This week’s Spin Cycle is all about speaking out for something we believe in or are passionate about.  Geez…I’ve written so many times about things I’m passionate about or believe in.

I’ve written about racial prejudice and growing up in the south, and how I feel about making sure kids get the education they need and deserve, and books and writing.

I do feel very strongly about prejudice of any kind.  I guess it’s fitting that I write this on MLK day.  I have always hated racial prejudice and I cringe whenever I am around someone who starts making racial remarks.  It makes my skin crawl.

I know my parents were brought up in a different era and they don’t even realize sometimes that some of the things they say are very racially derogatory.  I’ve tried to say things in the past and it goes right over their heads so I usually try to change the subject or if that doesn’t work I just ignore it. I know I should probably voice my opinion louder but they ARE my parents and even though they are being disrespectful to an entire race, I don’t want to be disrespectful to them.  Besides, at their age, I’m not sure how much they can really change their lifelong engrained beliefs.

Have you ever seen the movie CrashCrash trailer

Not the television show but the movie that came out in 2004?  I think that is one of the best movies I have ever seen.  Seriously, if you have any kind of conscience at all, that movie will make you examine your own thoughts and feelings about others.  I mean I have NEVER considered myself a prejudiced person. I have always felt like I was very open minded and treated others equally.  After watching this movie I realized that I DO harbor some deep seated prejudices.  They may be very subtle but they are there and I was shocked when I realized it. I really almost cried from the realization.

Here is the synopsis of the movie from IMDb: “Several stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles involving a collection of inter-related characters, a police detective with a drugged out mother and a thieving younger brother, two car thieves who are constantly theorizing on society and race, the white district attorney and his irritated and pampered wife, a racist white veteran cop (caring for a sick father at home) who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner, a successful Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with the racist cop, a Persian-immigrant father who buys a gun to protect his shop, a Hispanic locksmith and his young daughter who is afraid of bullets, and more.”

I urge you if you have never seen Crash to maybe rent it and watch it.  It was directed by Paul Haggis and has a star studded cast including Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Larenz Tate, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Daniel Dae Kim, Tony Danza, Keith David, Terrence Howard, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Brendan Fraser, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Pena and Jennifer Esposito.  Seriously, it changed the way I look at my own life.  I don’t think you can watch it and not be affected by it.  I cried several times watching it.

I think we all make stereotypical assumptions about other races or ethnicities or religions and maybe make jokes about the tendencies of another race, religion, or ethnicity.  Admit it!  We ALL do it.  And if we say we don’t we are lying.  It might be something subtle or something outrageous but at some point in our lives we have all uttered a slur against another person because of race, religion, creed, or sexual preference and that IS prejudice.  Just not in the sense of the word that we most usually think of it.

A very good friend and fellow blogger, Ron, from Vent, wrote a post last week titled Weight, Age and Society where he talked about how society looks down on people because of their age or weight and how we all are pressured by society to fit into a certain mold.  Go ahead, go on over and read his post… I’ll wait.   Dum de dum de dum…. Oh, are you back?   See, aren’t you glad you went over and read that?  It’s SO true.

It seems that if you are overweight or underweight or have wrinkles or gray hair then you are deemed unattractive and you don’t fit into “the norm” of what society, in general, thinks is appealing.  Everywhere you look there are ads touting weight loss and make up and botox and liposuction and whatever is the newest miracle get young, get skinny, get beautiful pill is on the market.

It kind of reminded me of a conversation I had with my mom last week.  She was lamenting on how my sister was sick because she went out in the cold night air because she just HAD to have her hair dyed and her spray tan and fake fingernails put on to look younger and ended up with pneumonia.  My mom said my sister told her that SHE (my mother) needed to go and get her hair colored so she’s look younger and my mom retorted that she’s 78 years old…. She’s not supposed to look young!  And I found it especially funny because this very same sister, years ago when my mom was in her 40’s and 50’s and used to dye her hair, used to tell my mom she needed to QUIT dying her hair because she needed to stop trying to look younger and needed to act and look her age!  Is that not the pot calling the kettle black?

I’m not saying I don’t wear makeup or that I haven’t in the past dyed my hair or tried to enhance my looks. I have and I do fall into that societal trap at times but I think it is ridiculous how society looks down on people they consider “different”.  Truth be known there are probably more people overweight than what is considered “normal” and more people who are “average” looking than beautiful but that is what society makes us think we should look like.

I think I am even more annoyed at the labels that society puts on people who are different.  They think that if you are overweight that you are stupid or lazy.  They think that if you are covered in tattoos and piercings that you are not trustworthy and not a good employee.  They think if you are homosexual that you are unchristian or sexually depraved.  They think if you are really thin that you must be on drugs. They think that if you are homeless then you must be either mentally unbalanced or lazy. Society is full of stigmatisms and labels and they love to attach them to people. It is also full of preconceived notions about people they consider to be different and I, for one, am going to try to do better with my own preconceived notions.  I am going to try to banish from my thoughts any that pop up automatically when I see someone who I might have in the past considered different.

I am going to try to embrace a new way of thinking.  Everybody has a story. We just have to take the time to listen to it before we make snap judgments.  We need to take the time to get to know the PERSON for who they are, not because of the labels that have been attached to them.  OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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25 Responses to Crash

  1. Angelia Sims says:

    Crash was an incredible movie. I remember not being able to take my eyes off a single scene. Wow!

    I don’t like labels either. I try to be the me that I am and not what someone wants me to be.

    Congrats on your poem being picked as favorite by Mama Kat last week. 🙂

  2. Ron says:

    OUTSTANDING post, Peg!

    You GO, girl!!!!!

    And you’re absolutely right, we ALL at one time or another have said or even thought stereotypical assumptions.

    I LOVE your mother’s response to your sister’s remark….

    ” My mom said my sister told her that SHE (my mother) needed to go and get her hair colored so she’s look younger and my mom retorted that she’s 78 years old…. She’s not supposed to look young! ”

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaay to your mother!!!!

    The thing about society’s standards on weight and age is that it’s much more strictly enforced upon women. And quite honestly, I don’t think it’s fair. To me, women age just as gracefully as men do.

    LOVE the movie Crash! It totally blew me away!!!!

    “I am going to try to embrace a new way of thinking. Everybody has a story. We just have to take the time to listen to it before we make snap judgments. We need to take the time to get to know the PERSON for who they are, not because of the labels that have been attached to them.”

    Amen. And thank you for the reminder.

    Again, great post, dear friend!

    *three cheers*


  3. I did see the movie and it was definitely moving.
    I don’t dye my hair, (at all) I rarely wear makeup, I just don’t care to fit the mold. I can see my friends doing that, and once in a while, I’ll put on some mascara and straighten my hair just to trip them up. 🙂

    • pegbur7 says:

      I do admit to wearing make up and once in a while I will straighten my hair too but as for the rest of it? I’m over it. My husband loves me the way I am so that’s all that matters! If I do anything else… it will be for HEALTH reasons…NOT vanity.

  4. Katie says:

    Crash is a special movie! I have decided to look my age and quit dying my hair this last year. I actually like how my hair is greying and do not intend to go back.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I have a nice Cruella de Ville streak that makes dying my hair not only a nuisance but almost an impossibility unless I want to do it every two weeks. NO THANKS! I figure there are worse things than LOOKING old….

  5. suzicate says:

    Crash is an excellent movie!
    Family…gotta’ love ’em!

  6. Gretchen says:

    I ADORE Crash. Our dear friend Bruce Kirby was in it – he played Matt Dillon’s sick father, and was wonderful! I love it that you’re on your soapbox! And it’s all true of course. All. I’m afraid that my city and my business are the WORST regarding prejudice based on weight and age. SO many women diddle around with their faces, it’s just so sad. BELIEVE me, there is SO much pressure to have a little “work” done. I know many women in their 30s, who have had Botox. Freaks me out.

    You are linked!!

  7. Aimee says:


    Yes, of course, we’ve all done it. We’ve all been exposed to it our whole lives, how could we avoid it? I applaud your effort to avoid making assumptions and judgments. I haven’t seen Crash, but I’m adding it to my list to watch. Thank you so much for this.

  8. I have to really agree with this post. I can honestly say I have nothing in the way of racial prejudice. How could I? My daughter is a Muslim and married to a Middle Eastern man. I have a black gay woman best friend. My niece is married to a black man. My sister was married to two Asian men (not at the same time). I am a Mexican woman. That said, I have a very big problem with prejudice. I am very prejudiced about people who exhibit dislike for other races, beliefs, and lifestyles.

    Case in point. Last weekend, the Denver Bronco’s (quarterbacked by Tim Tebow, a “born again Christian”), lost a championship playoff game. The quarterback was ridiculed as “not having prayed hard enough”, etc. That disgusted me. I am not religious. But I would never think of criticizing someone because they are. That’s disgusting to me.

    My dad, a SF police officer, used to say “I need to run down to the Chinaman’s” referring to the grocery store at the corner. He meant no real disrespect. When I tried to tell him this was a racial slur, he told me “Nonsense! What’s wrong with Chinaman? We say Englishman, we say Frenchman?”. No, I was never going to change his mind, but I know his heart was in the right place.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I knew you’d get this Linda. I am not saying I’m perfect by any means and I’m not saying that a prejudicial thought might not ever cross fleetingly across my mind from time to time but I am consciously working on trying to eradicate them from my life. I am trying to be better. Now to develop a backbone and stand up to those that don’t! That’s a bigger goal for me!

  9. I think you’re right – everybody has a story. It’s a good thing to remember.

  10. Ginny Marie says:

    I’ve always wanted to see Crash, but somehow missed it. I need to see it! My grandparents just about drove me nuts with all their prejudice, but you’re right, it still exists in ways we don’t even realize. Great spin!

    • pegbur7 says:

      It really is a good movie if you ever get the chance to watch it! I think you’e enjoy it!

      • Ginny Marie says:

        I’m going to make my husband watch with me! 😉

        I just wanted to thank you for coming over and leaving a comment on my post…you’re right, anything that helps find a cure would be wonderful! I lost my mom to breast cancer and I had breast cancer. There is a goal to cure it by 2020. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Thanks again. 🙂

      • pegbur7 says:

        I’m so sorry about losing your mom. That’s tough. I’m glad though that you are a breast cancer SURVIVOR! I guess one of the reasons this touches my heart (among many) is that my niece (the stepdaughter of my brother I lost to lung cancer last year) is in the final stages of breast cancer. They have told her there is nothing more they can do. She is home right now and hospice comes in daily. She’s a fighter and has been battling this for over 4 years now…since she was pregnant with her youngest daughter. 2020 will be too late for her, but I do hope they find a cure and SOON!

  11. Michele R. says:

    That movie was great–good reminder to watch it again. I have enjoyed getting to know you by reading your past posts that you have linked to in this post. My heart broke about your husband’s story. It is amazing how much has changed and how many times my sons cannot believe how things used to be. This past summer we took a road trip to Calif and visited a Japanese internment camp that Roosevelt implemented. It was one of the highlights of our trip–absolutely amazing. I’m happy to say that my husband purchased a teacher’s kit. despite the strict curriculum schedule, he WILL make time to study that.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Michele. He did have it hard growing up, but, it’s made him a better person. He’s much more loving and understanding I think than he would be if he hadn’t had those things happen.

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