American History Essays

1013 Words 5 Pages
American History


It is important to be proud of who you are and where you have come from. After watching the film American History X, whites are far from proud. We are ashamed to admit that people just like us can act in such a horrible and disillusioned way toward those that are different. As you watch, you see scenes of brutal violence, hear songs of hate and feel the pain of all involved. These acts show the viewers how easily young minds can be influenced to believe anything. Teachers, parents, siblings or any person of authority in a child's life can have this deep of an impact on them. American History X is the story of how powerful an influence people of importance can have upon youth. Adults can be the enemy of many
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The hate he has for people who are different grows inside the teens of the gang. The ultimate manifestation of his brainwashing is the murder of two black men by Derek. Yet Derek's downfall and racist notions were not all caused by Cameron's propaganda, but the influences of his father. It isn't until the near end of American History X that the viewer finds the root causes of Derek's white supremacist attitudes. A black and white scene shows his whole family happily eating dinner together. His father asks him about his studies in school and at the mention of black literature, Derek's father begins his rant about "trading good books for black books." He tells Derek not to believe everything his teacher, Dr. Sweeney, has to say. As the conversation plays on, it snowballs into supposed "Affirmative Blacktion" and white firemen being beat for a job just because the others were black. In the end, Derek's father tells him, "It's all nigger bull*censored*." The viewer sees how Derek soaks in whatever his father says and accepts it as truth, claiming to "see what he's saying." When the father is shot and killed at the scene of a fire in a crack house, Derek lashes out at the black community, blaming them for the tragic death. The thoughts instilled by his father, plus his ironic death fuels Derek's Nazi beliefs. The motives of Derek's murders stem from this situation. The beginning of the film shows Danny telling his brother that a…