Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The arbitrary nature of prejudice.

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

Some people are upset about this short film. But I like it, in a very disturbing way. Like many films you have to look for meaning and perhaps we always interpret that meaning through our own personal filters. What I can tell you that I saw is how arbitrary is human prejudice.

At first the viewer is trying to make some sense of what is happening. But soon it becomes clear that what we we are witnessing doesn't make sense to us. After all—who would do a thing like that?

But what I thought of was precisely how all prejudice, which is the foundation for the sorts of scenes we see in this video, is arbitrary. People have to convince themselves that the other is "different" in some significant and dangerous way. Few such people really exist, so we make up stories about the "different" people in order to demonize them.

When I think of the people who are routinely targeted by bigots the reasons for their targeting seems as inconsequential as what we see in this film.

UPDATE: You Tube has banned this video from their site. How stupid of them.

Labels: ,