American History X

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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 everyday life, from schoolyards to basketball courts. All together American History X presents its watchers with an impressive theme that makes everyone who watches it take a step back and just say, “WOW!”
The main characters are two brothers, Derek and Danny, and the way they became involved with the Neo-Nazist’s ideas are different, yet the same. Derek the older of the two by five years, is first influenced by his late father. One night at the dinner table they discussed what he was reading in English and Derek told him Native Son. The dad had never heard of it and so Derek explained that it was black history month and so they were reading a book by a black author. His father did not like that very much and angrily talked that with affirmative action, and other such things, blacks were taking away from what was already established by whites. When a black drug dealer shot his dad when he
601 2 was fighting a fire on duty as a firefighter, Derek blamed “blacks, brown, yellows, its all their fault” and that lead him down a dark path. Disgruntled and confused, Derek became a leading member in a Neo-Nazi group, which he called the D.O.C. Danny, his young brother, watched, listened, and breathed every word Derek spoke. He too bought into the world of hatred. During the time Derek spent in jail for killing three black burglars, Danny tried to do everything possible so his brother would respect him when he got out. But the time in jail transformed Derek. He rethought his whole life when his former black principal visited him in jail to ask, “Has anything you’ve done made your life better?” (Kaye).

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... others more easily (McDougal). Hate itself takes up a lot of energy. All that wasted energy could be channeled into other areas that are more rewarding such as helping others.
For an explanation unknown to anyone, some people are inclined to hating others. Motives may perhaps be because they are insecure of who they are, feel threaten by someone, or an explanation which no one has. The movie explains a major reason why people hate is because they want to blame someone else for their misfortunes. It is always nice to put the responsibility on somebody else’s shoulders. Hopefully in a near future people can begin to comprehend how foolish it is to hate all the time, and then start to love.

Works Cited:
. Impersonal Interview. 4 March 2000.

Hron, John. “What does our future hold?” 10 March 2000. Available . Movie discussion. 10 March 2000.

. Movie discussion. 10 March 2000.

Suall, Irwin. Skinhead International : A Worldwide Survey of Neo-Nazi
Skinheads. Berlin. Anti-Defamation League of Bnai. April 1995

. Impersonal Interview. 4 March 2000.

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