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Critical Rhetorics of Race$
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Michael G. Lacy and Kent A. Ono

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762226

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762226.001.0001

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Inscribing Racial Bodies and Relieving Responsibility

Inscribing Racial Bodies and Relieving Responsibility

Examining Racial Politics in Crash

Chapter:
(p.214) 11 Inscribing Racial Bodies and Relieving Responsibility
Source:
Critical Rhetorics of Race
Author(s):

Jamie Moshin

Ronald L. Jackson II

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814762226.003.0011

This chapter studies the film Crash (2004), examining its racial politics and providing a challenging view of a film widely acclaimed as racially progressive. In spite of its racially diverse characters, Crash induces audiences to feel hopeless and indifferent about the persistence of racial stereotypes and conflicts, reflecting a broader cultural paralysis about the United States. In doing so, the film redeems the white racist cop by making him the hero who rescues a black woman he molested earlier in the film, while the black male characters devolve into emasculation, rage, helplessness, criminality, and violence. By suggesting race is either everyone's problem equally or no problem at all, the film avoids discussion of white responsibility for racism, while simultaneously portraying white characters as largely heroic.

Keywords:   Crash, racial politics, racial stereotypes, racial conflicts, cultural paralysis, racism

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