Monday, January 09, 2006

In the Heat of the Night

Sidney Poitier’s “In the Heat of the Night” was a classic portrayal of discrimination. Virgil Tibbs, a high credited homicide officer, was wrongfully accused of a crime in which he did not even know had occurred. Instead of identifying himself as a police officer, he cooperates fully with officer Sam. When the Spartan Police office realized that he was really an officer, Virgil did not get rude, I thought that Virgil was more upset about how they framed something like this on him because he had money and because he was black. That was a truly embarrasing moment for them, one in which they deserved. Even though he was discriminated against and verbally abused, he still stood as a professional. He even stays and pursues the case, because he knows what it is liked to be misjudged and knows that the accused are innocent. This action shows what high morals a man like this has. This movie incorporates “Framing Blackness”, with discrimination and hatred of a black man who shows the status of an upper class white person. He even comments about racism when he says that there is “white time in jail, and then there is colored time in jail, and the worst kind that you can do is colored.” In this movie it was the Spartan police who did not play by the books, instead it is left up to the black cop to do so, and he does.
As the movie progresses though, you see a rugged partnership developing between the chief and Virgil. Even the mayor sees this trust developing when he openly asks why he has changed his mind about this case. Overall this movie depicted a time in American Society when not all people were treated equally, and frankly did not have to be since the enforcers of the town were prejudice themselves.


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