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The movie American History X tells of a story about racism. The main character in the movie, Derek Vinyard, is depicted as a white supremacist. Derek developed such views following his father’s murder by a black laborer. His grieve led his to presuming that the murder of his father represented the level of enmity which is directed towards the whites by the rest of the society. As such, he began regarding non-whites as his personal enemies, a situation which made him intolerant to a large group of the society. This behavior and attitude did make him engage in morally reprehensible acts, and these acts led to his eventual arrest.
Upon his arrest, Derek was at peace with himself, having considered his actions as justifiable under the prevailing circumstances. In fact, by the time of his arrest, he had influenced his younger brother, Danny Vinyard, into regarding non-whites as enemies. Danny Vinyard had a lot of respect for his elder brother and, indeed, he aspired to live like Derek. Upon his release from prison, Derek’s violent and inflammatory character had disappeared. As such, Danny saw this as a betrayal and resolved to continue with his supremacist views. Later, he was arrested, and the three years he spent in jail made him reform into just like his elder brother. However, his reformation angered other white supremacists so much that they planned and executed his murder.
According to the movie American History X, it is evident that racism in America persists as a result of misunderstanding amongst people from different cultures. During their daily routines, individuals do not intermingle to an adequate degree for them to understand each other effectively. Members of one race are troubled upon realizing that one of them is associating with those of another race. This is illustrated in the movie American History X, where Danny is evidently disturbed after learning that Derek is living amongst individuals of other races.
While in prison, Derek learns that it was easier for him to have a black friend than a white one, even though he had considered the blacks to be the real abusers of the whites. It is during his incarceration that he realized that being a racist was futile and, therefore, he decided to change. The movie indicates that through sharing of experiences, individuals manage to bridge the cultural gap, and coexistence is enhanced as the concerned individuals share their experiences with their friends and family members (Berry 25). For instance, Derek’s experiences while in incarceration prompted Danny to alter his racist’s views. In this regard, racism may be curbed through civic education, especially by focusing such an initiative to the multi-racial neighborhoods. This would enable the young members of the society to grow with the realization that every member of the society is important and race does not define the character of an individual (Bulmer 15).
America is a society that has been constituted through the mixer of diverse cultures which are yet to integrate effectively. For instance, Western culture has always been emphasizing on the superiority of aspects such as independence, freedom, and individualism. Nevertheless, there are those in the American society whose original cultures emphasize different aspects, and as such, for neighborhoods to establish unique identities there ought to be an enhanced level of understanding amongst individuals. This would reduce instances of cultural crash, and mutual friendship would prevail. For instance, Derek had considered non-whites to be enemies due to his inexperience in other cultures (Wood 38). However, his experience with others made him alter his believes, a scenario which made him realize that the character of an individual is not defined by the color of his/her skin.
According to American History X, although Danny did not have a personal encounter with people from other races, Derek’s experience made him realize that he had began having a different perspective of them by the time of his death. Danny’s interaction with his elder brother made him appreciate that being social necessitates human beings to establish profitable relationships with each other. This would, according to Derek, enable individuals to utilize the limited time they have in life by engaging in profitable activities, so of which would be easily undertaken together. According to the movie American History X, Derek insists that his choice of a black friend is well-informed as he is a good guy, with whom they should not be enemies but friends (Wood 35). When speaking to his brother, he insists that they must not be enemies to the blacks, even when their passion is strained.
Derek emphasizes that their bonds of affection with the blacks and other minorities should not be broken even by the painful memories of their past. In fact, according to him, racism is a waste of time and a challenge to happiness. With regard to this, American History X is a depiction of how detrimental racism is to our societies. It demonstrates that through the establishment of mutual and friendly relationships, individuals learn to tolerate one another, and as such, their cultural ties improve. Clearly, shunning stereotypic mindset enables an individual to realize the benefits of cultural diversity. People begin to realize the strengths of each other’s cultures and the contributions they can make to the society at large (Feagin 105).