Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let me start this post by stating what I believe are two well-justified opinions. First, racism is still a huge world issue. Racism, while certainly prevalent in the U.S., is a far-reaching and international mar on society and is still affecting decisions and attitudes across the globe. Second, if you have managed to trick yourself into believing that this is not the case and that we have "gotten over racism" as a world society, then you are simply out of your mind.

I recently re-watched the Matrix trilogy. The Matrix movies are some of my favorite movies of all time (yes, all three of them), and the Matrix universe is probably my favorite fictional setting. I've spent a lot of time investing myself in its lore.

But this time through, I noticed something that I had previously been unable to notice. I'm not sure if it was because of the mindset that I was in when I previously watched the movies, or if the execution of the theme was just that masterful.

I noticed that the people in the Matrix movies are comprised of a huge range and variety of races.

And the most beautiful part of it is that it does not matter. No attention is drawn to this fact. That is just how it is. Individuals are not "white" or "black" or "Asian" or whatever other race they may happen to be. They are just people. I had not really noticed this upon my first few viewings of the movies (probably because I was younger and was too busy mentally orgasming over the fight scenes), but this time it really struck home as a beautifully subtle theme throughout the movies.

This realization instilled a question in my mind: When are we going to get over race?

When will we as a society be able to look past it? When will we all be able to stop making racist and sexist jokes about each other? When will we finally eradicate these deep seeded attitudes of racism, sexism, and nationalism that are so prevalent in many of our world cultures? When will people just be people?

Now, I understand that there are differences. Of course there are cultural differences between races. It is of utmost ignorance to imagine a society in which there are no differences whatsoever between races. I believe that the differences between our cultures are of crucial importance in our ever expanding path towards philosophical and intellectual enlightenment. I know that there are distinct differences and that there always will be. I want there to always be differences. But when will we start respecting each other for them?

When will we stop being afraid?

Is the Matrix a prediction of the answer to these questions? Is it going to take an apocalyptic scenario for us to finally get over ourselves and work together? Is the threat of extinction the only thing that can motivate us to action?

I'm not asking that we give up our cultural and racial identities in the interest of a perfect utopian society in which there are no disagreements.

I'm just asking that we give up these attitudes seeded in hatred and fear and learn how to learn from each other.

I'm just asking that we learn how to love.

4 comments:

  1. We have an animalistic sense that when we see someone of a different color, we are alerted to it. This is for protection, granted it is not needed nor wanted anymore. So until this is breed out (which I doubt can be possible due to certain people unwanting to change this) we will only be able to try.

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  2. That is the good things about movies, well some movies not all. The director and producer have the power to mix in different races. The characters could be white, black, or anything else, and for the story line or plot this would not matter. (There are exceptions of course like if the plot has to do with race, etc). If only the real world was like this... people being indifferent to the color or culture of an individual, that will be the day.

    Everybody, even if we don't want to or intent to, will view things with some stereotype or racism. It is sad, but true... Even if our parents aren't consciously prejudice, there is still something in there that will instill it. Media has a lot to do with it. If movies had nothing to do with race, then that would be nice.

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  3. Yes, but therein lies the problem. It doesn't have to be that way. People are quick to dismiss it as a problem that will just always be, and I refuse to accept that we as a species are too stubborn to change.

    It is something that needs to be stopped. We just have to want it. And I'm tired of sitting around waiting for people to want it.

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  4. It's just...some people hate other people...mostly hicks.

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