On Dangerous Art

So this piece is actually from a movie. I haven’t seen it yet but I find this speech very moving. If you want to stir the audience with a thought-provoking speech, I think this would be ideal. So here is Erin’s (Hillary Swank) speech from the movie Freedom Writers.

“What is this? You think this is funny? Tito! Would this be funny if it were a picture of you? Close the workbooks. Maybe we should talk about art. Tito’s got real talent, don’t you think? You know something? I saw a picture just like this once. In a museum. Only it wasn’t a black man. It was a Jewish man. And instead of the big lips he had a really big nose. Like a rat’s nose. But he wasn’t just one particular Jewish man, this was a drawing of all jews. And these drawings were put in the newspapers by the most famous gang in history. You think you know all about gangs? You’re amateurs. This gang would put you all to shame. And they started out poor and angry and everyone looked down on them until one man decided to give them some pride, an identity and somebody to blame. You take over neighbourhoods? That’s nothing compared to them. They took over countries. And you wanna know how? They just wiped out everybody else. Yeah, they wiped out everybody they didn’t like, and everybody they blamed for their lives being hard. And one of the ways they did it was by doing this. See, they’d print pictures like this in the newspapers. Jewish people with big, long noses. Blacks with big, fat lips. They’d also publish scientific evidence that proved that Jews and blacks were the lowest form of human species. Jews and blacks were more like animals. And because they were like animals it didn’t really matter whether they lived or died. In fact, life would be a whole lot better if they were all dead. That’s how a holocaust happens. And that’s what you all think of each other.”


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