Robbin' tha Hood
With his friend Peter, Anthony carjacks Jean and Rick Cabot. He takes their vehicle to a chop shop. We have no clue where to even find a chop shop, so we have a feeling Anthony has done this before. Why does he steal? We have no idea. Why does he rant for minutes at a time, spewing crazy conspiracy theories about Black and white people? We also have no idea. But at least he's interesting:
ANTHONY: You have no idea, do you? You have no idea why they put them great big windows on the sides of buses, do you? One reason only. To humiliate the people of color who are reduced to ridin' on 'em.
Anthony is in some ways kind of a walking stereotype of the criminal Black man. But we get the sense that he's only doing what he thinks people expect him to do. He doesn't actually want to carjack the Cabots, for example. So why does he do it? Partly because he sees the way the Cabots avoid him and expect him to do something bad to them. It's just like when he gets mad at his server and doesn't tip her—he's playing right into the racist, stereotypical expectations of those around him.
Anyway, we don't know why Anthony lectures Peter constantly, why Peter still hangs out with him, or where he gets his crazy notions from. We're never told what Anthony's backstory is. All we know is that he robs only from white people to get his money:
ANTHONY: But you have never seen me steal from a Black person ever in your life.
Yeah, well, it doesn't take long before Anthony steals from a Black man, even if it is an accident. When he carjacks Cameron, he later gets lectured by Cameron, who tells him:
CAMERON: You embarrass me. You embarrass yourself.
Cameron lectures Anthony the way a white man—or Bill Cosby—might. He's this close to using the phrase "Black-on-Black crime," putting a disproportionate burden on Anthony for representing his whole race.
No one lectures the racist white cop Officer Ryan for "embarrassing" other white people. What makes Anthony's behavior different?
Anthony later finds a van full of Thai and Cambodian slaves and frees them instead of selling them for money. Through the tender music and lingering camera angles on the looks of awe on their faces, the movie casts Anthony as some sort of savior, as if not engaging in human trafficking redeems him in some way. Do you think this signals the end to his life of crime?