Intersectionality in Crash: A Look into Anthony
In the world of sociology and the studies of human interaction, the term intersectionality has been defined as, “the idea that various biological, social, and cultural categories – including gender, race, class, and ethnicity – interact and contribute towards systematic social inequality” (“Definition of Intersectionality – Sociology”). However, as Dr. White defined the term on the Spring 2014 Final Writing Assignment sheet, these categories that make up one’s identity can “intersect or interact in ways that can either advantage or disadvantage the person’s well-being and development” (White). In regards to the text, David M. Newman’s Identities & Inequalities: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality, Newman progressively explores the concept of intersectionality throughout the entirety of the text, but he does not ever actually define the term itself. Although an exact, clear-cut definition of the term “intersectionality” has not been officially established, the concept of the term is fairly simple to understand. Every person has different social identities that they carry to their name. Intersectionality is simply an analysis of how those different identities play off of each other and how they affect the person they are describing.
In the 2004 film Crash, directed and written by Paul Haggis along with fellow screenplay writer Bobby Moresco (“Crash: Full Cast & Crew”), the entire storyline of the film is heavily influenced by intersectionality and skewed perceptions of other social groups within society. The character that I am choosing to focus on specifically is the character Anthony, played by Christopher Bridges (also known as Ludacris). Anthony’s first appearance in the film brings him in asking his friend, “Did you see any white people in there waiting an hour and thirty-two minutes for a plate of spaghetti? Huh? And how many cups of coffee did we get?” (“Crash”). Throughout the majority of the film, Anthony is alongside his friend Peter (played by Larenz Tate), who is quite literally his partner in crime. Peter responds to Anthony’s agitated question by telling him, “You don’t drink coffee, and I didn’t want any… We didn’t get any coffee that you didn’t want, and I didn’t order. And that’s evidence of racial discrimination? Did you notice that our waitress was black?” (“Crash”). Throughout the film, Peter is often the one who must diffuse Anthony’s frustrations with levelheaded, logical responses to his racist and stereotypical implications.
Anthony’s character is peculiar because the mentality that he holds regarding race relations and cultural divisions is almost entirely contradictory of his behavior. In the same conversation with Peter after they leave the restaurant, Anthony notices that a white woman (Jean Cabot – played by Sandra Bullock) walking near them grasped her husband (Rick Cabot – played by Brendan Fraser)’s arm tighter and appeared to become...