American History X


American history X is the title of my movie. American History X focuses on the life of a skinhead. The main character of this movie is Edward Norton. Edward Norton gives an impassioned performance as Derek Vinyard, a Southern Californian skinhead who must do time after committing a hateful murder. Once in jail, his mind opens and he sees the error of his ways. Upon reentering the real world, he must now turn his attentions to his younger brother Danny, who is swiftly heading down the same path as his brother. The movie's main storytelling device centers on Danny's latent writing ability. After turning in a glowing review of Hitler's "Mein Kampf", when asked to discuss a book about civil rights, Danny's now being forced by a concerned, hard-love school teacher to write an account of Derek's journey from the "heights" of murderous skinhead leadership to the depths of brutal rape in a prison shower.
In the film there are unnerving scenes of racial violence: of black youths kicking a helpless white student in a high school restroom; of a Korean-owned grocery store terrorized by skinhead thugs; of an African American whose skull is split open by a skinhead who orders him to lie face down on a curb. Unlike many Hollywood films, it shows this young man's evolution. He sees all the destruction that hate causes, not only to society at large, but also to his own family. Therein lies the lesson: Everyone suffers from hate crimes. Derek repents after his stay in jail due to the friendship of a black inmate and the assault by his racist brethren. But Danny is still a rabid believer, spewing sadly misinformed bile while hanging with White-power speed metal freaks and the like.
At times it is difficult to tell what message this movie is trying to put across. We know that in general, being a racist is wrong. But, while watching this movie, I, and I?m sure many others, was understanding and agreeing with a lot of the points made. There are of course many people who take their opinions to far, as Derek Vinyard did. You have a right to feel as you do, but sometimes it tends to get too violent. There are probably some people out there who saw this movie and are now in that state of mind. I have done a lot of research on this topic in the past few years. Although I am not about to fill out my application to the KKK, I do have my opinions. I am completely 100% proud to be white. I wouldn?t change that for the world. Let me fill you in on my opinions, the basis of American History X?s, and the way I feel the politics of this country are now.
There is surely no nation in the world that holds "racism" in greater horror than does the United States. Compared to other kinds of offenses, it is thought to be somehow more reprehensible. The press and public have become so used to tales of murder, rape, robbery, and arson, that any but the most spectacular crimes are shrugged off as part of the inevitable texture of American life. "Racism" is never shrugged off. For example, when a White Georgetown Law School student reported earlier this year that black students are not as qualified as White students, it set off a booming, national controversy about "racism." If the student had merely murdered someone he would have attracted far less attention and criticism.
Racism is, indeed, the national obsession. Universities are on full alert for it, newspapers and politicians denounce it, churches preach against it, America is said to be racked with it, but just what is racism?
Dictionaries are not much help in understanding what is meant by the word. They usually define it as the belief that one's own ethnic stock is superior to others, or as the belief that culture and behavior are rooted in race. When Americans speak of racism they mean a great deal more than this. A peculiarly American meaning derives from the current belief that all ethnic stocks are equal. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, all races have been declared to be equally talented and hard- working, and anyone who questions the belief is thought to be not merely wrong but evil.
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