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Education and Racial Inequality: Analysis of Crash


Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist, once mentioned that "small is the quantity of individuals who see with the eyes and think using their intellects. "[1] People tend to scrutinize the exterior world with their internal prejudice, watching people under their own presumptions about competition; the majority of men and women have a tendency to also think using their eyes, as said by Einstein above, and presume a person's insides correspond with the way they look externally. One stops doing this when one has an experience that contradicts one's presumptions and stereotypes. Prejudice contributes to stereotypical behaviour and conducts in people. However, when those stereotypes are disproved by encounters, individuals are obligated to re-evaluate their prejudicial attitudes. Therefore, prejudicial attitudes can be get over when people are pressured to juxtapose possible that disproves their stereotypical behaviour. Many types of such cases are exhibited in the movie Crash, aimed by Paul Haggis.

Prejudicial beliefs lead visitors to stereotype others predicated on their contest. Vincent Parrillo identifies cognitive level of prejudice as an "encompass[ment of] someone's values and perceptions of an organization a threating or nonthreatening, second-rate or equivalent, seclusive or intrusive, impulse gratifying, acquisitive, or having other positive or negative characteristics" (Parrillo 505). Stereotyping is a kind of cognitive level of prejudice as it is acquired through experience and impressions. Hence, stereotypes are external expressions of inner prejudices. In Crash, Jean Cabot and her partner is seen walking down a block in a prosperous neighborhood during the night. Jean Cabot visibly retains to her husband's arm tighter while passing Anthony and Peter, who are of African descent. This action, induced by Jean's presumption that both black men were gangsters, is a definite epitome of prejudice on the cognitive level, as described by Parrillo. Jean retains these values as consequence of contact with the media, and absence thereof to real people of racial minorities. Her lack of exposure to minorities originates from her predominantly white and prosperous residence and background. Nevertheless, this presumption of hers against people of certain color is fueled when both black guys hijack her vehicle. Her bigotry-and her appearance of prejudice-is further illustrated in the subsequent picture, wherein she vehemently opposes the locksmith changing her hair due to her belief that the locksmith, a Hispanic man, has "prison" tattoos. She groundlessly issues that the locksmith will "sell [their] keys to 1 of his gang banger friends as soon as he is beyond [their] door" (Crash). It can be easily inferred from the arena that although the locksmith-who is uninvolved in the couple's affairs-has done no wrong, Jean's false notion of who he's dictates her behaviour and opinions on the Hispanic man. According to Parrillo, Jean is using the locksmith as a scapegoat, as her prejudice reaches an even of mental, action orientated and self-justified level. She considers performing maliciously on the Hispanic man appropriate credited to her criticism of his race all together: an take action of self-justification. In just one more arena, a clerk at a gun shop refuses service towards a vintage American resident of Middle Eastern descent, as the clerk malevolently mocks the client and lets it be known that he opposes anyone related to the center East, insinuating that Midsection Easterners are terrorists who "take a flight 747" (Crash) and "incinerate" (Crash) civilians. Parrillo would identify this as an "action-orientated degree of prejudice" (Parrillo 505). The clerk indisputably shows strong contempt against Midsection Easterners, (or who he perceives to be Middle Easterners) stereotyping them to be bad for the American contemporary society, and refusing to market them ammunition. Sadly, due to this distressing experience, Farhad evolves a prejudice against fellow People in the usa of different descent, who he thinks are ought to "cheat" (Crash) him. Farhad's newfound prejudice is depicted when he feels that the locksmith is cheating him by refusing to repair his door, despite using a valid reason to do so. Regarding Jean Cabot, we can see how one's own prejudice can form stereotypes that direct one's antagonistic tendencies against an uninvolved third party. Regarding Farhad, we can see how an take action of prejudice and hatred can reversely instigate a prejudice resistant to the prejudicial party and any regarded associates, superfluously continuing the chain of intolerance.

Racial stereotypes are oftentimes disproven by their patients, forcing the oppressor to reevaluate his or her own prejudgments. Within the movie Crash, when Jean suffers an injury scheduled to her semester, and her friend Carol is nowhere found, her housemaid Maria calls for her to the er. Maria, a Hispanic woman, shows great good care and compassion towards Jean, disproving her stereotype. This leads Jean to get away from her preceding prejudices against different races. The movie further depicts the refutation stereotypes with the scene wherein Peter, a dark male, sometimes appears hitchhiking at nighttime. Official Hanson, upon discovering Peter, offers him a ride in his personal vehicle. They converse awkwardly until Peter recognizes the St. Christopher statue on the automobile dashboard. Upon finding the statue, Peter movements showing his own statue of St. Christopher to Official Hanson. However, Official Hanson's prejudice makes him reason that a black guy hitchhiking at the moment of the night time is up to no good. Hence, Hanson says, "Get your hands out of your pocket" (Crash). Peter does not catch his shade, and Hanson authoritatively orders Peter to "put [his] hands where [Hanson] can see them" (Crash). Therefore, Peter gets to for his St. Christopher statue while Officer Hanson grows to for his revolver and shoots Peter. Peter's hands unfolds, exhibiting the St. Christopher medal inside the palm. Hanson responds with horror as he involves realization that his stereotyping have been disproven and he had determined manslaughter without provocation. These moments in the movie Crash show that the entire world must realize that there is a spirit, a heart and a human being under someone's skin, whatever color.

When oppressors are forced to reevaluate their prejudices, as stated above, they may be destined to make changes with their attitudes and manners. Jean's prejudices against Hispanic people dissipates following the incident regarding Maria's care. Later, in the field where Maria brings tea to Jean, Jean instantly embraces Maria, and does not let go. Jean shows love by expressing, "Would you like to listen to something funny? You're the closest friend I've received" (Crash). Jean's glistening eyes, and the melodious soundtrack participating in in the background alludes to Jean's redemption of her earlier wrongful ways. This sharply contrasts the earlier scene, in which Jean frowns, leers, and blatantly asks deriding and rhetorical questions such as "Is this clean or is this dusty?" (Crash) On eliminating Peter, Official Hanson has a horrified manifestation on his face, as he perceives Peter's deceased gaze. He pushes your body from the car, gets out, and kneels gradually over the dead body in disbelief of what he did. He realizes that Peter was not going to carry him hostage with a weapon but instead was getting for his St. Christopher statue. In both the situations, stereotypes were proven wrong and the holders of the stereotypes feel guilty once they were proven wrong. Before this event, Hanson portrayed himself as an individual who did not have confidence in stereotypes; but after this incident, he realizes that his prejudice is deeper rooted than his mindful egalitarian actions because of his socialization process. He is not alone put through this socialization process, all individuals with constant usage of media are placed through this technique. Media holds a solid footings in dispersal of prejudice.

The movie Crash, a form of media, also forces the audience to reevaluate their prejudices that they don't believe they have, but subconsciously does indeed. Within the movie Crash, Anthony is assumed initially to be a heartless gangster who steals from the innocent for a quick buck. Nevertheless, in the landscape wherein Anthony gives his stolen vehicle to the owner of the chop shop, he won't sell the refugees within the van to the owner of the chop shop, even though the sale of refugees could have brought him tremendous earnings. With this work, Anthony breaks down the obstacles of his stereotype place after him by the audience. Furthermore, he shows a random work of kindness by giving forty dollars to the refugees who had been visibly in need. In the following scene, he rests in the truck, introspects, and cannot avoid smiling anticipated to his altruism, which he had not recently exhibited in the slightest. The audience can infer from Anthony's reaction that breaking one's own negative stereotypes by functions of benevolence can have a heartwarming effect. The audience is made to feel like an oppressor for having a stereotype against Anthony; when he disproves it, the audience is also designed to reconsider their own stereotypes the truth is. The movie brings the detriments of prejudice out in to the open and makes one realize how it is a significant societal condition.

Through the movie Crash, the audience can learn that although prejudices can be found and dominate the inner workings of modern culture, it can also be shattered by positive connections with the oppressors and the oppressed. After they are shattered, the once prejudiced party gets an opportunity to cleanse their minds of such presumptions, and see the world around them with a fresh light.

Work Cited

Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis. Perf. Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton,

Terrence Howard, Brendan Fraser, Ryan Phillippe, Jennifer Esposito, Christopher Brian Bridges, Michael Pena, Larenz Tate and Shaun Toub. Lionsgate, 2004. Film.

Vincent N. Parrillo "Causes of Prejudice. " Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical

Thinking and Writing. Eds. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, Bonnie Lisle.

Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2013. 504-517. Print.


[1] "Quotations about Prejudice", - The Estimate Garden: A Harvest of Quotations for Term Addicts. Web. 16 July. 2011 <http://www. quotegarden. com/prejudice. html >

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