Thursday, April 28, 2011

(X) Xenophobia in film

Ghosts of the Heartland (2007) Roland Yu, an Asian man, returns from the big city to his small Midwestern hometown at the tail end of President Truman's term. His neighbors question where his loyalties lie. The town is split between racist white people and the Asian community. Actual dialogue from the movie: Why don't you go back to the big city and marry a white woman so your children can disappear into the white race?" -- Oye Vey. This got poor reviews.

Vendetta (1999) Based on a true tale of power, corruption and murder, Christopher Walken stars in the story of the largest lynching in American history. Oh yeah, and Xenophobia runs rampit in New Orleans in 1890. I didn't even know this happened. What a sad and sick part of American History.

Gangs of New York (2002) As waves of immigrants swell the population of New York, lawlessness and corruption thrive in Manhattan's Five Points section. After years of incarceration, young Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon returns seeking revenge against the rival gang leader who killed his father. But Amsterdam's personal vendetta becomes part of the gang warfare that erupts as he and his fellow Irishmen fight to carve a place for themselves in their newly adopted homeland.

People often say they are not racist or xenophobic, like it is a badge of honor. What it is is a bold faced lie. Before 911 I would have maybe been gullable enough to buy that, but not since.

Am I racist? Am I xenophobic? I'd like to say I tolerate all people, but come on, why lie to you? Why lie to myself? Am I outwardly vocal about it? No.

Yes, certain people scare me, I look sideways and certain individuals. YES I DO!

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