching for a weapon. All these are obviously designed to shed the light on the stereotypes, which govern our decisions and do not let us look deeper into the issue. Stereotypes are also the subjects of Dyer?s discussion, but Dyer tries to see a stereotype as a phenomenon both positive and negative ?
positive in a sense that it works to assign societies with specific identities, and negative in a sense that it limits societal outlook. As such, Crash stands out as the reflection of the major racial stereotypes, which although shape our identities and express our worldviews, still severely limit our abilities to look behind the wall of rejection and to see that there are people, not robots or empty identities behind those stereotypes. Any concept and any sociological meaning have a positive and a negative side; in this world, there is hardly anything that could be viewed as simply negative. Dyer tries to see that ?the stereotypes are, therefore, highly charged with the feelings that are attached to them. They are the fortress of our tradition, and behind its defenses we can continue to feel ourselves safe in the position we occupy?.
In the same manner, Jean Cabot is confident that Mexican Americans cannot be honest, even if they are high-quality skillful workers and know their job. Jean?s racial prejudice is so serious that she finds enough strength to call another locksmith and to change all locks once again. In this case, Jean seeks to preserve an order, where Mexican-Americans are considered inferior to white Americans ? a viewpoint, to which thousands of white people tend to adhere. In the same manner, Ria, a Latina detective, expresses the identity and worldview of other Americans: by criticizing the way an Asian woman drives her car, she also reveals hidden hatred toward people of other race. This hatred is just another determining feature of the present day racial relationships in the American society. That stereotypes stabilize the order of things and persuade us, that the flows of information we obtain from others are of one particular form is not easy to deny; nor is it difficult to disagree to an assumption that stereotypes also express our values and beliefs (Dyer). However, the fact that stereotypes also limit our worldviews is also beyond any doubts. The problem is that ?the need to order the great blooming, buzzing confusion reality is liable to be accompanied by a belief in the absoluteness and certainty of any particular order? (Dyer). Through Dyer?s lens, Jean becomes even more racially prejudiced, when her SUV is carjacked by the two African-Americans. Daniel becomes even more suspicious to the white people, when he discovers that his Mexican look denies the sense of trust, which white customers might have held toward him. In the same way, Farhad generates even more racist anxiety upon being called an Arab, although he is a Persian ?
a difference hardly any white individual will be able to notice. Stereotypes do express our identities, and they do store our values and beliefs about racism, but they limit our worldviews and prevent us from trying to look at the issue from a different perspective.


Stereotypes obviously work to create societal identities and store our values and beliefs. But they also limit our world outlook and do not let us look beyond the limits of racial prejudice. For many of us, black people remain an example of inferiority ? people, who are inherently unable to carry a sense of positivism with them. We also tend to reinterpret accidents and coincidences in a negative way. As a result, and the movie Crash confirms this view: stereotypes persuade us that there is a single predetermined, and an absolute order of things, which neither we, nor other people have sufficient power or willingness to change



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