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The Color of Fear

The Color of Fear

After watching the documentary “The Color of Fear”, many concepts impacted me, but the two most significant ones include the idea of the critical race model and the complicity theory. According to the critical race model, people are the same and therefore should be treated that way (Ladson-Billings, 2021). However, the minority individuals in this film vehemently rejected this argument, as one of the minorities in the film, David Lee, stated, “People may be equal, but they are not the same” (“The Color of Fear (1994)- IMDb”, 2022). This particular statement got me thinking much about what it meant, which changed my perspective on equality. Secondly, the complicity theory (Applebaum, 2006) is also showcased in this film, with some individuals talking about how they felt anxious about other races, particularly black people, mostly because of what they have heard about them in the media. This helped me understand how significant the media is in perpetuating racism in society today. While working in the human services fields, these two concepts would help me be more open-minded, especially regarding cultural competence. I would be more aware of any privileges I have that others do not have. In addition, it would help me identify any stereotypes I have about other people and find ways to change that.

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There are numerous stereotypes, both negative and positive, regarding different races. However, positive stereotypes mostly have negative consequences of discrimination, prejudice, and racism. For example, the stereotype that Asians are hardworking and smart can result in Asians who are not that qualified to be hired at work, while more competent individuals who happen to be black, white, Latino or others are overlooked. A second example is one demonstrated in the film whereby black people are stereotyped as violet or gang associated. Consequently, other races fear them, resulting in black people being denied opportunities like jobs and mortgages, or worse, being killed by other people, even police officers, all because they assumed them to be dangerous. The best way to avoid stereotypes is to create inclusive environments for everyone. Being exposed to as many cultures as possible will help individuals understand different cultures and eliminate the “us versus them mentality” and any stereotypes.


Applebaum, B. (2006). RACE IGNORE‐ANCE, COLORTALK, AND WHITE COMPLICITY: WHITE IS… WHITE ISN’T 1. Educational Theory, 56(3), 345-362.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2021). Critical race theory—What it is not!. In Handbook of critical race theory in education (pp. 32-43). Routledge.

The Color of Fear (1994)- IMDb. IMDb. (2022). Retrieved 8 September 2022, from


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This week you will review the film The Color of Fear, which examines the impact of race and ethnicity on individuals of diverse racial and ethnic identities. This film will help you examine the importance of race and ethnicity, and the impact of stereotypes, racism, prejudice, discrimination, and microaggressions on the people in the film. As a human service worker, you will work with people of diverse backgrounds. To become culturally competent, you need to understand the worldview of those who are culturally different from you. This discussion will begin to open a discussion on what that means.

The Color of Fear

The Color of Fear

Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum,

Watch The Color of Fear
Watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story | TED (Links to an external site.).
Watch Color Blind or Color Brave? | Mellody Hobson (Links to an external site.).
Read Chapter 4 (read-only pp. 59–81; 85–91) and Chapter 6 (read-only pp. 128–134) in in your textbook.
Read Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Clinical Practice (Links to an external site.).
Read Teaching Note: Can You Call It Racism? An Educational Case Study and Role-Play Approach (Links to an external site.).
In your initial post, please address the following:

Discuss two concepts that impacted you the most from watching the Color of Fear and how you might use these concepts in your work in the human services field, especially when working with someone who is a different race or ethnicity than you.
Explain how stereotypes can lead to racism, prejudice, discrimination, and microaggressions.
Discuss how you can avoid stereotypes while being culturally aware as you build skills in cultural competency.
Be sure to use at least two scholarly or credible sources to support your responses. For help with this, review the Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) guide.

Guided Response: Reply to at least two of your peers by 11:59 p.m. on Day 7 of the week. In your peer responses,

Compare and contrast how you would use the main concepts from the video.
Make suggestions on how else your classmate might use the information when working in the human services field.

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