Misconceptions of White People about Black People

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  6
Words:  1884
Order Original Essay

How it works

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another (Racism). This tends to result, more times than not, in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. Lately, the use of the term “racism” does not easily fall under just one definition (Racism). The ideas underlying racist practices often includes the idea that people can be divided into distinct groups that are different due to their social behavior and their innate capacities as well as the idea that they can be ranked as inferior or superior (Racism).

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

Though most would like to think they are not racist and/or that those they are closest to are not as well, the fact remains that at least one person someone knows probably still holds some of the things most find to be “racist” as true. It would be easy to just point the finger at them and say they are the problem, it is only them causing the issue. The real issue is our media, and how minority groups have been portrayed for centuries. Minorities have been portrayed as the lowest groups in the social standings for so long now, to most, the non-minority group, it just seems like the norm, and then most just go on living there lives and not worrying about it because it does not affect them in any way. When it does start to affect them, they are quick to defend themselves and throw any one else under the bus, because that is what is normal for the minority. Thankfully today, many from the majority and the minority are starting to stand up for everyone together. There is evidence all over in the media of this. From the Black Lives Matter movement, to more and more cultures being portrayed appropriately in the media, the world has come a long way, but unfortunately there is still a long way to go.

“The Blind Side” is a film that was released in 2009 by Warner Bros. Productions. When it released on November 20th, 2009 in Box offices it reached over $309.2 Million (Wikipedia). It was a film that was set to reach the masses, and it definitely was successful at that. It is a film that is still said to be one of the most remarkable due to its true story value and storyline. The film definitely targets the general public, but also reaches to those in the upper class and lower class as well. Looking more closely watching the film, it mostly can relate to two very different groups of people and racial groups. Those two being white upper-class families, and also young African-American boys (or kids in general). This film stood out because “African Americans have been the central minority throughout our country’s history” and it greatly gets into those issues throughout it (Takaki, 7).

In this film there is a very prominent scene about racism. The mother, one of the main characters in the film, is out at a brunch with some of her other upper-class wife friends, whom are all from and live in the south. During their brunch the other wives are all laughing and joking around, then they start talking about Michael, a teenage, African-American boy whom the mother has taken in off of the street. The other wives start cracking jokes asking if “Michael gets the family discount at Taco Bell, and if he does, her husband is going to lose a few stores,” implying that because he is a larger “black” boy he eats way too much. This creates the perception that all blacks are over-indulgent when it comes to food and that they cannot control themselves. Though it could be true that Michael likes to eat at taco bell, most teenagers do, so saying that stores are going to close simply because of one teenager is nonsense and shows just how prominent race is to these upper-class housewives. After hearing that remark the mother just smiles and says “he’s a good kid” as if she is taken aback by what her so called friends have said about her new family member. Then her other friend goes on to say, “I say you make it official and just adopt him” and then laughs very “fakely” as if it is a total ridiculous and unheard-of thing to do. As to this the mother basically says that since he is going to be 18 soon it doesn’t make any sense for her family to legally adopt Michael.

Adoption is a wonderful amazing thing that many people chose to do. But these women are making it seem as though it is a complete joke to even consider such a thing when the mother already has two children of her own. Just because Michael is older, the mother later goes on to explain, does not mean that he is not a part of her family, adopted or not. But to the other wives, and many today, adoption, especially of another race is something people question. There have been many stories of people reporting parents for having stolen a child just because it does not have the same skin tone as them, or simply because they look different. But the women of the upper-class world would never consider anything that would tarnish their family names or looks and having someone that looks different than them could cause social exile, which none, other than the mother, would ever risk. The problem is that people in that world have still been raised to believe that they are at the top of society and everyone else, especially those different than them are at the very bottom and should always be treated that way, and as the help rather than as family. It’s proven in this scene when the next thing one of her friend’s say to her “Is this some sort of white guilt thing… what would your daddy say?” Why does wanting to help a young boy, have to turn into a “white guilt thing” simply because of his race. If it were a white boy the other women wouldn’t even be questioning it, they would be commending it. Though it is somewhat normal to have some guilt, I mean even President Thomas Jefferson felt guilt for being a part of the racism by having slaves, that is not the sole reason for racism, nor is the reason for not being racist (Takaki, 63).

It’s that exact thinking that is causing the standstill to change. The mother does a great job at breaking down this perception of adopting a young black boy. She goes on to say, “Look here’s the deal, I don’t need ya’ll to approve my choices, alright, but I do ask that you respect them, you have no idea what this boy has been through, and if this is going to become some run in tribe, I can find an over-priced salad a lot closer to home.” The mother really stood up for her intentions here, proving that she was not just in it because of guilt but because another human being was in a hard place and needed some people to help him, and she was able to do just that. Her remarks leave her friends speechless for a minute. Then one says “I think what you’re doing is so great, to open up your home to him. Honey you’re changing that boy’s life.” The mother simply then says, “No, he’s changing mine.”

One would think at this point in the scene the women have come to realize that what the mother is doing is a good thing, and that the boy, though a different race, is just as much her family as her other two children. But then the moment is ruined when another friend says “That’s awesome for you, but what about Collins… Well aren’t you worried, even just a little, he’s a boy, a large black boy, sleeping under the same roof.” Collins, being the mother’s high-school senior daughter, was in full support of having Michael become a part of their family, and never once worried about Michael in any way. The thing is the other wives whom have said all this stuff about Michael never even tried to get the change to know him first. They just assumed all of these things because of the color of his skin. They also just assumed because he is a large black boy, from the projects, with no family, that instantly makes him a predator to the mother’s daughter. Unfortunately, that is still one of the largest misconceptions going around today, and even more unfortunately, that people still believe that misconception. The mother simply ends the brunch and conversation by saying “Shame on you” and walks out.

Overall, this scene from “The Blind Side” does a great job at portraying how the southern upper-class feel when it comes to different races trying to be a part of their world, but it also shows how even one person changing those stereotypes can make such a difference, especially when it comes to standing up for what is right. The mother does a good job of subtly pointing out what the other women were saying was wrong. The way the upper-class talk and act towards African-Americans is partly what causes them to be treated so poorly with how they are talked to and treated by the upper-class. This is partly because the upper-class contribute a lot to the media, so it is their viewpoints that are seen, heard, and talked about. If something major happened to a rich upper-class family it would be the first thing on the news, and they would most likely be blaming a minority for the issue, whereas if it were vice versa, it would be nowhere near any media. Though this scene example may not be the strongest, and many other things could have been said to those other women to help them see what they were saying was very racist and unbecoming of them, this clip does a great job of proving that these racial issues are still very much at play in certain parts of our country.

The impact that these notions have on society are brutally large. It is causing a divide between people that is so wide, and has been for so long, it is making it hard to close. While there are movements like Black Lives Matter to help mind the gap, the real changes can only come once people stop believing in stereotypes and start giving each other chances to prove themselves as individuals, without taking race into account. But until that actually starts happening the upper-class will still be getting away with saying almost anything they want about other people of other races, and those other races will still be getting blamed for things they haven’t done just because one person in the past may have done something. But those of the majority always seem to over-look that one person of their group that has done the same. As humans we need to learn to hold everyone to the same standards and agree that life is hard enough without adding all the racism and prejudices to the mix.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Misconceptions of White People About Black People. (2022, Apr 11). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/misconceptions-of-white-people-about-black-people/