Framing Racism: The Problematic Racial Politics of Crash

The movie CRASH is filled with racial stereotyping, prejudice and multiculturalism. Not only does this movie display examples of the racism among black and white people, but also the racism among Latinos, Koreans, Iranians, the rich and poor, and so many more. So racism is an important factor in this movie directed by Paul Haggis. Racism is the prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

Racism and colonialism were symmetrically related in Africa under white rule.

Both drew a line between the ‘superior’ white man and the ‘inferior’ black man. Besides the predominantly economic justification for European colonization of Africa, the race factor stands out distinct. The slave trade which preceded colonialism had confirmed the thesis among Europeans that the black race was an inferior one. The need therefore to “civilize” these inferior peoples was often advanced as one of the major justifications for European control of Africa.

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This notion fed heavily on a new theory called social Darwinism which appealed to imperialists.

Colonialism was racism in its most brutal form. It was expressed differently in differently African colonies but the common denominator was the line separating “white” from “black” or the superior from the “inferior.” In South Africa, this line of division was called apartheid but the black man in South Africa was as dreaded and tormented as his brother in Algeria or Kenya or Rhodesia.

Discussions of power relationships between the colonizer and the colonized are sometimes similar to studies on slavery and relationships between masters and slaves.

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Within the United States and other postcolonial the current reality of discrimination and racism towards minority populations bridges these two fields together through a joint critique of neocolonialism. For example, prominent black feminist bell hooks states, “I believe that black experience has been and continues to be one of internal colonialism” (148). A need to decolonize the mindset of contemporary America fuels current efforts in reclaiming and recovering minority history and literature. New sociological and literary approaches to history (Hazel Carby’s Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist, for example) become useful methods for reclaiming the past and forging culturally sensitive paradigms for the future.

‘Race’ is a term for the classification of human beings into physically,

biologically and genetically distinct groups. The notion of race assumes, firstly, that humanity is divided into unchanging natural types, recognizable by physical features that are transmitted ‘through the blood’ and permit distinctions to be made between ‘pure’ and ‘mixed’ races. Furthermore, the term implies that the mental and moral behaviour of human beings, as well as individual personality, ideas and capacities, can be related to racial origin, and that knowledge of that origin provides a satisfactory account of the behaviour. The race is particularly pertinent to the rise of colonialism because the division of human society in this way is inextricable from the need of colonialist powers to establish dominance over subject peoples and hence justify the imperial enterprise.Race thinking and colonialism are imbued with the same impetus to draw a binary distinction between ‘civilized’and ‘primitive’ and the same necessity for the hierarchization of human types. By translating the fact of colonial oppression into a justifying theory, however spurious, European race thinking initiated a hierarchy of human variation that has been difficult to dislodge. Although race is not specifically an invention of imperialism, it quickly became one of imperialism’s most supportive ideas, because the idea of superiority that generated the emergence of race as a concept adapted easily to both impulses of the imperial mission: dominance and enlightenment.

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Framing Racism: The Problematic Racial Politics of Crash. (2020, Nov 27). Retrieved from

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