Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bus 174 uncovered so many hidden secrets about not only Brazilian culture, but also about many cultures. This is true because to some extent, all countries face racism, poverty, and issues involving inequality. The issue that seemed to perpetually stand out to me while watching the movie was that of police brutality. While the street kids seemed to be disliked and in many cases hated by the Brazilian affluent society, this pattern seemed to be a common view also held by the untrained Brazilian police forces. It was seen over and over and heard throughout the interviews from the street kids that they were beaten and had to fight back. At this realization of the direct racist nature of the Brazilian culture against the unprotected and unfairly labeled street kids, I realized that America seems to maintain a certain amount of police brutality against several minorities. Whether it is the beating of African Americans, Latino Americans, or any other group losely associated with gangs, drugs, or violence, it is evident on the news and in everyday life that these groups are unfairly labeled and then treated differently than the majority white population. This white majority is not always given the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time, it is the white majority that legislates the laws in America, and for this reason, seem to openly regulate the social norms of our culture. Until the street kids of Brazil or the minorities associated unfairly with violence in America are given an oppurtunity to prove themselves and break through the poverty barrier, the affluent, majority of the culture will continue to decide who is and is not treated unfairly in the direct use of police force.
-Wes Cross

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