The film, Remember the Titans, (2000) is based on a true story of T.C. Williams High School, which is a Virginia school that is undergoing racial integration after always going through segregation within their community. The film focuses on the high school football team who gets a new African American coach, in which he tries to integrate a racially divided team. The film shows the effects of the forced integration that it had on the coaches of the team, the individual players, and the families of those players in which brought many fights among each other. However, after hard working and learning to work together the team accomplishes both feats, the community gets a positive view on how things should be. This resulted in a stronger community with less prejudice.
The film illustrated conflict theory because of the constant battle for limited positions and resources between their race. The coach felt the pressure as he was told he must do better than any other caucasian coach would ever do to keep his job. Symbolic interactionism also portrays in the film as the coach chooses his players based on skill and the way they interact with each other, rather than their race as they were accustomed to that. Functionalist theory can be seen in the beginning of the film during practice as the coach focused on participation, hard work, and achievement to result in success.
Remember the Titans is a very important film, they showed the biggest issue in the past, segregation as well as one of the biggest issues up until today, racism. The film itself ended up in a very inspiring outcome as the people of color defeated prejudice. It opened up my views and opinions on certain topics such as, segregation. As many people believe racial segregation is in the past and over, not many are aware of the segregation there is among neighborhoods- they are racially segregated as African Americans and Latinos are likely to live among their racial groups than they are with whites. In this film, the caucasians tried to use their white privilege as an excuse to prevent them to practice (football) with people outside their race. This still happens up until today, in my personal experience I have been accused of stealing at a local white supermarket. The lady used her whiteness to tell the manager that she seen me snatch three items off the shelf and sneak them in my bag, when in reality I put them in the cart, this resulted in the manager asking to look inside my bag. Racial domination was seen a lot in the film, as the the dominant race didn’t see people other than their own race as a normal category, they seen them as lower people. Racial essentialism was also a very common shown thing in the film, as they believed that the African American football coach was not going to be able to train them well.
Application to the real world
With racism always being one of the biggest issues in America, a person of color is constantly defending their rights as a human being. About two weeks ago a video went viral on every social media possible (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) of a white woman who called the police, and accused a nine year old black boy for sexually harassing her in a Brooklyn deli as he passed behind her. The police officers looked at the video from the hidden camera inside the store which showed the nine year old passing behind the white lady without him touching her.
This year has been filled with incidents just like this one, which is considered interpersonal racism. Interpersonal racism is the racism that occurs between individuals, it holds negative attitudes towards different races and cultures. In this situation, the lady didn’t react as dramatic as she did until she seen his skin color which is an example of interpersonal racism. Whiteness is define as the dominant category, in which all other categories are compared or contrast to. The textbook states, “Whiteness is racial domination normalized…. [which] reproduces many advantages and privilege which with holds disadvantages from nonwhite people.” (26) In this situation, the lady tried to use her white privilege to give the nine year old consequences that he did not receive. The lady whined, complained, and stuck with with her word after the video proven was proven that the kid was innocent. Race is a social reality is defined as a political reality, a social construction. Race is a cultural phenomena that is being used to control and manipulate people. The lady tried to manipulate the black boy, because she is the dominant race.
- Desmond, M,. & Emirbayer, M. (2016). Race in America. New York: W.W Norton & Company, Inc.
- Karma, Allen. (2018, October 19). Boy falsely accused of sexual assault by woman.
- Boaz, Yakin. (2002) Remember the Titans