(from the World of Privilege)
Chapters 4 and 5 (on Driving Miss Daisy and Mississippi Burning) demonstrate that a film's being "against" racism does not prevent its signifying practice from participating in the process of racism. Rather, a film's incorporating and upholding the very structures and forms through which racism is conducted can counteract whatever antiracist message a specific signifying act might convey. Thus, both Driving Miss Daisy and Mississippi Burning end up reinforcing privilege by appropriating its structure and by articulating discourses of justification or legitimization. Each film looks at privilege from the position of privilege and thereby excludes the disenfranchised (in this case AfroAmerican culture).
The process of appropriating the structure of privilege within the text can also be described as using the language of the dominant. Language of the dominant refers to a specific culture's established and preferred system for representing reality. Here, language represents more than just words, expressing instead the whole range of signifying practices, styles, and forms by which dominant cultures represent themselves as a means of maintaining their positions of dominance, prominence, and/or influence through discourses of naturalization, justification, and legitimization. The manner in which both Driving Miss Daisy and Mississippi Burning speak through the language of the dominant and end up participating in the process of racism despite their opposition to it raises an important theoretical issue. Is it possible to speak from the place of privilege about privilege without maintaining privilege, or does using the language of the dominant in and of itself support the process of racism?