Recently saw the movie "Crash." Wow. This is a movie that everyone over the age of 14 should see (I'd say younger but it's too intense). I won't go into the whole plot here, but basically it's a film about racial prejudice - by all races, against all races. It addresses the fact that all of us, now matter how much we think we don't, have fears and prejudices against people of other races and cultures. Some of us hide them very well, and we can talk the talk, but they are there nevertheless.
We saw the movie with some friends, and when we came out, they were all saying "wow, I feel so convicted, so burdened, what a heavy movie", stuff like that, and I was saying "I thought it was GREAT!" We went back to our house to watch something light and funny to sort of lift our moods out of the pits. It's just one of those movies that makes you really take a hard honest look at yourself.
The thing I came away with the most from this film was that almost all racial hatred and prejudice is the result of fear and ignorance. We are afraid of what we don't understand, afraid of things we don't know about, and they are just as afraid of us. Now I don't in any way mean to simplify the issue, and I will state up front that I am a WASP, and I have never experienced racial hatred and prejudice on the level that people of other races or even other economic backgrounds have. I am just here to say that this movie moved me and made me think really hard and face some truths about myself and others. I worked in a small town for a few years recently, and encountered racism at a level that I did not realize still existed. Not overt, but in little things like using air quotes and speaking in a whisper when saying someone was "black," or "Mexican." I wanted to say, "Why are you whispering? Don't you think they are aware that they are black?" I was shocked at the entrenched attitudes I found there, and my eyes were really opened to how far we still have to go to reach some sort of understanding of each other as the beginning of the end of racism.
I think people should see this movie with friends or their older children and then have an honest conversation about the topic. It won't be comfortable but it will stretch your mind!