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The movie, “Remember the Titans” is known to be an iconic movie. It is based on a true story and took set in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, a time where blacks and whites had just started to integrate. The movie is about two football teams, one black and one white, who end up being forced and integrated together to become one team. There was one football coach who was white, Coach Bill Yoast, and one black coach, Coach Herman Boone, who had to work side by side to make their team be one of the first football teams with integrated colors. When the football players all came back from football camp, the movie shows many parents and citizens rioting and threatening the school and students. Even the coaches both had their own issues against each other, but also shared the same goal, for their teams to learn to come together and win the championship. By the team winning the championship, this showed the community that working together and overcoming racism was possible. Although the team finally ended up working together and winning the championship, they had many struggles and obstacles to overcome. There was plenty of racism from both colors. There had been discrimination from teammates on the football team and those in town. There were also moments of stereotypes throughout the movie.
Remember the Titans had many scenes of racism. Racism, “The belief that races, however defined, can be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to others, accompanied with actions to accord privilege and social advantages based on race.” One of the head football players, Gerry, had said, “I don’t want to play with any of those black animals.” This is racism because Gerry felt as if he was better than anyone black and made it seem as if blacks were not worthy of being able to play on a team with whites. Another scene that showed racism is when Coach Boone and his family moved into their new home. A white neighbor was talking to her husband and noticed the Boone family and said, “It only takes one, then we’re gonna be overrun by them.” This showed racism because the white lady felt as if she was superior to blacks and that no blacks should be allowed to move into a white neighborhood. This also showed that whites had felt as if they should be able to control where blacks can live and that they had better privileged neighborhoods. When the boys got back from camp, they had learned to work together and finally start becoming a team. As they were going to their first day of school, there were many angry white protesters screaming and holding up signs. One white lady screamed, “We don’t want them here!” The way she said it was as if blacks belonged in a less advantaged school system. She also said it as if she were disgusted and angry that blacks can go to an all-white school. There were also parts of the movie where blacks were racist against whites. Julius, a black boy, was sitting with other blacks for lunch. Louie, a white boy, went to sit at the table with Julius and Julius said, “Why don’t you go on over there and eat with your people?” Julius had originally refused to allow Louie to sit at his table because he had believed blacks and whites should not sit together, which in return, showed that racism can come from any race.
In the movie, “Remember the Titans,” there were many different issues the football team had faced. Not only was there racism, there was also discrimination. Discrimination, “The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” When Gerry wanted his girlfriend, Emma, to meet Julius, Julius went to go shake her hand and introduce himself. Emma gave Julius a dirty look, scoffed at him, and then walked away angrily. Emma treated Julius poorly, as if he wasn’t a person, just because of his skin color. Another scene in the movie, a protester at the school was holding up a sign that said, “We love our kids, we hate busing.” This is a form of discrimination because the protesters are trying to stop blacks from being bused to an all-white school. The poster is also saying that because they love their children, there should be no right to bus blacks to the white schools. The protesters treated the blacks badly and made them feel very uncomfortable going to their first day of school. Another form of discrimination was when Sunshine, another white boy, and 2 black football players went to go into a restaurant to grab some food. Not only did the owner tell the black boys to leave, he had also discriminated the white boy because he was considered a “Hippie.” Hippies were discriminated in the movie because the male hippies were said to be gay since they had long hair and didn’t look like a very tough man.
One of the last issues that was in the movie was stereotyping. Stereotype, “Judgement made about another solely on the basis of ethnic or other group membership.” There were scenes in the movie that always showed women cooking and cleaning while the men were always working. This is stereotyping that women should be the ones taking care of the home life while the men can do all the work. Another scene that showed stereotyping was as Coach Boone was moving into his house with his family. A white neighbor said to her husband, “Are those people the movers?” This shows a form of stereotyping because the neighbor is saying blacks are to be a type of servant to whites, rather than be able to live their own life. In the scene where two opposite colored football players had to learn about each other, Ray had to ask questions to learn about Petey. Petey was black, so Ray said, “Let’s see, what’s your daddy’s name. I mean, you do have a daddy, right?” This is a stereotype by saying black children don’t have their father in their life. Back in the 70’s, and even some people now, say that most black families don’t have a male figure in the children’s life. There were also stereotypes about hippies in the movie. When a long blonde-haired boy, named Ronnie Bass, showed up to football camp, the first thing Gerry said was, “Look at that fruitcake,” stereotyping that males with long hair were gay. Ronnie was also stereotyped as a hippie because of the clothing he wore and the music he listened to. Other parts of the movie stereotyped how little girls should be. Every time Sheryl, a nine-year-old girl, tried to talk about football or try to play sports, she was discouraged and told to go play with barbies and paint her nails. This gender stereotype is that little girls should only play dress up and look pretty, where-as boys are supposed to play sports and be tough.
I believe the movie was an amazing, eye opening, and iconic film. The characters in the movie really played their part well, and I felt like I really got a glimpse at what it was like in the 70’s. I was able to feel the raw emotion for the characters they portrayed. I believe that even though we may have over come many different challenges since the 70’s, I believe there is still so much racism, discrimination, and stereotyping. I feel like it will always be a challenge to change all the issues permanently yet knowing there is no more segregation in schools and sports is wonderful and promising for the future. My hope is that any-one who watches “Remember the Titans,” can learn to watch what they say or do so they don’t make others of different races, cultures, and genders uncomfortable as who they are.
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