In the crime-drama film, “Crash,” several stories of social injustice are portrayed negatively across the city Los Angeles, California. The film discusses the issue of racism towards both individuals and oppressed groups. These character stories: a racist white police officer, a black detective, his brother and a gang member; a rich white business man and his wife, a Persian family that owns a convenience store; a black TV producer and wife; a Hispanic locksmith and daughter all suffer from discrimination based on their race and ethnicity.
Crash captures the realism of these situations happening on a day-to-day basis and the struggle for people to decide what is right and wrong for themselves. The conflict throughout the film is brought in by the character’s mind set on certain stereotypes for certain races. John Ryan (Matt Dillon), the white LVPD police officer calls the local clinic to find he is speaking to a black women when she answers the phone as ” Shaniqua Johnson. In seconds John replies, ” oh big fu*king surprise that is ? making an assumption based on a stereotype of her name and hangs up. When John visits the clinic in person and is greeted by Shaniqua, he is refused the help he needs and continues to insult her. This, however is a case where the victim has more power over the victimizer, which is uncommon. The other case happens more frequently in the movie. The Persian immigrant family has a broken lock and door on their store so they call the Hispanic locksmith for repairs.
The locksmith switches the lock and tells the owner the door has to be changed in order for it to lock to work, creating an argument between the two. The next day the store is broken into and the Persian owner is left blaming the locksmith that he broken in, based on his race, not the facts. Over and over unfair stereotypes are engraved on groups negatively that only result in conflict. Crash also demonstrates that if stereotypes are created it may be more reason for some people to follow them.
Just before two black gang members steal a couples SUV, they look to each other as the wife clings on to her husband while they walk by ” Look around you, you couldn’t find a whiter, a safer, better lit part of this city right now, but yet this white woman sees two black guys that look like UCLA students strolling down the sidewalk and the reaction is blind fear. ? From the lady’s perspective, it is obvious she is scared of the two men, but later in the movie she mentions she did not intentionally mean to be racist. Does this make stereotypes a part of the way we behave and live life?
There is no instance where racism portrays a positive outcome. Whether it is towards someone, or against you, the effects are all prejudice. Paul includes an example where the Hispanic locksmith’s family being almost broken apart because of the convenience store owner’s discrimination. The owner assumed the locksmith was the one to break into his store and threatened to kill him family soon after. Or when one of the black gang members hitched a ride with a white man. The black man wanted to show him something in his pocket and before he even had the chance the white man pulled a gun and shot him.
This ultimately shows that he assumed the worst in this man when all he wanted to share with him was a keychain he saw as good luck charm that resulted with his life was taken. Finally Crash includes how racial discrimination can be ended. When Jean (Sandra Bullock) the rich wife falls down the stairs, unable to get up, she calls her best friend to come over. Her supposed “best friend ? though chooses to get a massage instead of come help. Jean instead called her Mexican maid, Maria whom she treats unfairly all the time. Maria then takes care of her bringing Jean to an epiphany that her only true friend is Maria.
In conclusion, the film “Crash” provides a strong message of the situations racial discrimination portrays in society daily. The stereotypes people have enforced, are now a part of life, whether it’s intentional or not. What makes the movie’s message more powerful and persuasive than others is that Haggis leads the audience to choose what they truthfully believe is the right versus wrong rather than just tell you what is. Altogether, “Crash” demonstrates the realism of social injustice throughout our societies by racial and ethnicity discrimination.