The Color of Fear
- 1h 30min
Eight North American men, two African American, two Latinos, two Asian American and two Caucasian were gathered by director Lee Mun Wah, for a dialog about the state of race relations in Ame... Read allEight North American men, two African American, two Latinos, two Asian American and two Caucasian were gathered by director Lee Mun Wah, for a dialog about the state of race relations in America as seen through their eyes. The exchanges are sometimes dramatic, and put in plain li... Read allEight North American men, two African American, two Latinos, two Asian American and two Caucasian were gathered by director Lee Mun Wah, for a dialog about the state of race relations in America as seen through their eyes. The exchanges are sometimes dramatic, and put in plain light the pain caused by racism in North America.
Early in the documentary we find that David, like most boomers, has naively adopted a color-blind view of race. This was possible due to his upbringing in 1950s suburban California; a state which was ~85% white at the time. Unfortunately he has failed to adapt from a culture that was his, to a culture that views him as a problem to be solved.
It is obvious that this is David's first encounter with much anti-white rhetoric that has by now entered the mainstream. He is startled by Victor's proclamation that black people are being held back by whites through vague notions of systemic bias. He does not challenge Victor's assertion that the United States is "red land". At several points, Victor become emotional, giving David the opportunity to provoke him further and to expose the lunacy of his ideology. Instead, David shrinks into his chair. Though unfamiliar to him prior to today, the tyranny of the progressive stack has embedded itself in his psyche in a matter of hours. He correctly senses that verbal retaliation will enrage the group, which includes only one potential white ally.
At one point, Victor tells David: "I won't trust you until you're as affected by my experience as I am everyday by yours." Maybe David should have taken this threat a little more seriously. In the age of black Twitter and Liveleak, black racial enmity toward whites is on full display. As the white proportion of the population declines, it is hard to imagine that other ethnic groups, inspired by the divisive rhetoric of a privileged elite, will not seize the opportunity to inflict harm upon whites in retaliation for imagined wrongs of the past. We are hurtling toward a demography that is comically similar to that of the cast of this film. One expects that our "dialogue" on race will resemble that found in the movie: an incited coalition of Asians, Hispanics, and blacks berating a confused white man for all eternity.
I recommend watching if you want an example of who not to be. Don't be David. Have well thought-out views. Have convictions. Stick by those convictions. Don't allow yourself to be humiliated. Have some respect for yourself. If you don't respect yourself, why should anyone else? I started out liking David, thinking he was misguided but proud. His effeminate speech patterns, the way his lip quivers when Viktor raises his voice: I now feel nothing but contempt.
By the time this movie had debuted, perhaps the current state of affairs was inevitable, perhaps not. Either way, the Color of Fear has turned out to be strikingly predictive of the current dialogue between POC and craven, even self-hating, whites. I subtracted one star because the organizer often asks leading questions rather than allowing the discussion to flow naturally, and because everyone except Victor and David hardly speaks and is boring at that. Still, the best parts of the film are enough to raise its score as a whole.
- Oct 29, 2019