Racism's Unlikely Antidote - Jacob Dreyer
Within the film Talk to Me, white racism towards blacks is dealt with almost entirely off-screen. Issues of white dominance are seen mostly through the controls of the FCC, and the police after the riots, both of these show how the man's controls are enforced but neither take center stage, however. It is the black racism towards whites and other blacks that is much more prevalent within the film. What the film shows the viewer, and this is also seen in Back's article, is that this racism can most effectively be stopped by those, black or white, taking action against the bigots of their own race. This occurs during the riots after Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination in the movie. Petey runs out and stops black men from beating and presumably killing a white store owner. Here Petey is doing good by stopping the actions of his own race, and curbing the racism inherent in their attack. Back also addresses this. In his article he relates one story of racist young men verbally attacking one mixed race man and his friends who were "mixing." The racists desperately want the unoffending group to go outside so they can attack them. Here the racists, who are white, are assaulting not just those of a different race, but also their own race for consorting and crossing the line. In the end it takes two married white couples, and really it is only the wives, to lead the mixed group to safety. "So there was these two women from Liverpool with their husbands and they walked with us to our car. They were the only people who spoke up in the whole restaurant...." Again it is people of one race standing up to others within it in order to do right. What is most important to take from these two occurences though is that those doing right are in the minority. Petey is the only black man seen trying to stop the violence. In a crowded restaurant only two women take action. In order to truly stop the racism seen in these instances, more widespread action against the sections of our own races that are the culprits must be taken.