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Hunter Rohrer
English 111
Instructor: S. Britt
Movie Synthesis Essay
April 3, 2015
Judgment in the 21st Century
Racism, harsh judgement, discrimination on gender and physical appearance are all major
negative qualities that people in the 21st century use in their daily lives. Society, overtime has
evolved into a very judgmental group of people. This may be a good attribute people may do it
for their own protection. At the same time the people judged may become offended or even
falsely accused risking the judgers safety. Judgement happens every day in reality, outside of
these works of literature. Whether it is positive protection or negative stereotypes, judgement is
everywhere in the 21st century; people should not be the ones to pass out judgement on others
even before getting to know a person.
Racism has been a major issue in society for a long time. A prime example is portrayed to
us in Paul Haggis movie Crash. The viewer is presented with a scene in which a higher class
couple were finishing out a night on the town. On their way back to their car they pass two
colored men. One of the men was on a rant about racism against his type. He mentioned
something along the lines of people looking down on them due to the color of their skin. When
the white couple walked passed, the woman refused to acknowledge the black man's presence

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and looked down as they crossed paths. This action triggered the black man to point the situation
out and make it more public. The black men, equipped with guns eventually robbed them by
stealing their money and car. In this situation more than one type of judgement occurred. The
white woman more than likely was avoiding contact with the men due to their appearance. The
black men appeared under privileged, thug like, threatening, giving the woman a reason to feel
the way she did. Whether this was right or wrong of her this happens every day, even in this
situation her assumptions were correct. The black men used judgement also in the way that they
chose their victim. Appearing as a wealthy couple due to their high status appearance, well
dressed, and higher end vehicle, the black men came off as hypocritical due to his rant persisting
of fear due to racial judgement, then proceeds to do the exact thing people fear his type to do.
Similarly, Brent Staples depicts in his article Black Men and Public Spaces, a similar
situation. Staples, a black male, was walking down an alley, when a woman in the same alley
began acting nervous and paranoid. Soon the woman fled the scene. Staples explains I was
surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once. Her flight made me feel like an accomplice in
tyranny. It also made it clear that I was indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally
seeped into the area from the surrounding ghetto. (Staples 15), this is a prime example of how
society may use racial judgement. These actions from the woman led Staples to feel as if he were
no better than the muggers that came from the surrounding ghettos. In the article Officials
question study of city's young black men written by James Bock, Bock goes to explain that,
Despite a report showing that 56 percent of young black men in Baltimore were in trouble with
the law, the city's top law enforcement official said yesterday that there are more good ones than
bad ones. Sympathizing with Staples encounter with the woman, Bock explains that not all
black men are bad. Bock also goes to explain State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms said the report

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by the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA) included so many minor offenses
and charges that it unintentionally supported the bad stereotype of African-American males ages
18 to 35 today. (Bock 1). This proves that not all black men are what they are perceived to be.
As mentioned previously the woman feared Staples and fled because she feared what he might
do to her due to his race and or color. This leads to another form of judgment
targeting women.
In the movie Crash, the white woman may have been targeted because she appeared as
a wealthy white female. Females may be tempting targets because sometimes more than often
they are smaller and weaker. The fact that her husband was present is irrelevant because they
were outnumbered and overpowered by weapons. Likewise in Staples article the woman felt
venerable. She was depicted as a well-dressed female in her 20s. She was aware that Staples was
capable of overpowering her and chose to run, wrongly accusing Staples of being a bad man.
Staples explains in his article I understand, of course, that the danger they perceive is not a
hallucination. Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are
drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of violence. (Staples 16). Staples
communicates that he is understanding of the young womans actions. He also explains that he
does not blame the young woman for falsely accusing him, because the fact that over all, black
men are the ones most known for being criminals in these kind of situations.
Clearly society judges people by gender and race, when in reality they are judged by their
physical appearance as a whole. Staples explains how he adapted higher class characteristics to
ease the chances of racial discrimination. He explains in his article that he whistles classical
composers to ease tension in public places, Virtually everybody seems to sense that a mugger
wouldnt be warbling bright, sunny selections from Vivaldis Four Seasons. It is my equivalent

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of the cowbells that hikers wear when they know they are in bear country. (Staples 17). Staples
point being muggers are usually not known to be happy friendly people. Whistling classical
music gives people the impression that you are a happy person. A characteristic most criminals
do not possess easing the surrounding peoples thoughts, accusations, and judgements. In the
movie the white woman changed her physical appearance from an average promiscuous higher
class white woman to a modest unsocial person being by adjusting her clothing and looking
away, attempting to avoid confrontation. People can change their ways or perhaps put on an act
to change their ways or perhaps put on an act to change the way surrounding people view them.
Without personally knowing someone physical appearance is all we have to create a first
impression and is the aspect most harshly judged. So, a changed appearance will more than
likely change judgement.
People are not always judged so negatively, sometimes people are judged in a positive
way. Public status can often cloud a persons ability to judge them. Police officers, keepers of the
peace, public heroes, are often looked up to, and the last people to be thought of to do something
wrong. When in fact police officers can take advantage of knowing this is how the public views
them. The power can go to their head and police officers can be corrupt. They may feel above the
law due to their status. In the movie Crash a corrupted officer felt it necessary to pull a couple
over. Then proceeded to molest the female passenger, while overpowering the male passenger
with his authority. The female was vulnerable, more than likely assuming the officer was an
honest man, when in fact he wasnt. Simultaneously the driver did not defend his wife, maybe
out of fear for the officers power. Most people trust that an officer of the law would be way
more professional and hold a way higher level of integrity. There for judgement on status may be
clouded.

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People should not be the ones to pass out judgement on others even before getting to
know a person. Society has evolved into a very judgmental group of people. This may be a good
attribute people may do it for their own protection. At the same time the people judged may
become offended or even falsely accused risking the judgers safety. The articles and movie gave
many effective examples. Examples include racism, harsh judgement, discrimination on gender
and physical appearance. Judgement happens every day in reality, outside of these works of
literature. Whether it is positive protection or negative stereotypes judgement is everywhere in
the 21st century.

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Works Cited
Bock, James. "Officials Question Study of City's Young Black Men." Tribune Digital-Baltimore
Sun. The Baltimore Sun, 03 September. 1992. Web. 09 May 2015.
Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis. Perf. Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock. 2004. DVD
Staples, Brent. Black Men and Public Spaces Exploring Relationships: Globalization and
Learning in the 21st Century. Ed. Mid Michigan Community College Boston: Pearson Learning
Solutions, 2013. Pg 15 pg 17. Print.