Maridette Rasing, Jennifer Hernandez, Erika Luna-Contreras

Conflict between Farhad, Daniel and the gun store owner.


In the scenes between Farhad, the Persian store owner, and Daniel, the Mexican-American locksmith, viewers can easily see that prejudice and discrimination also exist between other races aside from common white privilege/supremacy and minorities; which also occurs in the movie leading to unfortunate outcomes.

Farhad goes to a gun shop with his daughter Dorri, a doctor at a hospital's morgue, and insists on buying a gun due to a previous robbery which occurred during his wife's shift. The gun shop owner, a white middle-aged male, automatically assumes that Farhad and Dorri are Arabs after they converse in Farsi, trying to decide which bullets they want for the gun they're buying. He says to Farhad, "Yo, Osama! Plan the jihad on your own time. What do you want?" After his intentional insult, Farhad and the gun shop owner exchange words resulting in Farhad being escorted out of the store by the security guard after the gun store owner's further insults about the attack of 9/11.

This scene vividly reaffirms the hostility of white Americans toward Middle Easterners who live in the U.S. during and post 9/11. Although Farhad does not have any association with the happenings in Iraq, blind hatred, blame, and frustration are taken out on him because of physical characteristic association. Suheir Hammad's states, "More than ever, I believe there is no difference. The most privileged nation, most Americans do not know the difference between Indians, Afghanis, Syrians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus. More than ever, there is no difference."(Hammad 3) This affirms that through the eyes of the oppressor, there is no difference as long as justice is served.

Further, the movie touches on the barriers of communication between different minority groups in a diverse area such as Los Angeles.

Daniel tells Farhad that he replaced the lock on the door of the store and that he needs to fix the broken door. Farhad clearly misunderstands Daniel and begins to call him a "cheater" when Daniel says that he replaced the lock but can't fix the door. Daniel leaves the store frustrated with Farhad's constant badgering without being paid for the service. Later on in the movie, Farhad's store is broken into and vandalized by, whom we can only assume, the gun store owner. Farhad is devastated and decides to take out his anger on whom he believes was responsible, Daniel. Farhad finds where Daniel lives, waits outside his house until he returns home from work, and holds him at gun point demanding his money for the repairs of his store. He then fires the gun at Daniel only to see Daniel's daughter, Lara, jump into Daniel's arms to protect her father from being shot.

The assumption of Daniel being depicted as a "gangster" lead Farhad to the conclusion that he was responsible for the break in of his store. Therefore affirming the stereotypical image of a male Latino gangster having a shaved head and tattoos being the cause of vandalism and crime.

After examining all of the incidents between Farhad, Daniel, and the gun shop owner, it is obvious that prejudice lies within us. We carry stereotypical images of people, which lead to assumptions and unjustifiable acts of racism and still avoiding the aspect of white privilege and supremacy because the racist acts of one minority group against another minority group become the primary focus. Power appears to lie with the white male, who supposedly triggered Farhad to search for Daniel with the idea of revenge circulating in his mind. Prejudice between class, gender, and race will probably take lifetimes to prevent. However, educating ourselves and seeing past stereotypical images will allow us to break repetition of societal norms.


Gun Shops said...

The gun shop owner, a white middle-aged male, automatically assumes that Farhad and Dorri are Arabs after they converse in Farsi, trying to decide which bullets they want for the gun they're buying.

Miami Gun Stores

Tom said...

The movie is a work of fiction, not a documentary. The actions shown can therefore not be used to "prove" any social phenomenon, in the same way a fantasy movie cannot be drawn upon to prove magic.

This is in no way meant to argue against the points made in the movie.

apolline bas said...

Tom, films are a reflection of the time and the world we live in therefore what it reflect about social phenomenon is true. What isn't true per se are the exact scenario in which it happens.