don’t panic, your favorite crash test dummy has not had another run…knock on wood…but i did watch crash.

more than crash i’ve lived crash for the last few days.

if you haven’t seen it, it is a movie about people in their everyday lives and how race crashes up against those lives in expected and unexpected ways.

kris and i drove to mexico to eat lobster. on the way back, lingering in the traffic that piles up on that side of the border we were flagged down by a police officer. we all knew he wasn’t telling the truth when he said we’d crossed three lanes of traffic. he also made it quite clear that we would “have to go down town right then to possibly see a judge to clear it all up”. we read, “give me money and be on your way”. only kris was trying to reason in a situation that had less to do with reason and much more to do with power dynamics. we had none.

so i sat with my hand on his leg trying to discreetly remind him that you can’t reason with the abuse of power and he continued to try and find reason in a situation that had none.

cars zipped past us. we sat and our officer talked and talked, holding his pen up as if to write when he was called away by his superior. apparently we weren’t an easy enough shake down…as we didn’t offer any money, or his boss was truly ready to move traffic. either way, we were waved on.

but there we were, visibly foreign. visibly in a position of otherness. easily taken advantage of, easily intimidated.

a few nights later, head shaven close and dressed like the student he is, kris found himself in a conversation with someone who assumed his politics were much scarier than they are.

and there he was – assumed to be something he wasn’t. assumed to have something in common with someone he had little in common with despite similarities in appearance. assumed ideologies and appreciations. assumptions…assumptions…

and we crash and we bang along.


2 Comments on crash

  1. T.Marie says:

    It should all be so simple. You meet a new person and you receive him or her with an open mind; no opinion based on their appearance, race, gender, or style. But it doesn't happen that way. Our experiences mold us. The good and bad that dig divets into us make impressions. It's like the wood blocks shaped like a star, circle, and square that I played with as a kid. I'd fit the blocks into the corresponding spaces until they clicked. Meet a new person and they general click into some past experience. The smart ones fight it and try for patience. But it's so much easier to just let it all click with our expectations. Good, bad; pretty, ugly. It just is. *Miss you, Linnea. Hope you are enjoying yourself. Sounds like it, even with being occasionally beat over the head with some stereotype. You recognize it, and can articulate the problem. That's more than many people can do.

  2. AJ says:

    hey miss ashley,

    i saw CRASH as well and both situations were CRASH-like(CRASH-esque). but as always you go your thinking cap on in these types and try to play the civil role as smooth as possible. but kris, he has it rough i understand his possible feelings on the political views. folks get me pegged as mean until i smile and crack a joke. i have always had this "security gaurd" look when i dont smile. people say i look like i am ready to bite someone. but as you and some of my fellow compadres know, i am a HUGE teddy bear. and i only bite when my family is threatend (psuedo-families included). all you can do is shake you head at those who dont know or cant know any better! but stay blessed miss ashley. i am saying this now…you can make a serious indie film on these blog entries.

    as far as Tiara E, I love the peg analogy; sweet, a woman after my own heart! đŸ˜€


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