Racism: a comparison using Spike Lee's "Do the right thing" and "Two towns of Jasper"

Essay by MasterChiefUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2006

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It is amazing that today, in 2004, there are still huge concerns over racial issues. Regardless of all the progress our society has made when it comes to racism and discrimination, there are still new racially based conflicts and problems arising at this very second. While we may feel that recently there have been no extreme instances of racism or discrimination, this is simply not the case. While some may choose to deny or ignore this problem, there are others trying to bring it to the surface and truly expose the harsh truths about these biases that we have created. Spike Lee, in his 1989 film "Do the Right Thing", set out to illustrate a type of situation that many people have never even considered: being the minority is a predominantly African American community. This film conveys very powerful racial messages and really makes the viewer question how they genuinely feel, especially after having seen the opposite side of the spectrum.

More recently, the 2003 documentary "Two Towns of Jasper", created by Whitney Dow and Marco Williams, addresses the murder of James Byrd Jr., an African American man who was brutally killed in Jasper, Texas. Lee's film and the documentary are quite similar in the fact that they raise very interesting moral issues while exposing the reality of racism today. They go about doing this in very different ways, however, but the thoughts and feelings you get from both of these works are interestingly comparable.

The theory of multiculturalism can be divided into two subcategories, inclusive and exclusive; both of which can be easily related to these films. Inclusive multiculturalism states that racial discrimination in diverse cultures can be eradicated by a shared orientation in one another's traditions and history (Rosenstand 109). In other words, people should welcome...