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post #91 of 442 Old 09-17-2005, 10:29 PM
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[quote]
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Originally Posted by JohnR_IN_LA
Well everyone with half a brain knows they have to rise above their own subtle prejudices. Its great that Crash opened someone's mind to this, but its not like this aspect of human nature hasn't been discussed in colleges and books and newspapers for decades.
And the problem has been solved right? I dunno=I thought Crash had some interesting things to say.If that means I only have 1/2 a brain,so be it.

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post #92 of 442 Old 09-18-2005, 12:45 PM
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I saw this movie last night had no idea what to expect. I saw the posters back when it was in the theater but that's all I remembered about it. I thought it was excellent movie took my mind off my own problems all I cared about were the characters and what was going to happen next. This is what a good movie can do.
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post #93 of 442 Old 09-18-2005, 10:25 PM
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****Minor spoilers ahead****

Wow did I like this film. Very philosophical, and very touching in spots. Really well-crafted dialogue. Evocative music by Mark Isham (as usual). Very good production values, nice transitions, appealing atmosphere. Very smooth and polished, even with the strident racism.

The under-the-bed scene with the locksmith and his daughter was tremendous. The scene in the car with Matt Dillon and his prior victim was a roller coaster ride (almost as intense as Sophie's Choice during its climax). The brief scenes with Matt and his father were very poignant. The standoff scene between the film director and the police was harrowing. Don Cheadles reaction to his mom's statement about the groceries. Just a lot of great "acting" scenes to enjoy.

The point of the movie for me was that even though we can all be scumbags at times, we are at the same time capable of behaving heroically when the chips are down. And even the genuine good guys can make a tragic mistake like Ryan Phillipe in the hitchhiker sequence.

This film reminded me of another movie I liked for similar reasons: Grand Canyon.

I think people 40 and up will enjoy this movie more than younger viewers. I think you have to have gone through some **** and especially some loss to feel its effects to the fullest.

What a pleasure to see a film with some substance for a change. It gets my nomination for Best Picture of the Year.

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post #94 of 442 Old 09-19-2005, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandsmarc
****Minor spoilers ahead****

Wow did I like this film. Very philosophical, and very touching in spots. Really well-crafted dialogue. Evocative music by Mark Isham (as usual). Very good production values, nice transitions, appealing atmosphere. Very smooth and polished, even with the strident racism.

The under-the-bed scene with the locksmith and his daughter was tremendous. The scene in the car with Matt Dillon and his prior victim was a roller coaster ride (almost as intense as Sophie's Choice during its climax). The brief scenes with Matt and his father were very poignant. The standoff scene between the film director and the police was harrowing. Don Cheadles reaction to his mom's statement about the groceries. Just a lot of great "acting" scenes to enjoy.

The point of the movie for me was that even though we can all be scumbags at times, we are at the same time capable of behaving heroically when the chips are down. And even the genuine good guys can make a tragic mistake like Ryan Phillipe in the hitchhiker sequence.
All excellent points and great observations. We are in agreement! :)


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post #95 of 442 Old 09-25-2005, 12:12 PM
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I just watched this movie a couple days. Great film. Definitely the best I have seen this year, bar none. I mean I really liked Batman Returns, SW Episode III, Fantastic Four, but this movie is the best of the bunch. Storytelling, characters, overall pace of the film, were GREAT.

This movie BETTER get Academy Award Nods, especially for editing, screenplay, directing, picture, and supporting actor(I am talking about the actor who played the black tv director. He is currently receiving a TON of praise for his performance in a movie about a pimp who is trying to become a rap star. I can not for the life of me remember his name, but he was the best of the bunch in the film IMHO, with a courtesy nod to Matt Dillon) at least.

I thouroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it too anyone.
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post #96 of 442 Old 09-25-2005, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEELERSRULE

This movie BETTER get Academy Award Nods, especially for editing, screenplay, directing, picture, and supporting actor(I am talking about the actor who played the black tv director. He is currently receiving a TON of praise for his performance in a movie about a pimp who is trying to become a rap star. I can not for the life of me remember his name, but he was the best of the bunch in the film IMHO, with a courtesy nod to Matt Dillon) at least.
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post #97 of 442 Old 09-25-2005, 12:35 PM
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thanx Keenan.

He has one of those faces in movies where I recognize him from other movies I ahve seen, but can't put the name too it. Chris Cooper(Seabiscuit/The Patriot/Bourne Supremecy/Adaptation) was that way for me as well. When he won the Oscar for Adaptation, I thought too myself, "I recognize that guy."

This year that may all change, as he may well get a double nod from the Academy for Actor and supporting Actor.
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post #98 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 03:46 AM
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You're kidding, right?
Um, No. You can't seriously be suggesting that 2005 America is anywhere near the equivalent of 1954 America in terms of racial equality, and if you are then there's no point in debating. There will always be a few bigots out there and there's nothing that can be done about that, but the vast majority of people are not bigoted nowadays (in the racial sense of the term of course, this forum provides ample evidence that there are bigots in the political sense, and many of them).
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post #99 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 06:38 AM
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In my mind racisim is the vehicle used to challenge the concept of "good" and "evil", as well as how people came to be. Another theme is that people have an opportunity to choose what to do with their situation and how to handle their rage. Finally, there is a challenge to all benchmarks used to judge people (take Sandra Bullock's character).

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One other thing that bothered me is the Koreans (they are clearly Koreans though are only ever identified by others as Chinese) are the only ones that are portrayed as entirely bad.

I'm not sure what was trying to be said there
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To me, the old guy started out as a victum, and it turns out he is a mass victumizer. His wife seemed like a greiving spouse, then a greedy colaborator.

These are just vehicles to challenge whatever preconceived notions, good or bad, you may have of people.


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post #100 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 07:51 AM
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i think the writers of crash were spot on.
asians in this story are revealed as human and flawed just like any people may be. they are shown as victims and victimizers just like everyone else.
i think this is something that needed to be shown in this type of movie. i mean this was the chance for that truth to be portrayed.
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post #101 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joekun
Um, No. You can't seriously be suggesting that 2005 America is anywhere near the equivalent of 1954 America in terms of racial equality, and if you are then there's no point in debating. There will always be a few bigots out there and there's nothing that can be done about that, but the vast majority of people are not bigoted nowadays (in the racial sense of the term of course, this forum provides ample evidence that there are bigots in the political sense, and many of them).
Of course not, but I think there is far more bigotry in this country, and the world, than most people think or realize. I think we are a long ways from reaching that "acceptable PPM" of those who will never change, or can be changed. Bigotry starts at an early age, and if the young are brought up to understand what it is, then eventually it will reach very small levels. This will take many, many generations of course. To say that things are much better in 2005 as opposed to 1954 is true, but to say that it's essentially a small obscure problem with a small amount of people is ludicrous.
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post #102 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 11:37 AM
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but to say that it's essentially a small obscure problem with a small amount of people is ludicrous.
I won't disagree with you about other countries, there certainly is racism around the world, but I disagree about the U.S. in general. In LA, which you think would be a hotbed of racism, I don't see it rearing its ugly head like it does in this film. I've rarely met anyone who is openly racially bigoted, in LA or anywhere else. Perhaps your experience is different, but I don't think it is at all ludicrous to say that it is a small problem in this country. Culturally we've gone from a point where racism was accepted and even encouraged to a country where racism is looked down upon and tolerance is taught in our schools. I don't see what more can really be done in a free country where thought is not regulated. The efforts to educate people have been hugely successful.

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His wife seemed like a greiving spouse, then a greedy colaborator.
I didn't see her as a grieving spouse, we don't even know that she is married to the "Chinaman" until the scene in the hospital room near the end. In the first scene of the movie she is portrayed as a total bitch and a racist, accusing the hispanic woman of causing the accident because of her race (I don't remember her specific words). She is never a sympathetic character, and the man is little more than a random victim.
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post #103 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by joekun
The efforts to educate people have been hugely successful.
Yes they have, but to assume, or posit, that the problem is nearly non-existent in the US in 2005, IOW, that it's in most cases a "fixed" issue is like letting the paint rust on the Golden Gate Bridge. It must be constantly repainted to avoid erosion and the same holds true for racism. I believe there is a lot more racism that goes on behind closed doors, or in private company than most will admit.

And because we have free thought in this country is why you and I have different takes on the subject, which is a good thing. :)
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post #104 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 05:11 PM
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And because we have free thought in this country is why you and I have different takes on the subject, which is a good thing.
Of course! I enjoy a good spirited debate!

You bring up a good point about erosion and I think to an extent that is true, honestly I never really thought of it that way. But I also believe that when you teach one generation that racism is unacceptable and is to be looked down upon, they tend to teach that to their children, and they to their children, etc. And even if there is racism that goes on behind closed doors that is an admission that society looks down on racists which is also an effective way of combating it (though, again, not eliminating it). I'm not against education about racism, certainly I don't want to pretend like it never happened ("those who forget history" afterall) by not mentioning it in schools or anything like that. I just don't think it's an issue that requires more political/government attention, as a matter of fact it deserves less.
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post #105 of 442 Old 09-26-2005, 11:47 PM
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Finally got it netflixed, and it was a good movie -- at least an 8 out of 10, at least!

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post #106 of 442 Old 10-01-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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My .02 on the movie first, because this is very civil discussion tot his point, I'm happy about that! I am ambivalent about the movie, as a movie buff there's a lot I liked (some of the characters and acting were stunning!) and as a movie buff and real person there's a lot I didn't. By the end I did feel more and more that the plot was contrived and a few of the characters were less than believable, but at the same time I think the extreme (and unrealistic) concentration of a lot of events into one cohesive storyline was pulled off pretty well. If this is a movie focused around American collisions of culture and race, I think it did a pretty good job. I think there are superior films in this respect, Ghost Dog and Smoke Signals come to mind, but I did enjoy the film a lot, and I think I'd be really careful with my criticisms here because I think this is an important movie to see for a lot of people, at the same time that I'm not sure it will quite sway people in the way I might hope it would.


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You bring up a good point about erosion and I think to an extent that is true, honestly I never really thought of it that way. But I also believe that when you teach one generation that racism is unacceptable and is to be looked down upon, they tend to teach that to their children, and they to their children, etc. And even if there is racism that goes on behind closed doors that is an admission that society looks down on racists which is also an effective way of combating it (though, again, not eliminating it). I'm not against education about racism, certainly I don't want to pretend like it never happened ("those who forget history" afterall) by not mentioning it in schools or anything like that. I just don't think it's an issue that requires more political/government attention, as a matter of fact it deserves less.
I'm going to be careful here, but I'd like to elaborate perhaps the history and reality of some of these issues that are obscured from the larger dialogue. There are a lot of people that are very put-off by statements like Kanye West's or others, and take insult at being accused of being racist, or that their society is still racist.

This reaction is *fascinating* in both good and bad ways. In one way, it is a testament to the degree to which being an active and open "racist" is totally rejected in American society. I think it's fair to say that supremecist racists are quite marginalized in our society. On the other hand, I think there is a *huge* difference between this and the reality of racISM that operates. Most people think that racism is the resut of simple, crude, active, and intentional racist bigotry, and I think most people rightly find it repulsive. On the other hand, historical reality show that racist individuals do not perpetuate individual and isolated racist acts. Society at large can perpetuate racism whether it does it actively, or perceives the active nature of what it is doing. I think that most people don't believe that our society actively and *intentionally* perpetuates racism, but I think this perception is flawed based on the idea that racists have been successfully vanquished.

We have in essence, swept "racists" under the rug and eliminated overt and divisive forms of racism, but reality persists. American history has a *systemic* history of racism, NOT what we all want to believe as an individualistic history of racism: i.e. individuals committing racist acts. Rectifying centuries of overt systemic racism doesn't happen in a few decades. When you look at things like poverty that are defined heavily by racial lines, these are legacies of active racist policies. Even if you believe that there is *no* active or lingering racism being perpetrated today, the wealth and status legacy of our history perpetuates racial differences in opportunity. It's here where I have my reservations about Crash. From one perspective, I think it really concentrates the degree to which open and active racism exists, but I think *just* as important if not moreso, is the degree to which racism operates in the background just through history. My point is that, pretend for a moment nobody in this country did anything even remotely racist, pretend that Crash is just a historical film, America would *still* be actively racist, but it would be racist passively. I think most Americans ignore the passive nature of raccism (and classism for that matter, etc). And unfortunately, this purely passive continuation of racism is not the only legacy we have left. If you look at "racially-blind" policies that have racist results, you can see immediately what I mean by passive racism. In my opinion, I really don't even like to refer to these kinds of policies as "passive racism" because I do believe there is some understanding of a policy's effects, and if those effects fall differentialy based on race, I do believe that should be considered active racism. Unfortuntely, the word "racist" is so incendiary, that calling support for "racially-blind" policies that extend racial differences in opportunity, wealth, housing, healthcate, etc as racist is thrown out as being extremist.

Because of the reality of what might be characterized as passive racist policy choices that are "race-blind" it is incorrect to suggest that societal/systemic racism can be rectified by a *lack* of active societal/systemic policies to reverse these effects.

I do hope that what I've written is taken academically, not personally, because my accusations do operate on a systemic level, not based on accusing any individuals of being racist at all. I hope that is clear. In any case, this is a fascinating body of debate, and I do think people get inflamed by a disconnect between those who experience the resultant effects of racist social policies, and those who do not and rightly get defensive when they are accusing of being "racists."

All the best,
chris
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post #107 of 442 Old 10-08-2005, 08:36 AM
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Matt Dillon's character sums up the film in one line....

"You think you know who you are?"

Every character has a moment that changes them. IMO, racism was just a vehicle to tell a deeper story. And the ending leaves us to think about that.

Was it a perfect film? No. But I thought it was fantastic anyway. Several scenes moved me and that was enough for me to overlook any shortcomings the film may have had. The acting was excellent all around and the score was very powerful.

I don't understand how anyone with a pulse could fall asleep with this one.


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post #108 of 442 Old 10-10-2005, 08:35 AM
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I didn't read the whole thread but was a technical review posted?

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post #109 of 442 Old 10-10-2005, 10:06 AM
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I just saw this movie over the weekend. Great movie! It sure makes you think about things.

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post #110 of 442 Old 10-11-2005, 06:58 AM
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I, too, just saw this movie within the last month. Fantastic! Probably the best movie I've seen all year!
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post #111 of 442 Old 10-11-2005, 07:01 AM
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This movie was horrible. They managed to fall into EVERY stereotypical convention of racism you could imagine. A heavy handed message coupled with mediocre dialogue equals a sincere thanks that it had only been rented. Thank you blockbuster!
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post #112 of 442 Old 10-11-2005, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmont
This movie was horrible. They managed to fall into EVERY stereotypical convention of racism you could imagine. A heavy handed message coupled with mediocre dialogue equals a sincere thanks that it had only been rented. Thank you blockbuster!
Yep, I expected Keenan Ivory Wayons to pop up every 30 minutes and say "Message!"

I do think the direction in the movie was pretty good but it can't overcome that screenplay.
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post #113 of 442 Old 10-11-2005, 09:39 PM
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The fact that they are stereotypes is the point=again,the film is not about racism per se.

"There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
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post #114 of 442 Old 10-12-2005, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by lonwolf615
The fact that they are stereotypes is the point=again,the film is not about racism per se.
Exactly.


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post #115 of 442 Old 10-13-2005, 02:49 AM
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Um, wow Chris.

I'm not going to go through and debate you point by point but just a few thoughts I had after reading your post.

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*just* as important if not moreso, is the degree to which racism operates in the background
This is exactly my point about Crash. After having lived in LA for several years now there is a definite racial tension just under the surface here. Personally I think it stems from a clash of cultures, not from the color of one's skin but that's another point entirely. When I heard about Crash and how great it was supposed to be I thought that this film would be much more subtle and be about that underlying tension in LA. Alas it was a huge disappointment.

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Because of the reality of what might be characterized as passive racist policy choices that are "race-blind" it is incorrect to suggest that societal/systemic racism can be rectified by a *lack* of active societal/systemic policies to reverse these effects.
I would disagree. You can't legislate thought, you can only try to educate the ignorant. As for government programs which are passively racist I don't think we should even start down that road in this debate or I would be in jeopardy of violating the political rule of this forum!
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You can't legislate thought
I also, likewise don't want to violate the forum rules, but legislating thought was not what I was getting at. There are many structural barriers that operate distinct from what people "think," that are even race-neutral, that lead to race-biased results. Part of this is because class is so heavily defined by race, which has obvious historical explanations. You are right, you can't legislate thought, however, if we pretend that nobody anywhere is at all racist or sexist etc etc, these things would all still exist because of long-term capital that is not distributed evenly to these groups currently or historically. That's part of the sick beauty of it, everyone can tell themselves they're not racist, and perhaps well that's true, and race-neutral policies can be implemented, yet we'll still end up with large racial disparities.
So what I meant by "policies" had nothing to do with thought directly, but everything to do with access and resources. I wanted to avoid bringing it up before, because I don't want to get all political, but preferential admissions policies would be one example that tackles both thought and differences in access. Directly, it works to reverse the historical preferential admissions policies and access that white males have had generally in this country, at the same time I think it does in a roundabout way address the thought issue, by actually integrating minorities and poor into university atmospheres and this is a huge part of education, in my belief.

Here in Seattle, perhaps the most liberal and well-educated city in the country, the racial chasms are actually extremely severe. So I think calling "racism" again has nothing to do with redneck-stereotypes, and everything to do with the status quo. UW is white to the point of absurdity, yet we as a state have enacted laws to ensure that it remains this way through "race-blind" admissions. This is a profoundly progressive city, that is also more segregated than Mobile Alabama. Yet I think anyone you talked to in this city would be very strong about racial equality, etc. I think this disconnect between systematic reality, and individual beliefs in white communities is what makes this whole discussion so complicated, because to most folks, racism isn't really that big of a problem, it is "subtle" moments. Yet to a lot of minorities, it is anything but subtle. Of course, then again there are some minority scholars who disagree with me so we're back to square one ;).

But I do think you're right that the concentration of racial and cultural incidents in Crash was a little much even for me, but the thought processes that spawned them are not at all abnormal. Again, I much prefer a movie like Jarmusch's Ghost Dog, or Sherman Alexie's Smoke Signals(the book is incredible) on these issues, but I think Crash was handled well nontheless. The complexity of some of the characters and the situations were definitely more than the stereotypes. There aren't really any stereotypical innocent victims in this movie, everyone is entagled in their own prejudices as much as everyone else.

And I don't think you can cleave race and culture easily. Races enforce "their" culture in interesting ways, and getting into cultures is a lot complicated ;). And then you can also talk about "traitors" of culture or race, which is a fascinating and tender topic, which I think Andree 3000 of Outkast handles pretty incredibly if I do say so myself :).
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post #117 of 442 Old 10-13-2005, 11:23 AM
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Chris,

Very well said. :)

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post #118 of 442 Old 10-13-2005, 11:34 AM
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I really enjoyed the movie, both times, and I'll leave it at that.

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post #119 of 442 Old 10-13-2005, 02:15 PM
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but preferential admissions policies would be one example that tackles both thought and differences in access. Directly, it works to reverse the historical preferential admissions policies and access that white males have had generally in this country, at the same time I think it does in a roundabout way address the thought issue
I would have to disagree with you completely here and say it has the opposite effect and creates a new form of discrimination whereby people think that the person got to where they are BECAUSE they are a minority and thus creates more discrimination. Two wrongs don't make a right afterall, and preferential admissions policies only reinforce my statement about trying to legislate thought.

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UW is white to the point of absurdity, yet we as a state have enacted laws to ensure that it remains this way through "race-blind" admissions.
Let me start by saying that I'm not accusing you of anything but to me the above statement says that minorities are not capable of competing to get in to UW without some sort of handicap, or that the people in charge of admissions are, without exception, racists.

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This is a profoundly progressive city, that is also more segregated than Mobile Alabama.
That doesn't surprise me in the least, I would say it is because Seattle is a "progressive" city that this situation exists, just look at other "progressive" cities like LA.
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post #120 of 442 Old 10-13-2005, 03:11 PM
 
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to me the above statement says that minorities are not capable of competing to get in to UW without some sort of handicap, or that the people in charge of admissions are, without exception, racists.
Not quite! :) That's my point entirely, that race-neutral policies can lead to racially-differentiated results, based on PAST realities. It is a very common belief that admissions is related to merit, but it is not. "Merit" is a fallacy in terms of common metrics you assume like grades and test scores, for many many reasons that are beyond the scope of this film. I guess my point is that we have had a system of racial and gender preference since the beginning, it is our normative affirmative action, and it has worked and been enfored by laws up until basically the 50s and a little beyond. Now, it is enforced largely by the remaining realities of economics and access. This is my point, race-blind policies allow the policy makers to rightly claim non-racism, yet these same policies lead directly and inevitably to racially and class-biased results.

So instead of thinking of "minorities" of needing a handicap, you have to re-orient the reality: white males have had, and continute to have a handicap of increased access and opportunity. Race-blind policies maintain that handi-cap, essentially the real form of historical and current "affirmative action." What we all call affirmative action, that is, racial, gender, and class preference is not actually a handicap for those needing it, but rather the elimination and dissolution of a handicap for those who have unjustly enforced historic and continuing disparities in access and opportunity. In essence, you have to eliminate the idea of "merit" from your thinking, because it does not exist in experience or objectively quantified reality. The metrics themselves are cleaved by race and class, not because of intent in design, but by the nature of class and racial realities when it comes to social and cultural capital, economics, etc etc.

Of course, there are those that argue against this, saying that it is not economics and opportunity that cause the racial and class differences in metrics etc, but rather cultural enforcement, and a disdain for "white" society or the high-life. I do think this exists to a small degree, but i disagree that this is the cause of continuing racial disparities, and i also disagree with claims that dismantling our entrenched system of white male affirmative action by using active racial and gender preference in admissions causes a more damaging form of reverse racism, or self-defeatism and inferiority. It is clear through studies that preferential admissions does not cause this, and that these admissions policies are overwhelmingly successful, at least in ivy-league schools. It can be argued that outside of the elite that perhaps this is not the case, for instance for those that do not attend college. Anyway, just acknowledging that there are some other perspectives to this whole field, it is quite complex.

Anyway, we are getting away from the film, but I'm so glad this is so peaceful, so i think maybe I'll leave my statements as they are. I'd certainly love to continue this chat privately though. thanks! :)
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