Special Topics: Women's Studies
Professor Soyoung Park
Racism ultimately stems from an outside source; the most prevalent of these sources tend to be from the white majority. Why is this? The men in the film try to figure out just what it means to be an American, and the idea that everyone needs to assimilate into one culture is brought up (by a white man, none the less). This presents confusion and disagreement among the group discussing, and I agree with their (specifically, Victor's) reaction entirely. Assimilation is not anywhere close to equality. Why can't a person from a different ethnic background follow his/her cultural practices? Indeed, in the word's of an enraged Victor: "To be 'American' is to throw away your ethnicity." To follow the practices of a dominant, white majority is to bleach out all that makes a person who he/she is. Furthermore, Euro-Americans claim that this land of the United States is theirs. Yes, in a sense it is now, but only after they took it from the Native Americans, the Spanish, and everyone else who's roots originated in North America. In other words, Euro-Americans, the white majority, are in fact, far worse of a threat than they claim everyone else to be.
I think the reason for this fear of differences is something that is taught, not inherited by genes. The final segment of this video stresses this idea. The white local refers to his father being demanding, brutal, and an over-powering racist. So, in turn, his children learned how to stay safe by agreeing with the notion of racism. More than likely, the father was taught to think and act a particular way and so on and so forth.
Racism is a slippery-slope that will take more than just an over-night revelation to fix. It will be an extremely slow process that will ultimately yield a better tomorrow.