Stereotypes the Free Nation’s Plague & Achromatic Vision the Free Man’s Gateway Drug: A review of Arnd Wächter’s American Textures

Everyday that we step foot from our homes is a cold war. There are no nuclear weapons to threaten Americans with this time around only harsh words and hashtags thrust upon each individual through social media and the ignorant man willing to believe the hateful one. There is no outside enemy only systematically placed stereotypes poisoning the minds of young children and while all this occurs there is a great majority of the next up and coming generation saying that this:

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DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE THEY DON’T PERCEIVE IT AND HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED IT! That…… is the new age enlightened American way. 

American Textures takes away all notions that racism is not alive and well here in the US when 6 young adults from different cities and varying culture and backgrounds are brought together to take a glimpse into the lives of the black, white, and Latino cultures present in the US.

Arnd Wächter takes the biggest taboo of the country and slaps us all across the faces with it. When the subject of racism is brought it is usually seen as the angry black people and the devastated latinos explaining (or shouting) what the white man has done to them. I’m happy to say that American Textures is not a blame game and that was not the goal of this documentary. American Textures is our cinematic hold on hope that the racial differences and cultures that make up the US can one day be accepted unanimously and that one day we can all be empathetic of the pain that different people can go through. The number of questions you have to ask yourself while experiencing this film is astonishing and even more so the number of questions that are answered while we watch 6 people come together to battle through their assumptions, personal conceptions, and egos so that they can stop looking at the the color of another’s skin or stop ignoring its existence and listen for the personality in their words.

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We need to acknowledge the historical events that happened and the truth of all events is best told by the people most affected even if it’s not exactly what people want to hear. With the being said when there are people raised with a different way of thinking recognize it and speak up. If they truly want to listen they will meet you half way. This is knowledge we must all seek on our own if we are to understand the differences in each of our American textures.

There are a few questions that everyone should try to answer upon so they may be an active member of this union-driven movement:

  1. What is your personal oppression?
  2. How do we let the emotions of others effect us?
  3. We are each our own entity in our ocean of race. How do we show more of how our soul and less of our shade?
  4. When do we forgive for the stereotypes thrown at us? When do we stop assuming they exist in others?
  5. Why are we afraid of what we don’t know? Why are we inherently uncomfortable? Why don’t we seek answers on our own? 
  6. We feel the diversity is positive while we seek synonymous group thinking. When do we accept people for who they are?

American Textures overall was an exceptional way to capture the barriers of race being conquered. I recommend we all watch it and ask questions. I am personally available for any curiosities held about the black community and other minorities as a member of the Shenandoah University Black Student Union.


Stereotypes the Free Nation’s Plague & Achromatic Vision the Free Man’s Gateway Drug: A review of Arnd Wächter’s American Textures

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