His description of “witnessing his own bias” reminds me of this scene in Crash. What if he had not paid attention to the woman and she had been hurt by the man who was approaching her, independent of whether that man was black, white or purple? Isn’t a healthy amount of fear to protect fellow citizens warranted, as long as we recognize that we should be diligent about watching out for others independent of race? And also make an effort to recognize where our biases originate, whether it is the media, personal experience, or lack of exposure? https://youtu.be/_QXyyj1RiCE
Thank you for your comment. It is true that we all should remain diligent and aware of our surroundings lest we become lions food, we should still understand that there is a difference between diligence and an immediate perception of danger at the sight of one based on race. I believe what Mr. Somerville is saying here is that he does not believe he would have had the same concern for the woman's safety if the man were white.
As a woman I would hope that someone would keep an eye out for me if the person approaching me were black, white, red, yellow or blue. What do you think of the scene from Crash, Mr. Quincy. Is it one that supports the cause of racial bias awareness or gives us pause to recognize the role that bias has in protecting us?
Studies show that if a white man were going to attack you, the likelihood someone would be watching him to protect you is far less than if he were black. The scene from crash is interesting and hopefully not a premonition of what I’m going to do on my 10AM bike ride on the island of Alameda tomorrow. My friend Brian has taken a new interest in riding bicycles because he says he feels he can ride away from racism on his bike. I bet he only rides 90 min! Anyway, Racism is pretty fast!!
I think about that scene you mention all the time when I think about bias and race relations. The black man says that he is upset about not receiving service when he didn’t pay for the coffee or tip at all, but he didn’t tip because he received horrible service, so what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Is the black waitress justified in not providing the same level of service since he didn’t tip? The white woman and white man glanced to the side and got closer to each other when they saw the two black men approaching, and were accused by the black men of demonstrating bias towards blacks, and then the black men in the scene do indeed perform violent acts to justify that they should indeed have been concerned. You can see this same juxtaposition of the good and bad and how they play out with race relations and bias in the police force in these three scenes in the movie: https://youtu.be/EtvbEtPIGiA AND https://youtu.be/oUTQFpVOWGE.
And https://youtu.be/GDrnSzfL-aI when he had had enough
Thank you for your comment. It is true that we appear to be in a sort of cycle of behavior, justification etc. I believe a closer look will reveal who has the power to end the cycle. In the first scene, Holywood undoubtedly took its liberties with the law in that they are in California and when he says he is stopping them for "Wreckless Endangerment" there was no such evidence of that crime. Also, when he said they were performing "Lewd" acts in public he was incorrect according to the California Penal code. In the car is not in public becasue it involves a reasonable expectation of privacy. So the officers in this case did not have a lawful right to pull them over in the first place. That stop led to the frisking of the wife which led to the main charater arming himself and potentially being killed by the police who, at that point would have been justified in shooting him. (If he drew the gun of course.)
I think it is important to look at more than the instant situation at hand but how the parties arrived there in the first place. Things tend to clear up a bit with that analysis.
Regarding the guys on the street, it was an interesting twist but real crime statistics do not support the very holywood'ish idea of two black men going into a mostly white area and carjacking someone. A scene like this one, while entertaining, purpetuates a dangerous and fear causing narrative of the criminal black man targeting whites. Look up "The Great Train Robbery."
I do not see the connection with race in the 1903 short film by Thomas Edison that you refer to. Could you please clarify?
I meant Birth of a Nation. :) Thanks for the correction. Sounds like you are familiar.