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American History X

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American History X

American History X directed by Tony Kaye brings a new meaning to racism. This movie is about modern-day racial hatred in even the most urban areas today. This movie shows that racial hatred, does not accomplish anything but more hate, and that with due time it will come back to haunt you.

In the world of skinhead neo-nazi, fuels a mindless individual that is startling in intensity. Derek Vinyard is one of the most respected members of the Venice Beach White supremacist movement. As we know he had no racist opinions until he was in a class taught by Mr. Bob Sweeney a well-educated black man. Mr. Sweeney, which occasionally upset Derek often, taught about black issues and the problems they face in society. We understand in a flashback on a dinner table conversation with Derek and his father what sparked the beginning of his racist development. Derek’s father drilled and taught him not to have any respect for those who are not white people of the protestant faith.

In addition to all of Derek’s father’s lessons on racism, Derek is made to be a man who would kill a black man just for the sake of it. This is made clear when his father is murdered. Although nobody knows who is responsible for the death of Mr. Vinyard, Derek boldly accuses every black man of being a suspect. He speaks on national television: “Every problem is race related. Immigration, aids…” Which shows his hatred for anyone outside his race. Not only was Derek now a racist, but also his little brother Danny who looked up to him as his father figure soon followed in his footsteps.

It was a dark, still, night that changed Derek’s life completely. Derek used deadly force to stop a pair of black youths attempting to steal his car. He ends up in prison for three years, while on the inside he learns some hard truths about life. What he learns up in “the joint” changes his life around and changed his attitude on racism thanks to a fellow inmate and his old high school principal.

While he is forced to work in the laundry room, he establishes a friendship with his co-worker who was a black guy. His co-worker once said to him, “Yeah, I know your kind. Badass peckerwood with an attitude. Let me tell you something, you better watch your ass, cause in the joint, you are the nigga not me.” This opened Derek’s eyes and made him realize the he was for once the minority, and outnumber by blacks which built a sense of fear within him.

Another experience that changed his attitude is his realization that white people are not strong enough together, he believes that as a whole whites need to do a better

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