I have chosen a range of societies by selecting the texts, Dawn Raids play-script written by Oscar Knightley, Freedom Writer movie directed by Richard LaGravenese, Othello play-script written by William Shakespeare, Black Like Me novel based on a true story written and experienced by John Howard Griffin and The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till told by his mother, Uncles and cousins presented by Top Documentary Films. These texts explore a wide range of societies including Black Americans, White Americans, Africans, Pacific Islanders, New Zealanders, Asians, Latinos and other cultures too.
These texts help reveal how discrimination scars society and people as individuals. What do we see in the text that portrays discrimination? As depicted in the play script Dawn Raids, we are introduced to some racist polices in New Zealand who stopped brown people on the streets asking them for passports in search of over stayers. These racist polices only picked on brown faces that they assumed were Samoans, Tongans, or Fijians. They even stopped Maoris asking them what country they’re from, being treated like over stayers in their own country.
There were Europeans and Asians who were over stayers but polices never bothered them to ask for passports. Polices would crash into Pacific people’s houses early in the morning chasing them with dogs frightening their children, families and their neighbours. They were humiliated and embarrassed in front of their neighbours, their children and worst of all they were being treated badly in their own home. This racist act resulted in most Pacific Islanders were being separated and deported back to their Islands in a very cruel manner due to their racist hatred towards the Pacific Islanders.
This shows that racism humiliates people and affects them in so many ways and discrimination should be stopped. This type of hatred towards other races is also obvious in the movie Freedom Writer but with more races involved, where Latinos, Asians, Black Americans and white Americans are separated into gangs and are targeted by racist white polices. The gangs hate each other due to their races and backgrounds but the one seemed lower than everyone else is the black people. White racist polices pinned down Marcus for a crime he did not commit due to his skin colour being black. I sat there until the police came. But when they come, all they see is a dead body, a gun, and a nigger”. He wasted months of his life locked up in a cell for crime he did not commit but being black put him as the killer and so someone had to pay the price. It shows in this text, justice meant someone had to pay the price and “someone” meant anyone who is not white. White polices didn’t care who committed the crime because all they wanted was someone to blame and Marcus was the one black guy that was around and due to his race and skin colour being black he was an easy target to pin the crime on.
This text shows that racism ruled over justice and how discrimination can destroy one’s life forever. Another text which shows clinging to the belief of discrimination due to racism scars society and people is Othello, where Iago a jealous white man used racism slurs when he awakens Brabantio with the news that his daughter Desdemona, a white young lady has eloped with Othello. He used animal imagery in his racist diatribe against Othello, which is grounded in the idea that black –men and woman—is inhuman. “Even now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise!
Arise; awake the snorting citizens with the bell. Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. Arise I say. ” Iago refers to Othello as an “old black ram” and is “tupping” Brabantio’s “white ewe” Desdemona. He plays on the Elizabeth notions that black men have an animal like hyper-sexuality. This seems geared at manipulating Brabantio’s fears of miscegenation, between Othello and Desdemona. So due to Iago’s racist attitude towards Othello, Brabantio and few others tries to separate Othello from Desdemona. This shows how discrimination can affect love ones and individuals due to discrimination.
In contrast Black Like Me a non-fiction novel based on a true story of John Howard Griffin, who changed his skin colour to black to try and find out how it feel likes to be black. He was called names like ‘nigger’ and he felt like an outcast amongst the white people, his own people. He found it hard to get along with white people as he gets ‘hatred glares’ from them but gets loving, warm greetings and invitations from black people. Black people were being pushed away into hiding, poverty which caused a lot of sufferings for the black society as a whole, all young and old because of the colour of their skin.
This shows that discrimination affected the black society leading them to poverty, misery, homeless and sufferings. The text The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till shows an identical horrific incident that scarred the Black Society at that time and even up to now in America. A young boy named Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi, America. Emmett was 14 years of age when he was taken from his uncle’s house by two white men due to the fact that he whistled at a white lady.
Emmett loved to play around and had a sense of humour which led him to whistling at the white lady which caused his death by the hand of two racist white men. This reason for their action was very unacceptable and racist because if it had been a white man who whistled at the lady, the white people nor anyone would do anything but since Emmett was black and not white, he paid the price of death. These white people had to prove a point that they were superior and they had to prove it by killing a 14 year old boy.
Emmett’s mother had to keep the casket open to show the world the face of her son and what the white people did to him. The result of the brutal manners that was done was unimaginable and indescribable. Emmett’s face was unrecognized by his family and friends but especially by his own mother. His teeth were knocked out and his mother “took pride in them because they were the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. ” There was a massive hole on his head and his mother “could see right through. ” His skull was broken in the middle and his tongue was cut and hanging down.
The world attended the funeral to have a look at Emmett and this angered the white people. They sent racist letters of threats calling names like “niggers”, “savages” and treat of house being bombed. This text shows how black and white were separated by racism and how discrimination took control destroying the black society physically and emotionally. How does the context (time, place, social condition and other people) enhance the occurrence of discrimination due to racism? My text consistently displays the social condition, times and places where/when white were superior of all races.
A time we now look back and feel embarrassed that it ever happened, a time of suffering, of pain, of struggle and temptation but hope was always in front and kept them going. In Dawn Raids this event happened in the mid-1970s to early 1980s during the most embarrassing time of New Zealand, where most islanders were being woken up early in the cold mornings at dawn with dogs and flashlights trashing things that came their way, handcuffed and held in cells. These times made racism easier for polices because they had the authorities to pick on anyone but they chose only to pick on brown faces for over stayers.
It was during the time when New Zealand brought Pacific Islanders to New Zealand to work in factories and do hard works and by that it meant that Pacific Islanders had to obey Pakehas and do as they are told. They lived in fear and under pressure because their lives were being controlled. This shows that discrimination affects and destroys lives of the Islanders and it should have been prevented and stopped. In Freedom Writer is based on a time where whites were still superior to all races and black being the lowest of them all and a time in America where black people were blamed for almost every crime.
This show a time where freedom was deprive of the non-white people due to racism. Othello is a text that was influenced by the occurrence of racism through words of hatred, jealousy and a time where people believed in strange things concerning the devil, more religious believers and strong Christian faiths. Iago refers to Othello as the “devil” even though Othello’s Christian, as indicating that black were evil and that “ the devil” often took the form of a black man, which as to make Othello seem as something miserable and should be treated like an animal.
These racist words of Iago were used to persuade Brabantio that it is impossible for Desdemona to fall in love with Othello because of his race. This shows a time where Othello’s race was seen as something not desirable or wanted. Othello is similar to Black like me where in accordance with social segregation of time, finding a job for black people was difficult and hard. They couldn’t find a restroom or cafe allowed for black to enter and use. This shows a time in America where black people were neglected of their needs and social involvement because of their skin colour.
According to The untold story of Emmett Till and it’s devastating incident, that occurred during the time of the white being superior to black and slavery still seen around, black people were seen lower than whites and other races. Black people would be treated like animals and white people would get away with it. it shows a time where black people at that time still had no protection from the law, a time where they weren’t yet allowed to vote or speak their minds. This made racism worse for black people because they had no say in anything, due to most of them being brought up in the culture of slavery.
So, in these texts it shows how the context can enhance the occurrences of racism shown through discrimination and why discrimination should be stopped. Why do people discriminate (including those in the texts)? There is no single, simple answer to this question. To begin with, it seems to be a human trait to dislike and distrust anyone we perceive as being "different. " It also seems to be a human trait to judge groups of people by the actions and attitudes of a few and it also seems to be a human trait to think that what we believe, how we live, and what we are is the only "right" way to believe, live, and be.
People are not born racist and they learn this behaviour from their family, friends, and other important people in their lives. This is a personality disorder, I believe, based on a person's lack of self-worth. During the years of Affirmative Action (employment preference given to blacks) in America, many non-blacks were passed over for promotions and jobs which they considered rightfully theirs and this caused a great deal of bitterness. This particular program has not been around for many years, but older workers probably recall it clearly and still hold a great deal of resentment, like wise shown on the text Black Like Me.
Some people discriminate due to one's skin colour being different from theirs, backgrounds and where they’re from. It shows that white people discriminate black people because they believe that they are superior and they can do anything and get away with it without punishments. In Dawn Raids it shows that polices discriminate because immigrants were getting bigger and better in New Zealand and plus they didn't need them anymore; they had no use for them any longer.
That was a selfish and unloving way, of how discrimination worked. Iago in Othello was totally under the influence of jealousy and hatred towards Othello, which resulted in a very tragic event of deaths and broken hearts and trusts between the two lovers, Othello and Desdemona, together with the help of religious faith and beliefs. In The Untold Story of Emmett Till it shows that the "white society" discriminates basically because of skin colours and ethnicity together with the echoing background of slavery from years ago.
Similar to Freedom Writer it shows that students discriminates because of things that happened in the past, stories told by their fathers, their brothers, sisters and mothers. They kill each other and fight against each other even to death, shooting each other down because of the fact that their backgrounds and ethnics are different, they believe in different things and their past experiences due to racism and racial-hatred. Hatred and fear of others being superior or overpowering them made discrimination stronger but less do they know that they all have a lot in common than they know of.
So discrimination should be stopped because it is unfair, unloving, painful, sorrowful and straight inhuman-like and lets come together and try make a difference for our next generations. Conclusion: People discriminate for many reasons; fear, envy, desire for power or a need to disassociate them from others but especially because of racism. Racism is and will always remain a central issue which is heard, seen and recognized in most countries, in societies and amongst individuals which causes a lot of sufferings.
These issues of discrimination scars every aspect of economic cultural and political life by overt or covert racism acts, either in offensive loud bang or in a subtle manner. In many ways discrimination due to racism blur the line of accepted and unaccepted societal norms, that to destroy and subjugate others --either through perpetuation of physical violence or words-- is a phenomenon as old as time. These actions wounds societies and people as individuals which healed but left scars that will never fade or forgotten.
What is disconcerting are the facts, figures and the damages caused to an individual and society as a whole. Painful tortures done behind doors and are swept under the rugs without others knowing or recognizing the damages. Hundreds of years ago people have paid a price for being racially different, tortured, and subjugated or killed, despite the advancement in culture, science and technology. People have been categorized and stereotyped which made discrimination easier. The root of the problem lies in our physical or cultural differences which involves skin colour, anguage, religion or tribe, hence the solutions too comes from this problem of being different. We should learn to love the different cultures and when we meet people and learn about them we are really all just the same. I have zero tolerance for racism because it has resolved nothing for as long as racism has been, and it's the likes of JFK, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr, losing their lives for these very principles to make one realize that certain people are terrified that wars that should never have been, will be ended and there will be equality for all races of man.
We should learn from these great men and strive to get along together rather than to fight with one another. I believe that by accepting and maybe celebrating differences is just one way of educating ourselves on these differences of cultures, and just maybe, a zero tolerance towards racism as an individual or society as a whole could pave the way for less of it and try make this world a better place, discrimination-free and racism-free for our children, our children's children.
A world where we can all come together as one with peace and love no matter what race, skin-color or country we're from, because I believe that without discrimination and racism, the world would be a much better place for our species to multiply and replenish with equality for every man no matter what differences we have. Discrimination and racism should be stop and prevented forever. Don’t ignore or avoid the scars of discriminations.
Shakespeare,William 'Othello' playscript http://www. william-shakespeare. info/act1-script-text-othello. htm
Knightley, Oscar 'Dawn Raids’ ()playscript from school http://www. laymarket. org. nz/node/3328
LaGravenese, Richard (2007) Freedom Writer’ movie http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0463998/ or Youtube http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=m0PRB4YsXn4;feature=related
Griffin, John Howard ()‘Black Like Me’ based on a real life event, based on a true story. http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0057889/ http://books. google. co. nz/books/about/Black_Like_Me. html? id=ObTddfcqk2gC;redir_esc=y
Top Documentary Film (1950s)‘TheUntold Story of Emmett Louis Till’ http://topdocumentaryfilms. com/the-untold-story-of-emmett-louis-till/