The perception of racism towards African Americans in the United States is shown through both current American novels and films. Nearly every novel and film made today portrays a sense of racism towards African Americans and continually has the African American gangster and the white man hero. Unfortunately, many African Americans are categorized compared to whites as less qualified, educated and trustworthy. More specifically, the novel Southland acknowledged a different racial perception of jobs towards whites and people of color in relation to being a police officer. White people are continually represented as the proper, social and economical power by what jobs they are given and the actions they take. Different novels, films and critical readings demonstrate how African Americans are portrayed inadequately in relation to whites due to the jobs and characteristics that continually lead to becoming the villain.
In the novel Southland, the two main police officers during the investigation are Nick Lawson and Robert Thomas is who are in charge of finding out the truth of the murders of the four African Americans in the freezer. Lawson, the white police officer, is assumed the murderer because he is white and the children are black but in actuality, the black police officer Thomas ends up being the villain. Lanier “couldn’t fathom that this man, that any black man, would commit such an act against children… the murderers were even worse, somehow, because Thomas had committed them”(Southland, 316). This is important because the idea that whites and African Americans are trying to become less segregated in real life are being portrayed as back-stabbing villains who are killing people of their own race to fend for themselves. The impression Nina Revoyr shows through the characters of Southland depicts how African Americans are still being shown as the villain while whites continually end up becoming the hero.
In relationship of African Americans shown as the villain within a society, Revoyr hints to this more when describing the apartment complex of Jackie’s aunt. “The two shootings and numerous hold-ups that had scared the residents lately had all occurred within the Estates, not outside of them, so she didn’t see why the guards were so concerned with visitors”(Southland, 15). This passage is important because Revoyr illustrates with her words how African Americans are somewhat caged within their own society and fighting people of their own kind. The idea of the white person as always the hero and the African American as the villain directly relates to the fact they are fighting within their own race and not others. Never in books are fancy white neighborhoods shown as the poor, aggressive and hated area of society quite like the African American ones.
The perfect example of racism in film in relation to African Americans portrayed improperly is David Ayer’s Training Day. This is a story about a white man, Jake Hoyt, who is becoming a police...