Pleasantville Racism Paper

Words: 984
Pages: 4

Thomas Lovsey
Mrs. Barker
ENGL 1100
Nov. 12, 2015
Not as Simple as Black-and-White “Discrimination is behavior, intentional or not, which negatively treats a person or a group of people based on their racial origins” (Randall). It is unclear what the exact cause is for people to be prejudiced towards another group of individuals. Racism could perhaps be triggered by having a fear of people who are different, needing to fit in with others who are of a racist mindset, and/or being ignorant of other people’s cultures. In the 1998 movie Pleasantville, it is shown that racism and discrimination towards different people occurs because of sudden changes to an established system and society. In reality, racism is a result of generations of
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For example, they show how citizens of Pleasantville with power, such as Big Bob, spread feelings of discrimination to others. “In the context of racism, power is a necessary precondition for discrimination” (Randall). However, unlike in real history, the events in the movie happen rather quickly. The black-and-white people show racist tendencies against the colored people early on. It also does not take long for all the citizens to end the racism, which only happens when everyone in the town becomes colored. In the real world, racism is something that has occurred for as long as humans have existed, and is still present in today’s society. As Randall says, “Systemic racism is the basis of individual and institutional racism; it is the value system that is embedded in a society that supports and allows discrimination.” Since prejudice is entrenched in society, it will be challenging for it to be completely eradicated from human’s thoughts. However, compared to a couple decades ago, discrimination has become less prevalent in regular society. Hopefully, in the future it will eventually be gone, and nobody will be judged for their appearance.
There are people who may disagree with this point of view, depending on their opinions and beliefs. It could be argued that sudden events could cause someone to develop racist tendencies, which certainly could happen. Obviously, not all people have the same thoughts and experiences, and people all develop differently. However, for