The Movie American History X Essay

American History X Essay

1126 Words5 Pages

American History X

     Will racism ever come to an end or will its path go on infinitely? For the most part, the majority of people respect those who are different either in color, race, and/or heritage; however, there are those few that hold bigoted views towards people who are different than they are. The movie American History X by Tony Kaye displays an example of people who hold bigoted views. Derek, a Neo-Nazi leader, must contend with his actions relating to his past racist views and actions. This powerful movie explores its characters thoroughly and gives reasons why people become so callous and turn towards a racist group. It also exposes insight to problems that plague America when it comes to racism in…show more content…

Derek realized that hatred towards people did not help him, his family, or the situation at hand. Instead of being negative and destructive, why not be positive. Hurting people and destroying property does not solve problems, but only makes them worse by causing more resentment and tension between people (Theriou). Nothing good has ever come out of a situation where one person has been the victim of a crime or abuse. Good things come out of situations where people show hospitality, good will, and compassion; not hatred.
     It is made very clear that Derek and Danny have no affiliations with the Ku Klux Klan. Derek calls the KKK a bunch of disorganized rednecks that very inanely run around with sheets on their heads. Instead they are part of a Neo-Nazi group in Southern California. In America today there are “estimated to be about 200,000 members
602 3 associated with white power groups (included in these estimates are supporters and hard core members plus their families)” (Suall). That is a lot of people who are affiliated with known racist groups. When looking on the Internet a person can realize how much hate is present in our world. John Hron website has estimates of Neo-Nazis in countries and a little bit about how that country views Nazism. America has about 85,000 Neo-Nazi members compared with 47,000 German Neo-Nazis. Germany though has a lot

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American History X Essay examples

1430 Words6 Pages

American History X

American History X is clearly a film dealing with the social topic of racism. The interesting thing about this film is the way in which the subject is presented. First of all, it is obvious that, though racism is always a difficult subject to deal with, American History X presents it without any reservations or dummying down. Second, the film's figurehead for racism, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), is not an unintelligent redneck racist as films often portray them, but is in fact well-spoken, charismatic and bright, although he clearly holds ideals that are terribly wrong. Finally, the film shows that it is not only the white, neo-nazi racists who are fools for being involved in this, but all those who hold hatred in…show more content…

For example, the young, black men were disgraced by the white male in a local game of basketball; therefore, the black men go to do damage to the white males car, which in turn, leads to the white male killing the young black men. It's a vicious circle with no end in sight.

The film also did a very good job in the way they tie racial issues in with the portrayal of Derek's character as a strong and bold leader. The things that make Derek such a powerful and frightening character is not the fact that he is racist, it is the fact that instead of choosing a somewhat regular, backwoods, unintelligent racist as the films central character, Derek is well spoken and bright. It is these qualities that allow him to recruit the youths of Venice Beach and form, with the help of his mentor Cameron Alexander, the entire white supremacist culture permeating the area. Instead of just telling them to hate black, Hispanic, and Asian people because they are of that race, he makes speeches, telling them charismatically and passionately how these people are stealing their jobs, causing Americans to suffer a poor standard of living. He tells them "America needs to take care of Americans before dealing with immigrants." And his speeches clearly incite this hatred in the young people of that area and flare up their tempers, causing behavior, such as we see in the movie when they destroy a grocery store because it was bought by a Korean immigrant who employs, "40 fuckin' border jumpers"

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