In Remember the Titans, what are some examples in which prejudice led to discrimination?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many examples of racism and discrimination in this movie. For example, Herman Boone (played by Denzel Washington), who is the African American coach of the Titans football team at T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, is told by the school board that he will be dismissed from his job if he loses even one game. This is clearly an unfair standard that the school board uses to set up Boone to fail. The school board head tells Bill Yoast, a white man who is the former coach and now the assistant coach, that he will be made head coach if the team loses and that Yoast will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. During the game, Yoast realizes that the referees are deliberately making calls that are unfair to the Titans and tells the officials that he will reveal their scheme unless the refereeing is fair. As a result, Yoast loses his chances at induction into the Hall of Fame. Boone is harassed by people in the town because he is African American, and a brick is thrown through his window.

Players on the team also face racism. The African American and white players are initially so divided that the white players treat the black players in a discriminatory way. For example, before they leave for football camp, the players are on segregated buses. Boone, as the coach, is forced to desegregate the buses. Gerry Bertier, who is the defensive captain of the team, initially clashes with defensive end Julius Campbell, an African American player. Gerry's girlfriend does not want him to be friends with African American players, and Gerry has to kick his friend Ray off the team because Ray is racist. Eventually, Gerry and Julius become good friends over the course of the season.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my mind, the question is asking you to assess how attitudes of racial discrimination led to policy decisions that reflected it.  The concept of "prejudice" is something that can be characterized as internal.  Individuals in the film, such as members of the school board, held prejudicial attitudes towards people of color, and in particular, Coach Boone's attempts.  The discrimination element is reflective of prejudice in that discrimination is the policy- based result of prejudice.  Hence, in the film, when the school board threatens to fire Coach Boone should he lose a game, this is an example of discrimination that comes from prejudice. Another example would be when Coach Yoast is threatened to have his Hall of Fame membership approved after the Titans lose a game.  The prejudice is the personal feeling of wanting to see the African- American coach Boone be brought down because of his race.  The discrimination element is the policy of seeking to institutionally delay Coach Yoast's Hall of Fame induction in order to feed the prejudicial attitudes of those in the position of power.   It is here where I think that one can see how prejudice and discrimination feed one another and are reflected in the film.