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Multicultural Education

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Watching Crash really opened my eyes and helped me come to the realization that there is good and bad in us all; no matter how well we think we know each other or ourselves. In life we are capable of doing good things, but at the same time we are just as capable of doing wrongful deeds to others around us. The movie is mainly about stereotypes and how by simply judging somebody on the color of their skin can lead to terrible unthinkable actions. Crash demonstrates this concept so well it was disturbing to me because in all actuality that is what is going on, and not just in city like LA, it is all around us every day!

In Crash the lives of many completely different people are interweaved throughout two days in Los Angeles. A black police detective with a thieving younger brother and a drugged out mother, his Latina partner/girlfriend, the district attorney and his spoiled wife who are both white, two black car thieves, a white racist cop with a sick father at home, the racist cops white partner who is more idealistic, a black Hollywood director and his wife, a Persian immigrant family, a Hispanic locksmith and his family, a Korean couple, and many other different classes and ethnicities.

Since we all watched the movie I would find it pointless to summarize it in its entirety, so instead I will point out parts I thought important and refer to different scenes.

Officer Ryan: "What's your name"? Shaniqua: "My name is Shaniqua Jackson". Officer Ryan: "Shaniqua. Big fucking surprise". This dialogue takes place when Officer Ryan calls Shaniqua about his sick father and is frustrated because she cannot help him. Shaniqua is very upset by the comment and hangs up the phone. By doing this one would think that Shaniqua would be a considerate person and not racist right? Wrong, the movie ends with a car rear-ending Shaniqua's car. The people that wreck into her do not speak English and Shaniqua says "Ahh! Oh, my God. What the hell is wrong with you people? Uh-uh! Don't talk to me unless you speak American"! This scene really gave the movie a powerful ending because it demonstrated how even people that would seem to not be racist actually can be, and it also started the circle of events all over again.

Officer Ryan: "You think you know who you are"? [Officer Hanson nods]

Officer Ryan: "You have no idea". After Officer Hanson requests a new partner because of the incident with the black couple the night before Officer Ryan asks him that question. Officer Hanson seems pretty sure of himself when he shakes his head in assurance that he "knows" who is, but is proven wrong that very night when he kills Peter in his car then dumps his body and burns the car. This showed that even though you "think" you know you are, you don't know what you are capable of doing someday.

Another scene I found to be important is when Graham's mother calls and says he can't talk because he is having sex with a white woman. Ria gets out of bed angrily and Graham thinking she is offended because he called her white says, "Oh, shit. Come on. I would have said you were Mexican, but I don't think it would have pissed her off as much". This showed how ignorant people could be when they assume peoples ethnic background by the color of their skin because Ria's is actually a descendant of Puerto Rico. Another similar incident happened when the Persian man was buying a gun and the owner called him an Arab, his daughter said, "They think we're Arab. When did Persian become Arab"? Once again showing the ignorance of human nature.

The reason I say the ignorance of human nature and not of the storeowner is because we all are ignorant at times. You have been and Lord knows I have. Sometimes it is without realization and after the fact I always feel like a horrible person because I was not raised to be that way.

I grew up in Southern New Mexico where the minority is the majority, so I stood out as being one of the "white kids". One day I asked my Father if I was white and he said far from it. You are some of everything he said. Your Mother is half Hispanic, I am a quarter Cherokee and we have every other kind of race you could think of down the family line somewhere. Those words made me feel better because the Hispanic kids were always teasing my brother and I and making us feel like we were not as good as them. But when it came to putting our ethnicity on a standardized test my teachers always instructed me to put white, when it came to the color of my skin I was white, and when it came to my last name I was white. I was once very ashamed of who I was because being white was not cool. I even asked my parents if I could change my last name to my Mother's maiden name of Dominguez so the kids would think I was Hispanic. Like changing my name would change who I was?

The way the Hispanic kids treated us growing up really affected my older brother and he still holds that against some Hispanic people. The other day we were driving and a car pulled out in front of us and he said, "Stupid Mexican, Don't you know how to drive", that really upset me because we were not raised to be that way and I couldn't believe he was acting like that. He is usually racist like that towards Hispanics and I try and convince myself it is because of the way the Hispanic kids treated us growing up and I don't know if that is truly why but I do know that is not a good reason.

After I found a good group of friends the teasing and ridicule eventually stopped but the stereotypes people have against me and white



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