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Prejudice And Discrimination In "Crash" Essay

1016 words - 4 pages

While the film “Crash” has several complex characters with storylines that all become interconnected in various ways, the movie is predominantly about how prejudice plays into people’s everyday lives and how such prejudice usually has negative implications. The characters in the film all had their own prejudices, or attitudes judging others in negative ways, which set the stage for discrimination, stereotypes, racism, and scapegoats. Thus, one can see how prejudice plays such a pivotal role in people’s relations with each other. As a result, it is best to analyze this film from a symbolic interactionism point of view by analyzing how the labels the characters encounter in this film affect their perception and in turn create prejudice (Henslin).
One of the most obvious labels that characters dealt with in “Crash” were the labels based upon race. One of the best examples of how racial labels shaped the social environment is the way Daniel, a tattooed Hispanic locksmith, was treated by both Jean Cabot, a white woman who was also the District Attorney’s wife, and Farhad, a Persian small business owner. Both Jean and Farhad labeled Daniel as a Mexican. This label in turn led both Jean and Farhad to have selective perception towards Daniel. In Jean’s case, she perceived Daniel as a Mexican thug simply because he looked Latino and had tattoos. She ignored evidence of Daniel’s real identity of just a humble father and locksmith trying to support his family. She did not take notice of his polite and professional attitude nor his employment through a reputable company. All Jean saw when she looked at Daniel was a Mexican who was untrustworthy. Similarly, Farhad labeled Daniel as a Latino and thus also believed him to be untrustworthy. When Daniel tried to tell Farhad his professional opinion about how Farhad needed to replace the door rather than the lock, Farhad yelled at Daniel and called him a cheat because he thought Daniel was trying to steal his money by not fixing what needed to be fixed and charging him for work he did not do. Daniel suffered individual discrimination from Farhad because Farhad perceived him as Latino, and thus thought he was deceitful and treated him accordingly. Later, when Farhad’s store was trashed because someone broke in through the faulty door, Farhad sought revenge on Daniel because he felt that he was responsible for the trashed store. As a result, Daniel became Farhad’s scapegoat for his frustration of having a ruined store because he did not listen to Daniel’s professional opinion.
Daniel was not the only victim of racism, Peter and Anthony, two young Black males, were also targets of prejudice and discrimination because of their race. From a symbolic interactionist point of view, these two men were heavily influenced by the stereotypes imposed on them. For example, as Jean and Rick Cabot were walking down the street, Jean got closer to her husband as she passed Anthony and Peter because she prejudged them as...

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