Study Guide

Crash Prejudice

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RIA: I "blake" too fast? I "blake" too fast. I'm sorry you no see my "blake" lights. […] Officer, can you please write in your report how shocked I am to be hit by an Asian driver.

Ria is a police detective, which means the racial prejudice she displays here could be considered actually discriminatory in other aspects of her job. We would be alarmed if a woman this reactive and short-tempered were on a case that our life depended on.

GUN CLERK: Yo, Osama! Plan a jihad on your own time.

The gun clerk is rude to Farhad, yet he doesn't discriminate against him by refusing to sell him a gun—he'll take that sweet cash from anyone, in the end. Money: showing hypocrites for what they are since the beginning of time.

ANTHONY: Did you see any white people waitin' an hour and 32 minutes for a plate of spaghetti? And how many cups of coffee did we get?

PETER: You don't drink coffee and I didn't want any. […] We didn't get any coffee that you didn't want and I didn't order, and this is evidence of racial discrimination? Did you happen to notice our waitress was Black?

 ANTHONY: And Black women don't think in stereotypes? You tell me something man. When was the last time you met one who didn't think she knew everything about your lazy ass? Before you even open your mouth, huh? That waitress sized us up in two seconds. We're Black, and Black people don't tip. She wasn't gonna waste her time.

Is it possible for someone to be prejudiced against his or her own race? If so, is it internalized racism? How do Anthony's attitudes affect his relationships with people of his own race? Does he confirm his own prejudices?

JEAN: I would like the locks changed again in the morning. And you might mention that we'd appreciate it if next time they didn't send a gang member. […] Yes, the guy with the shaved head, the pants around his ass, the prison tattoo.

Why does Jean stereotype the locksmith? Is it because he's Mexican, or is it because he has a shaved head, saggy pants, and tattoos? She doesn't suspect her housekeeper of stealing from her, and her housekeeper is Mexican. Is she prejudiced against a lower class, or is she racist against Mexicans? Or is it a little bit of both?

RIA: You want a lesson? I'll give you a lesson. How 'bout a geography lesson? My father's from Puerto Rico. My mother's from El Salvador. Neither one of those is Mexico.

WATERS: Ah. Well then I guess the big mystery is, who gathered all those remarkably different cultures together and taught them all how to park their cars on their lawns?

Ria expresses her prejudiced attitude toward Kim Lee at the beginning of the movie. Is it then hypocritical for her to call Waters out on his own prejudice against Latinos? Is one prejudice worse than the other, in her mind?

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