Racism 6 Term Paper

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What does it mean to be American? American citizens are granted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One who is American can control their destiny depending on how hard they work; they are not confined to a class system that they were born into, as in many other countries. But what does this all mean? And, how does equality fit into this picture? The constitution states that all men are created equal, but when this statement was written, the word men was associated with the white male. In time the word men in this context has taken on a different meaning including men and women regardless of race or creed. These issues are reflected on through out the movie, Color of Fear.

It is inevitable that this movie will stir many feelings in its audience because anyone can relate to some part or situation that was communicated by the characters. I felt angry, saddened and even was uncomfortable while watching this movie. The topic of racism is a controversial one. The United States is considered a melting pot where its citizens have heritage roots of all kinds and where men & women of different backgrounds get married and have children. Yet, the majority of its citizens claims and identify with one nationality. The reason for this is feelings of not belonging and of shame.

It is sad that people feel unsafe and cannot be at ease just because they cross city lines where the greater number of people are of a dissimilar race. One character even said it was like being in shark infested waters. However, racism can cause other feeling as well besides that of fear. One can feel invisible, uncomfortable, or just unimportant. The most moving part of the movie for me was when one of the characters (that refused to believe the extent of racism the others had experienced) was asked, what if. What if these experiences of racism that some of the other characters speak of are actually true and what would it take for you to believe that their experiences are valid. He felt that the world was open to the others but that they were blocking their own progress. Apparently, he did not want to believe that the world could in fact be that cruel. In his own mind he had put barriers to shield himself from the naked truth. He now allows himself to realize that his act of not accepting other people's experiences to be valid was a form of racism in itself.

It took courage from all the members of the group to come together and speak frankly of their feelings and experiences. Each of them at least left the group with a more reflective outlook and learned a little about how a people of other races think and act. This to me is a great achievement especially if they pass on what they have learned to their family and friends. We can all learn from each other and that is the only way to achieve the equality we deserve and desire.

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