The Color of Fear
In this morning's class we watched the Color of Fear, a film of a continuing conversation about racism in America. The participants include eight men, two white, two black, two latino, and two Asian, with the Asian director also involved. As the men began to interact and discuss their personal experiences, it became incredibly clear that racism was deeply intertwined into all of their lives, whether they were aware of it or not.
While I found the conversation interesting, I thought that it was all a bit superficial. Everything seemed to be set up to lead to preconcieved conclusions. Of course there would be one white male who was not "aware" of the struggles that people of color have and that whites are in positions of power. This would allow for the others to gang up on him and address the issue of white supremacy.There is also the reformed white male, the aggressive black male, and the analyzing, while a bit touchy, Asian. I also knew that one of latinos would make the claim that he was the most American, as his people were there first.
These men represent stereotypes of each race. All of these positions are nothing new, and frankly, they hold no place in the movement to eliminate racism. They are all dedicated to their beliefs and not willing to even consider the positions of others. Therefore, they all said what they believed to be correct. Although they did listen to what the others said, they immediately categorized and dissmissed it.
Another issue that I think surfaced in this film is how when discussing racism, most people generalize to the point that it is no longer personal. The men were discussing what it means to be this or that color and what this color thinks about that color. They used personal experiences to explain what it is like for everyone like them, and to explain what other races think. They did not allow themselves to see how they themselves could be adding to the problem.
I do see this film as a good step forward in the study and elimination of racism in America. However, it seems a bit inconcievable to extend it to a larger scale. There are many positions that are not included and involving all of those who are neglected in this film would make the task perhaps too complex to complete. The film neglects privileged men of color, religious minorities, gays, and women of every race and ecomonic position. Also, the task of national education on racism seems impossible because there is no general consensus on what the issue really is, how it affects people, and what should be known, as illustrated by the men in this film.