The Color of Fear and Ethnicity
In this film, The Color of Fear, a group of 8 men of different races are brought together to discuss their issues of race individually, with eachother's racial groups and within their own racial groups. The film was set up as a kind of filmed "support group-documentary" typed voyeuristic film to really capture these conversations candidly to set up the true feelings of these people and their stories and feelings regarding racism. There were some very emotional moments set up when the group basically turned against one white man trying to explain to him the idea of white privlege (in so many words) and trying to break through to him their ideas of the responsibilities belonging to white people in American regarding the treatment of "others" that are of a different race than him. The whole group basically set up this team against this man who refused to see that in his view of regarding people that are not white, and trying to regard them as human beings, he is only further perpetuating a separation of them from himself, and in the words of Vincent, one of the African American men, expecting others to all be like white people. Not human beings, but for all people to see themselves as equal white people. It seemed as though all the people there except David (the white man, who was seemingly a bit naive) were on the same page about this unfair treatment, and were trying to get him to see how big of an issue racism is, and how there is no easy solution by just refusing to acknowledge it by saying that we are all equal human beings.
There were also some very interesting dialogues that came to the forefront when Vincent questioned David on what it is like to be white. It was really making him vulnerable and making him answer a question that I think a lot of white people don't know how to answer. I addressed this kind of topic in an earlier response I made to someone's post, regarding ethnicity. A lot of white Americans do not subscribe to their ethnicities because they generationally so far removed from that ethnicity, that it does not really mean anything to say that they are German-American or Irish-American. There is no pride attached to being Euro-American as there is being African-American or Latino-American because being white and American is taken for granted and having that white privelege is something that white people don't acknowlege on a daily basis like colored people do, as Vincent pointed out. "Colored people know what it is like to be white, but white people have no idea what it is like to be black or asian or latino," I think it what he said, or something along those lines.
I think one way to solve this kind of problem once again is to take the initiative to be more prideful of your ethnicity and be aware of where you are coming from. Yes, we are all Americans if we were born and raised in America. But for the most part, we all immigrated here at some point and we have an ethnicity in our families that we have a right to celebrate and learn about and embrace. It is something that lives in us and is a part of us. Being American means something a lot different than what we believe it to be, based on our histories and backgrounds. Unless we are Native American, we really are not coming from an American ethnicity. Once we learn about our own ethnicities and backgrounds we can start to understand eachother's a little better and I think it's a valient start to tackling racism and the hoplessness that follows it.