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In: English and Literature

Submitted By peechiz627
Words 1138
Pages 5
Yuliana Magana
Professor Warner
English 112
23 November 2014
Racial Profiling and Stereotypes Issues
In a city such as Los Angeles, racial profiling takes places constantly throughout the day. In this film, “Crash”, Paul Haggis follows the lives of over 10 people from different backgrounds, and how they are faced with racial profiling or stereotypes. This movie is not only thought provoking, it shows the reality of such a complex world. The director, Haggis, shows how each character is faced with racial profiling/stereotypes and how it creates a snowball effect in each of their lives, as well as affecting the lives of others. The film “Crash” assumes that profiling is a bad but that people do it anyways. Self-serving attributions, revenge, victimizing, scapegoat, etc., can motivate stereotypes. Haggis wants us to feel guilty by watching all the different stereotypes that exist in today’s world; he wants us to realize not to judge a person by their physical appearance and/or race. Even Haggis illustrates anger and sympathy towards people that use stereotypes on other people. Most will say that because we are human it allows us to be imperfect but it being human doesn’t allow us to discriminatory towards other imperfect human beings.
Racial profiling is when a person is judged by their race or ethnicity. The movie allows it’s viewers to see how racial profiling is a moral issues. It is projected be people of all races and classes. We can still see in today’s world people are still being judged; meaning stereotypes still exist. In the film, when the two white police officers, Ryan and Hanson, pull over Cameron (the movie director) and his wife, Christine. We can see Ryan has a anxious yet hateful attitude toward African Americans. We can clearly tell Haggis wants to demonstrate that racial profiling exists in this scene, that there are law enforcements that are corrupt and unfortunately judge a person by their race or ethnicity. Historically, racial issues have existed for a long period of time that can be dated back events listed in the Bible. An example of this is the historical notion that the Egyptians used Jews as slaves. Also, a more relevant example would be the fight for equality that was the mission of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as many others. Martin Luther King fought for African Americans to be treated equally and to abolish discrimination among all races. Martin Luther King once said, “…We will not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.” In the movie Haggis portrays the present circumstances, which shows that even with the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and historically evidence that shows the effects of discrimination, stereotypes still exist and it’s still a problem in today’s society.
Haggis shows in separate narrations, that stereotypes are a learned process and can be untaught, giving that a person becomes a victim themselves. We can see the same stereotypes being passed down and as well as new ones being added, in society. For example, the idea that most people of Hispanic descent are not fluent in English or that they aren’t American citizens, is a stereotype that has spread gradually especially with the numerous immigration reforms. Stereotypes can also be said to exist politically, right on capital hill, where laws are passed to make sure everyone is treated equally.
The harsh reality is that people believe and act on stereotypes both knowingly and unknowingly to them. They take advantage of others that are of different races or genders, not to be malicious but because they are reflection of a learned behavior. In Crash, there is a scene when the Farhad (a Persian store owner) got his store robbed and believed it was most likely done by someone that believed it would be easy and right to take advantage of an “innocent middle eastern”. Haggis is very precise in keeping the movie’s point of view neutral; he proves that there are many stereotypes, held by many people. Haggis shows that the consequences of having stereotypes can lead to one making unmoral decisions, which can lead to another victim enacting on stereotypes.
In many cases we’ve seen or heard about innocent people that have been accused of crimes they have not committed because of racial profiling. In today’s society we see “hate crimes” being committed as well and have doubled its percentage and has been one of the main reasons people have committed crimes towards other people. Victims perceived that over half (51%) of hate crimes were motivated by ethnicity bias in 2012, as listed in National Crime Justice Reference Service. Though times are progressively moving forward, the subject of racial profiling and discrimination is still prominent and is still experienced by many. Just like Farhad thought Daniel (the Hispanic handyman), was trying to steal his money and not there do the job he was suppose to do. This scene shows Farhad’s anger and how he takes it to the extreme and to tries to kill Daniel because of his assumptions. Luckily, the gun didn’t function the way he wanted it to. I think Daniel’s daughter miraculous rescue was to show Daniel was a good man as well as a good father and to make Farhad feel guilty about the crime he was about to commit. Racial issues can be seen not just in crimes but as well as in employers. Many have experienced it and do not report it. It’s more likely for a person with what is considered a “white name” to get a call back from an employer for an interview, than for a person with a ethnic name or surname to receive a call.
Racial profiling and stereotypes have and will continue to exist for centuries, and will affect generations that we will not see. I personally can relate to stereotypes of a general nature. I’ve had cases where an individual has assumed because of my skin color and my appearance, that I’m “Mexican”, or from the country of Mexico, when I am not. This is not caused by a lack of education, but it is simply a learned behavior that they have been submitted to through media and other resources. I don’t believe stereotypes will ever cease to exist, because truly stereotypes are beliefs or thoughts of people, not actual facts but simply opinions. Crash doesn’t offer any escape from the ways of thinking and acting in terms of stereotypes that so imprison the character. All the characters in Crash, show different stereotypes that exist in today’s society. Overall, though minorities hold not only public and political positions they also face racial adversity. Eliminating racial profiling and discrimination is not a task that will happen overnight but it can happen with dedication and empathy from everyone.…...

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