Racism: A Permanent Structure?

One key thing that I drew from watching the movie Circus was that no matter what society is represented, racial stereotypes seem to prevail. Going along with the racial oppression of the time, Circus was about an American woman who became pregnant with an African-American’s child. She flees to the Soviet Union in order to escape the persecution in the United States, yet she still fears to reveal her child.

Throughout the movie, the child is referred to in terms that are unfitting of an animal, let alone a human being. For instance, at one point Marion tries to escape her abuser and get her child out of the circus and while her friend is running away with the child, he stops and says “oh look at how black you are, I must have gotten you dirty.” This blatantly racist comment shows that despite the communist views that every race is equal, the society is still incredibly racist.

I was particularly surprised by the content of this film as I was under the impression that in a communist system, racism would be almost nonexistent. However, Circus proved me to be completely wrong as most of the dialogue towards the African-American child was laced with racial comments. Having been proven wrong, I got to thinking that maybe racism is something that cannot be completely eliminated from a society no matter what the governmental or societal policies are. For instance, in the United States there are plenty of laws prohibiting the subjugation of people over race, yet does our own culture not promote it? How many racist jokes have you heard just in the past few days? How many racial slurs have you heard in popular music?

I came to the conclusion that while racism is a terrible, completely ridiculous idea, it will never be completely solved as long as society continues to promote it. Many people have embraced the idea that race is completely irrelevant in the quality of a person; yet there are still holdouts and as comedian Ron White boldly states “you can’t fix stupid.”