Hasselbeck's behavior got me thinking about another mixed-race discussion, Lee Mun Wah's 1994 film, The Color of Fear, where a group of men spend a weekend together, discussing racial matters with even more apparent sincerity than the women of The View. I watched the film again to see if the white men in the group enact the same phenomenon; one of the two did, and the other didn't. And that seems to have everything to do with how far along the road they are toward self-awareness in racial terms.
The group of men who share their normally hidden feelings about race throughout The Color of Fear consists of eight North Americans of various races, and two of them are white. One of the latter, Gordon Clay, begins his self-introduction by stating, "I am a racist," and the other, David Christensen, well, he's a lot like Elisabeth Hasselbeck. For him, matters of race are mostly about non-white people, since being white pretty much doesn't mean a damn thing to him. At least not at first.
All of the eight men get a good deal of camera time in this emotionally wrenching film, but David seems to get the most. It's not so much that he insists as much as Elisabeth does on occupying center stage. It's more that, as the discussion goes on, it becomes clear to the rest of the group that not only is David the most obstinately unenlightened member of the group. He also perfectly embodies the kind of blithe, complacent white supremacy that the rest of them (including the other white guy, Gordon) are struggling to articulate their difficulties with. So the other men spend a lot of time trying to get David to understand their reality, and his own.
The member of the group most willing to confront David with his own racial blindness and unwitting arrogance is Victor Lewis, an African American man (who has gone on to widespread renown as a anti-racist educator, trainer, and activist).
In this two-minute clip from the film, which I very, very much recommend seeing and sharing, Victor confronts two other common white tendencies enacted by David--the white-individualist claim that all people "stand on their own" in this world, and the forgetfulness buried within that claim that the ground white Americans stand on is stolen land.
If you can get a group of people to watch it with you, this film remains a fantastic generator for discussion. And like other films that I've featured on this blog, I recommend asking your local library to order a copy if it doesn't have one yet.