[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, reel 87; Student Mural Passers-by & René Interviews Asian Man]

"Man on the street" style interviews of people passing by the mural that was created in conjunction with the Spertus Museum of Judaica's 1992 exhibition "Bridges and Boundaries." In this tape, they interview an Asian man who was raised in Germany, who speaks about his own experiences with racism and how he thinks the persecution of blacks and Jews differ.

0:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of the mural as people walk by. An Asian man stops to look at the mural, and the crew approaches him for an interview.

3:30Copy video clip URL The man is a foreigner, and says he did not realize there were similarities between African Americans and American Jews, but that he thinks that there are still major differences in how they have been persecuted.

5:35Copy video clip URL He says that he came to Germany when he was 5 years old, was raised there, and his lived there for most of his life, but is now coming to the US now in part because he is concerned about the rise of German neonazis. He says that even though he was raised in Germany and German is his native language, he still feels an estrangement there.

6:45Copy video clip URL He says that the Holocaust is a very important topic in German schools, and that the rise of neonazism there is not due to a lack of education but rather the outcome of racism. “Even very educated people can be racist.” He says that the history of blacks is not dealt with much in Germany, because there are not a lot of black people living there, and the slave trade isn’t considered a part of Germany history.

8:20Copy video clip URL The man says that he thinks the mural is nice and after thinking about it quite a lot, he didn’t gain much insight other than it prompting him more to think about the similarities between African Americans and Jews. He says he thinks they are different in that slavery was a neglect of humanity while the Holocaust was a cultural clash. The slave traders saw blacks as working animals, and essentially viewed Africans as lacking a culture, whereas the Nazis recognized the Jews as having a unique culture and were specifically attacking that.

11:18Copy video clip URL He reiterates that even though he was raised in Germany, he’s not “a German” because he is Asian, and says he thinks America offers him a better life because there are more Asians here than in Germany. However, he doesn’t know if he would feel the same way if he was black. “America is not paradise, and Germany is hell. That is definitely not true. And in America, there is also strong racism like in Germany. The Germans are not more racist than the Americans, I think. … But for me personally, as an Asian, [America] is the better choice, I think.”

13:16Copy video clip URL Cut to a seemingly unrelated shot of a red-haired man inside a building. Audio is low and on right channel only. They do some tests to get the exposure right on the camera.

15:00Copy video clip URL Cut back to b-roll of the mural. They gather various shots from different angles, including some pan shots. This lasts for the remainder of the tape.

 

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