In this scene from the film Crash, where is the primary example of racial prejudice?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the issue of racial profiling and the relationship that exists between people of color and the police department is of primary concern in the scene.  The moment in which the police corner the vehicle and demand that the driver, Cameron, leave the car and "assume the position" is the watershed moment in which much in way of discrimination and prejudice emerges.  Cameron's intense response is not necessarily  to that exact moment, but it is towards his own past experiences of racial profiling at the hands of the police department.  The police might have been justified at that moment to have reacted with force and magnitude, but the moment is filtered through both individuals' reaction towards prejudice and racial profiling.  At that moment, the police perceive a man of color as being "hostile" and "out of control."  Cameron perceives the police as a tool of systematic oppression of people of color, indicative of his own experience earlier in the film of being pulled over for a traffic stop and watching his wife assaulted by a police office without any recourse for him.  In this scene, Cameron's reaction is fueled by the life in which prejudice is a daily, if not instantaneous, reaction.  The intervention of Officer Hansen is where racism and prejudice is overcome, if only for a moment, where both men are able to speak to one another and speak outside of the constructs of race.  When the more aggressive police officer tells Hansen, "You two better be related by blood," it is an indication that racial prejudice can be overcome in terms of it being the primary filter through which we "crash" into one another.

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