Ignorance is Bliss - Using Examples from the Movie Crash

Ignorance is Bliss - Using Examples from the Movie Crash

In my life as a person living in a mainly black neighborhood, just about all of my childhood I have had to deal with racism very often. The movie Crash which also covers racism along with gender and class. I thought it was a great movie, because of how it addresses the perception of race through each character’s point of view, and how perceptions can be completely wrong.

In one scene Daniel the Latino locksmith was changing the locks for Rick Cabot the District Attorney and his wife Jean, who were just recently victims of a car jacking. The wife Jean notices that Daniel is Latino and has tattoos on his arms that she assumes are gang affiliated. Then she turns to her husband Rick and says, “When he leaves call another locksmith and change the locks again, because he is just going to sell a copy of are keys to his homies”. Jean was referring to Daniel because of her perception of him as being a gang banger due to his tattoos and as well as being Latino. This was a great example of how perception and race almost away bring people to the wrong conclusion about how people really are. In perception at a glance Daniel does look a little like what people would think a gang banger would look like, but really Daniel is a father who just works as a locksmith to support his family. In my life experiences I have been judged based on how I looked. When I was growing up I was often seen as the white kid in an almost all black neighborhood even though I‘m of Italian descent. People in the neighborhood assumed I was a typical white kid and they ridiculed and hated me because of the pigment of my skin similarly to how Daniel was judged based on how he looked. To understand why I was stereotyped, ridicule and hated, we will need to look back at what is fueling this hatred that black people have towards white people.

What I think is the main cause of the racism and hate toward white people in the black community would have to be the oppression and injustice that the black race went through years ago that was at no fault of the white people in this current day and age, from first being ripped away from their tribes in their native countries only to be sent to America and be sold to work as slaves on large farms know as plantations. The working conditions were very low standard, they lived in shanties that were barely fit for animals to live in and they eat little to nothing everyday. In these times blacks were considered to be inferior so they were treated like it was true. Even after the slaves were freed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and blacks had become citizens, they still faced much oppression and injustice up until the civil rights era, most of the United States was racially segregated until this time. Even after understanding the fuel that has kept racism burning even to this day, do you think the blame for these crimes should fall with people of the same pigment of the ones that did cause the oppression so many years ago ? I do not think this blame should be placed on anyone but the people that actually did cause the oppression , but since they are all dead I guess the black community can’t place the blame for this oppression on anyone really.

Another good example of how people let race perceive how they treat one an other would be the scene where Officer John Ryan was treated badly by Shaniqua Johnson when he was only trying to fix his father’s healthcare coverage. Shaniqua with her authority over Officer Ryan, made him feel oppressed by her attitude towards him. This caused him to resent her and because he knew she was a black women by her voice over the phone. Officer Ryan then decided to take his frustration out on another upper class black person with power. Sadly he set his sights on Christine Thayer and her husband Cameron Thayer. After pulling the couple over because they were driving a similar vehicle to the one that was reported stolen, Officer Ryan let his perception of the couple influence the way he treated them, because of his resentment towards Shaniqua Johnson being that she was the same race and class as the couple. Then asserted his authority by making both of get out of their vehicle then searched them both because they were upper class black people. Thus Officer Ryan created more oppression due to his resentment towards Shaniqua Johnson and her oppression towards him. Officer Ryan became more aggressive toward her then began to search her in a very inappropriate way. Clearly Officer Ryan’s aggression toward the couple and especially Christine, was no doubt fueled by the oppression he felt when Shaniqua Johnson refused to help him with his problem of having to fix his father’s healthcare coverage.

To conclude if perception is reality and we base our lives on perceived notions we will always be bound by the oppression we create, ignorance is bliss. The only way we could eliminate these false perception is to not think of people as different races, but to think of everyone as humans and nothing more. That is a world I would be proud to be a part of.