If you have never experienced racism, sexism, or been a victim of stereotyping, then you are in the minority of the human population. No matter the color of your skin, socioeconomic status, gender identity, or sexual orientation, no one should put down someone else in order to bring themselves up. The movie Crash, demonstrates the different stereotypes and racism and shows how different microcultures interact when in uncomfortable or demeaning situations. When trying to identify with a particular character, I reached a crossroads.
I would say I identify on some level with three different characters Mrs. Jean is supposed to represent the white privileged woman in the movie. Jean, while most likely raised and now living in a higher socioeconomic status that me, doesn’t experience the gunshots in her neighborhood that Daniel and his daughter does. I have always had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, great food to eat, and a loving family. Yes money has been tighter at some points in my life than others, but I was never missing something that I needed.
As much as I don‘t want to call myself privileged, I know that I am compared to other people.
That is something I would never argue with because I know there are people less fortunate than me. I truly wish that wasn’t so, but unfortunately that is how the world is. My upbringing was one of acceptance and equality. I was never afraid of another race growing up, I had friends of all different colors.
I would say this is one thing that contrasts me from Jean. While she stereotypes Daniel as a “gangbanger,” I would just see him as a man employed as a locksmith. Yes he has tattoos and yes he has a shaved head, but those are choices he was free to make, and rightfully so. When Jean grabs ahold tighter of her husband‘s arm when she sees Peter and Anthony on the street, I don’t think she was being racist. We don‘t know if Jean did it just because they were black, or if there was a different reason, or even a combination of reasons We hear every day on the news, on the radio, in the newspapers, or on social media of bad things happening all the time.
If Jean clutching the arm of a loved one makes her feel safer, I don‘t see anything wrong with it. Growing up you are always told to go with your gut feeling and if something doesn‘t feel right, then to get out of that situation, We can judge Jean on why she felt uncomfortable but unless we are her, we don’t really know. Ultimately her gut feeling was correct because Anthony and Peter steal their car. Jean may be a privileged white woman, raised in a naive bubble, but there is more depth to her than what appears on the surface. Shaniqua Johnson was stereotyped only because of the name she was given, Talking to her on the phone, or even in person, she comes across as a very pleasant and educated woman. It isn’t until Officer John Ryan hears that her name is Shaniqua that he loses respect for her. Ryan even states that there are 30 men more qualified to do herjob. Where Shaniqua is stereotyped by her name, I have been for my gender. I have been a scenic carpenter for seven years now. i have earned the respect of my peers and fellow co—workers, but the minute i set foot outside my department‘s scene shop, I have to prove my skill and my knowledge.
This year I was promoted to Master Carpenter and Scene Shop Forewoman, When in other theatre venues or other scene shops, people must see me as a little girl. Yes I am a female, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am doing. Just like Shaniqua, in her case her gender and more critiqued, her name, both of us are just as qualified as a male to do ourjobs. Daniel, the locksmith, is called a “cheater” by Farhad and a “gangbanger” by Jean (Haggis, 2004). What neither of them know is that Daniel is a loving dad of a smart, sweet, and caring little girlt He works long hours in order to be able to provide for his family and was able to get them out of a bad neighborhood into a better one. I think in both scenarios, neither Farhad nor Jean knows who Daniel really is as a person. I believe in the entire movie, Daniel is the only one not to take out his anger and frustration on another microculture. Like Daniel, I may be judged and people have no clue what my life is like at home. On the outside, I try to come off as pleasant as possible, but I have had a lot of hardships in my life. At a young age I was physically and emotionally bullied, The end result was my mom pulling me out of that school and homeschooling me. It honestly has had the greatest impact on my life thus far, out of all my life experiences, [was ripped out of a school I once loved, separated from my best friends, and made to feel that I was the problem, and not the bully.
My mom was and is the biggest asset in my life and I’m so thankful she was there to guide me through that extremely difficult time. No one would guess this about me because I have grown from that situation. As we can infer, from Daniel’s socioeconomic status and profession, he did not complete a higher education and came from a rough neighborhood. Jean and Farhad are quick to judge him by his appearances but don‘t stop and think about where he comes from. Crash is an excellent example of rash judgments and perpetuating stereotypes Every microculture represented in the movie interacts with each other and mostly in a negative way. Crash shows how prevalent racism, sexism, and stereotypes are in American life, Unfortunately most people, if not all, have experiences one or more kinds of this oppression. While some go through it more often, others experience it more readily. Instead of perpetuating stereotypes and contributing to a negative environment we, as Americans, as a melting pot, need to embrace each other’s cultures and traditions.