Racial and Ethnic Inequality: Blood Diamond
Racial and Ethnic Inequality: Blood Diamond
The modern world is developing very fast in terms of social progress. Despite this fact, such social problem as racial and ethnic inequality still exists in the global society. The world is based on mutually beneficial cooperation and exploration of the weak. For example, people use animals to produce food, clothing, and other goods, which are important for survival. When it comes to mutually advantageous collaboration, it is possible to provide an example of relationships between an employer and an employee. However, there is also another aspect of exploration, particularly humanizing human rights based on one’s race, ethnicity, and place of living. That is especially true for African countries that have been torn by civil wars for a long period mainly because of the availability of natural resources. Blood Diamond is a 2006 German-American political war thriller directed by Edward Zwick that illustrates the civil racial conflict between the whites and the blacks in Sierra Leone in 1999. In this regard, the paper employs sociological analysis and uses the concept of racism to discuss the social issue that the film concentrates on, namely white supremacy. Therefore, Blood Diamond is a good example of an artwork, which helps to understand that all human beings are connected and racial inequality has a negative impact not only on a particular race but on humanity as a whole.
Identification and Cause of the Social Problem
The major social problem depicted in the movie is discrimination based on race or white supremacy. For a long time in the human history of Sierra Leone, blacks were considered to be less important than the white population. This tendency can be explained from the perspectives of social and economic development. Sierra Leone, as well as other African countries, has always been showing an extremely low level of advancement in terms of such a critical sociological aspect as education. Poor education has led to the constant humanization of the rights of black people. Moreover, a great amount of valuable natural resources in Sierra Leone, namely diamonds, forced the whites to explore the locals to dominate them. In developed nations such as the United States race inequality occurs mainly because minority groups in any society always have less social power compared to the dominant group (Chapter 8). This trend results in discrimination, which is an unfair and even harmful treatment of individuals based on prejudice (Chapter 8). Thus, it is possible to state that the availability of important natural resources and the desire of white people to have total control are the major causes of the social problem illustrated in the film.
It is essential to note that greed is the central theme presented in the film. The thing is that the local society, as well as the foreigners, are consumed by the idea to become the owner of the vital natural response. However, the whites and the blacks have different motivations. During the times described in the movie, the country was in the condition of civil war, an armed conflict between the government and the rebels. The main aim of the latter was to ensure the establishment of an equal and democratic society. However, the government was interested in cooperation with the whites who were paying for diamonds thereby supporting the economy. The black population recognized the problem and wanted to gain control over their natural resources to have the money required to leave the country and survive. The community is harmed by the existence of this social problem because they are left with no voice being forced to participate in the race for survival. The general local population as well as the white people were aware of the social problem and its root causes. However, the rebels seem to have blindly followed the imposed ideas of utopian democracy.
The solution offered in the film is the fight with the existing regime by using the power of civil war. The leaders of the rebels concentrate on changing the way the youth think by turning them into thoughtless individuals who can kill even their parents, not only enemies. Thus, this strategy can be considered not as a possible solution but rather as a situation that makes the conditions in Sierra Leone worse. Notwithstanding, the major solution that could be effective in this situation was the social growth and development of the country and its citizens through education. This approach would allow dealing with white supremacy by establishing a new social structure.
Point of View
There is a crucial moral aspect in the film that is expressed via the main character of the story Archer, a white man born in Sierra Leone who is working in the diamond business. At the beginning of the movie, Archer appears to be a forehanded individual who intends to leave the country thereby escaping from political and social unrest. That is why it is possible to consider Archer as a person who is free from any social prejudice. Archer seems to be insensitive and cold-blooded until he meets black man Solomon and his young son Maddy. This event drastically changes the life of Archer and allows him to make peace with the war. The dream of Solomon is to ensure that his son could become a doctor. However, the rebels kidnap Maddy and turn him into a thoughtless bloody killer. Solomon wants to save his son and needs diamonds to do this while Archer needs diamonds to flee the country. Hence, they cooperate to achieve their goals; nonetheless, by the end of the film, it is evident that the dream of only one man can be fulfilled. Archer decides to sacrifice his dream to save Solomon and Maddy. This deed illustrates the pointlessness of white supremacy and shows that the lives of both white and black people are equally important.
The characters of the movie help to attract attention to the responsibility of citizens and businesses in third-world countries. The individuals in the film are stereotyped by the belief that Africa will be lost without the sympathy, know-how, and power of the whites that need luxurious jewelry. Racial bias is also evident so the story would not work if the races were changed, because it will not be able to illustrate the substantial problems of white supremacy.
The lasting relevance of the film for the understanding of the social problem portrayed consists in the fact that it helps to consider the issue of racial inequality from the perspective of transnationalism. Transnationalism allows for close cooperation between people from different countries and, as a result, ensures long-term social progress on a global scale. Hence, white supremacy is what hinders social progress in the world. Thus, the movie contributes to seeing a bigger picture and regards racism not as a problem of a particular minority group but of humanity as a whole.
In conclusion, Blood Diamond is a complex film that concentrates on the problem of white supremacy. It helps to realize that all human beings are connected, and racial inequality has a negative impact not only on certain races but on humanity at large. It allows understanding of the deep roots of inequality and racial discrimination by illustrating the relationships between the main characters Archer and Solomon. The sociological analysis supported by the concept of racism reveals that education plays a vital role in the ability to accept racial minorities and avoid the need for supremacy. The long-term relevance of the movie under discussion shows that no global progress is possible until such a social problem as racism remains acute.