Remember the Titans was based on a true story set in 1971 in a small Virginia town that was still seeing the effects of segregation and its citizens were still somewhat at odds over racial issues. The film is on both sides in terms of whether it supports or dismantles dominant racial ideology, as the attitudes and situations toward race change as the film goes on. In the early part of the film, we get a glimpse at how the dominant racial ideology was supported when Coach Boone, an African American head coach, played by Denzel Washington, was hired and the Caucasian Bill Yoast was offered an assistant coach position as a sign of good faith from Coach Boone.
Yoast refuses at first, but after the white players on the team threaten to boycott without Yoast on the roster, he accepts the position. It could be argued that the white players felt that a black coach was not smart enough to be a competent coach and thus they would lose games.
Another probable fear of the dominant racial ideology camp in this situation was that Coach Boone would favor his black players over the white ones, not basing playing time on talent or merit, but on skin color. Another more stark instance of the dominant racial ideology was portrayed when the camp prepares to board the bus to go camping and All America linebacker Gerry Bertier approaches Coach Boone and demands that half the offense and half the special teams be reserved for whites, as well as leaving the defense alone.
He also says that he doesn’t need “any of your people” to Boone, referring to the black players, a clear sign of his subscription to the theory that white athletes are better for some reason unknown. It’s evidenced further in the camp when Bertier calls out Julius Campbell for “playing selfish, showboat football”, implying that he, as a black male, is not as intelligent as he is. This could fall into the argument of that period where it was still commonly held belief that while blacks were more athletic on average (the reason of that time was because of their more animalistic instincts etc), the white players “played the game the way it was supposed to be played”, definitely a clear sign of adherence to the dominant racial ideology in favor of Caucasians. As camp moves on, you begin to see the players overcome the racial boundaries between them and see each other as peers, as equals.
This is exemplified in the scene where Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell are surrounded by the team huddling and chanting and they have an intense pep talk of sorts, Bertier asks Campbell “what kind of power do you have?!?”. Campbell responds with “I got soul power!”, using a term that was mainly used by African Americans in a sense of pride during that time. The scene brings about an extreme sense of unity and therefore equality among the players for the most part. While the players have moved past the perceived racial barriers between them, the community as a whole hasn’t necessarily followed suit. About midway through the film, you see Coach Yoast pull a white player from the game and the father of the white player is irate and launches into a verbal tirade in the stands, and the tirade is mostly based on his son’s replacement player Biersack, not the fact that he was playing poorly. Coakley talks about how there is tension when Blacks breakthrough from being underrepresented in a sport or area and this is defined in the movie as TC Williams High School became the product of an all-whited another all-black school is de segregated. The movie overall does not support the dominant racial ideology, towards the end of the movie, Gerry and Julius become best friends and self-proclaimed “brothers”.
The movie also shows how both races can be hurt by racial discrimination, robbing them of the pleasure of a friendship that happens to be not of the same race. Coakley, Jay. (2009). Sports in Society Issues and Controversies. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.