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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Emily Plec

Abstract

By applying Madison’s “anti-racist-white-hero” (ARWH) framework developed in 1999, I seek to discuss how ambiguous, and yet, obvious views of race, racism, and success are threaded throughout the 2000 film Men of Honor, and so, create a false sense of post-racism, which includes a rhetoric of tokenism. Through the application of this framework, I am then able to conclude that the film does, in fact, “sustain systemic racism even though it appears to expose and condemn it” (McFarlane p. 82). By taking an in-depth look at the film, I am able to expose the myth of white superiority and assert that post-racism and white heroism are at the crux of media as it applies to the film industry. I analyze the film against the backdrop of Tokenism according to Cloud, as explained by Bineham in his article, How the Blind Side Blinds Us, and find that the responsibility of failure is removed from the systems of power and privilege that are largely creating the obstacles in Navy Diver Carl Brashear’s life in the first place, and positions that responsibility solely on Brashear himself. Through examining the facts of Carl Brashear’s real-life events and comparing them to the larger than life events that Hollywood created, I reframe the narrative of the film to find the ugly truth…racism sells.

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