While the issue of racial discrimination is a common societal phenomenon in America, few artists, including authors and filmmakers, showcase a possible coexistence among people of different races. Often, these producers promote the ideals of discrimination by showing how one race, mostly the whites; assume supremacy over the other races. Most films also present the blacks as the most affected race in America as all other races discriminate against them. Blacks are often presented as criminals and persons that are violent (Welch, 2007). Some racist whites are seemingly almost always happy when the blacks are facing humiliation. However, these presentations of race do not always take the direction described above, but most producers create their content from this perspective.
Nonetheless, there are some artists and film producers that present a different point of view on the issue of racism. The different depiction entails a change in roles, which involves the whites and the blacks feigning a smooth coexistence. In such cases, the whites seemingly defend the black from racists, and the blacks could assume a special status of superiority to the whites—a perfect example of such as film is The Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly. Farrelly uses the characters of Dr. Don Shirley, an African American pianist and Tony Lip, the Italian American, who formerly worked as a bouncer but became Don’s chauffeur and bodyguard. The film seeks to achieve a significant societal impact by showing how African Americans can gain recognition and superiority in America and how some whites could defend blacks from discrimination and unfair treatment.
As mentioned earlier, the common assertion in American society is that American Americans have little influence in society. This assertion is attributable to their previous status of slavery before the liberation of the Southern states (Lintner, 2004). Therefore, according to the racist whites, it would be uncommon for an African American to rise to the status of being above the whites. However, Don’s case is different as he plays the role of a superior African that even provides employment to a white person (Hughey, 2012). Don is the black pianist, who needs a chauffeur and bodyguard in his music tour. He intends to visit the Midwest region, which is mostly occupied by the whites before exploring the Southern states that have high populations of African Americans. Casually as per the prominent trends about racism, Don would have employed a fellow African American, or it could be a case of Tony taking the superior role while Don becomes the chauffeur.
Additionally, Don represents a shift in perception of African Americans as being less educated than the whites when he assists Tony in writing letters addressing them to his wife. In another instance, Don portrays black supremacy by proving that African Americans also had a voice against white manipulation and discrimination (Flory, 2000). Don refuses to perform in Alabama after the staff at the venue of his performance refuses to serve him from the same country club as the audience he would be entertaining. The management claimed that the event was an all-white affair, yet they had invited him to perform. Don’s popularity and influence to the extent that he could call the governor to secure his release from police custody also show the advancements in society that grants African Americans such privilege. These depictions represent the changing status quo of society as African Americans in the U.S. begin enjoying aspects of recognition and essential positions in society.
Also, the film presents a unique perception of the coexistence among different races in America. Initially, Tony seemingly enjoys how Don’s fans would discriminate him, especially when he was not on stage. However, this incidence does not show Tony’s attitudes of appreciation for discrimination against African Americans. Consequently, in other occurrences, Tony poses to defend Don from any forms of racist discrimination (Hughey, 2010). For instance, while touring the Midwest, some racist white men want to attack Don for being African Americans, but Tony steps in to defend and rescue him. Tony also saves Don in other incidences, such as when he bribes the police in a bid to stop his arrest for engaging suggestively with another male, contrary to the law (Ash, 2013). On the same evening, Tony punches another police officer for issuing racist remarks against Don.
To this end, the film plays a significant role in promoting the change regarding racism in America. It emphasizes on the recognition of the African Americans as persons that require fair and humane treatment regardless of their race, mainly because they have advanced over the years to become famous artists, who even offer jobs to persons of other races. Besides, they currently have an undeniable intellect and influence in society, consequently defying the previous notion of African Americans being ignorant and non-influential in the community. The film also promotes the idea of whites defending the blacks from discriminatory practices perpetrated by other members of society. These depictions could instigate change in American culture and further end the issue of racism.
In the era of increased information access and education among the minority groups, especially the Blacks, they have been profoundly fundamental in agitating for equality. The Black movements fighting for civil liberties and the affirmative action led by the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have an enormous impact on American society as we see it today. This is based on the fact that united blacks or minority groups can champion for social change leading to their recognition (Goldberg & Griffey, 2010). The culmination of the Black movement was the right to vote and take part in American politics. Such changes are essential in American society as modern society can allow a Black person to seek a political office while the 19th century was not possible. Thus, mark the progress of racist sentiments in society (Jee-Lyn & Sharif, 2015).
The capacity of Don to become a successful pianist is a presentation of the minority groups’ potential to pursue their ambitions and attain success in society. This is best epitomized by the ascension of Barack Obama climbing to the presidency. Though highly unlikely and unlikable by the racists – the Obama ascension to the top office of the land is proof of the Black potential, previously seen as inferior races (Reskin, 2012). The capacity to rise high in the society, control and determine policies that affect millions of Americans – Whites, Hispania’s, among other races that constitute the American society. The political administration profoundly enhances the values of reducing discrimination against minority groups. However, despite such progress and milestones in the reduction of racism – racism still prevails, and there is a prevalence of discrimination against the Blacks.
The progress made over the years fighting racism in American society has skyrocketed in the recent past due to the sentiments of the leaders. The current U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, has been in the headlines advancing racist sentiments and concessions that are unhealthy to the society. The tendency of discrimination against blacks, as well as other minority groups, are likely to suffer racism (Quillian, 2006). The nature and influence of the leadership of the day impact the societal values and norms that promote the escalation or de-escalation of racism. Different regimes have different impacts on the connotation and creation of societal values, norms, and culture towards racism. Thus, for progress to be realized in the society towards discrimination against the minority groups, scaling down on the leadership that is characterized by racism is integral (Pager & Shepherd, 2008).
The promotion of workplace diversity in contemporary business practices is fundamental to the elimination of discrimination in accessing employment opportunities. The U.S. Employment Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) stipulates the need for a diverse workforce as a critical aspect of productivity and competitiveness in the organization (Selmi, 2014). The EEOC laws and regulations promote the values of protecting employees against discrimination in the workplace. That is a fight for equality and protection against discrimination on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, gender, national origin, or disability (Kmec & Skaggs, 2014). The laws against discrimination, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Equal Pay Act of 1963. The laws and regulations are fundamental to the efforts of building a society that despises discrimination and promotes fairness and equality in the workplace.
In conclusion, the prevalence of discrimination in society puts thousands at risk from the extents of adverse treatment. Despite slow progress in eliminating discrimination in society, the government has a profound responsibility to protect the marginalized groups. The promotion of crucial measures vital to reduce and eliminate discrimination in American society is fundamental to the respect of human rights and the treatment of every individual with dignity. This impacts the value and respect among the citizens – which results in the cohesiveness of the society. The government’s inputs in the promotion of social justice based on equality ascertain fairness and equity among its citizens. The capacity to take positive steps towards ending the culture of discrimination is highly wanted and essential in American society. Hence, it create an opportunity in which citizens can thrive equally and maintain dignity across all races.
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