I went on an adventure with Feest to see a film called Cracking the Codes at Seattle University. When we got there, we got a quick meal from the college deli because it was dinnertime and Cristina (our mentor) was feeling generous. After that, we went in to start the film. It was called Cracking the Codes: Systems of Racial Inequity.
A lady started out by introducing us to herself and telling us about the making of the film and giving thanks to those who contributed. She was obviously very proud and excited about her work and it made me eager to watch it because she was so enthusiastic. Before she started the film, she told us that there would be 10 minute breaks between the different sections in the movie for us to think about and discuss what we’d just seen. I think this was really important because some of the things we were being shown were complicated and hard to understand, and it was good to take some time to discuss with others and wrap my head around everything I’d just learned.
The main theme of the movie was oppression, and it started off by giving us some historical context. They told us that oppression can last for hundreds of years and carry on through generations. The acts of violence and trauma that were committed against African American slaves in the past still affect us all today, even if we don’t realize it. Oppression and trauma can lead to forms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and this can cause you to be angry, anti-social, depressed, and distrustful. This in turn can cause other problems such as bullying, and since problems lead to more problems, the cycle just keeps getting worse.
You see, there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the doors that we can’t really see, and the reason we can’t see it is because of the way oppression, inequality, and racism are built into the systems of our society. How can you learn to recognize something as judgmental or racist if you’ve been doing it all your life and that was the way you’ve been taught? But just because was no one to call you out on it doesn’t mean its ok; you may still hurt or offend others. We all judge people based on their color, looks, and appearance, even if we tell ourselves we don’t. It just something that happens subconsciously. Oppression is a system that is built into our society. There are lots of small, interconnected problems out that there that we can’t all see, but when they compound together they become a problem we can all feel. Trying to solve the big issue alone won’t work, in order to find solutions to need to dismantle the problem and go about solving it systematically.
This film has helped me see things that were hidden to me before and it has also me allowed to see race and color in a whole new light. I can now recognize problems and habits that I have that may be giving off the wrong message, and correct them myself. I would recommend watching this film to anyone, it will really change the way that you think about inequality in our world.
For more info on this film: http://crackingthecodes.org/