Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Racism And American History X Analysis Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 2062 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

Racism is one of the most revolting things within the vicinity of humanity. In the world today, the globalization process happen around the world and people come together to exchange the culture, information, technology, education and knowledge, however another side of society always try to ignore other people with different color by violent, the unawareness, and their behavior. Recently, “15 Jan 2011 – ATHENS (Reuters) – Far-right protesters threw stones at a pro-migrant march in Athens on Saturday before being dispersed by bursts of teargas, police said, in the latest sign of tension over the capital’s growing immigrant population. Over 1,000 members of anti-racism groups, leftists and immigrants were marching in central Athens to protest against a controversial plan to build a fence at the border with Turkey to stop illegal immigrants from entering Greece. “Over 100 members of neo-Nazi groups and about 200 local residents attacked the leftists and other protesters with stones. The police used several rounds of teargas and flash grenades” a police official said”. According to Time magazine, from 2007 to 2009, in Australia, a series of brutal assaults and robbery happen to Indian students have sparked a wave of violence and protest group in Sydney and Melbourne. Violence is not the only one trouble that Australia concern, beside they are also struggling with a wave of extreme patriotism of a group of young Australia. The risk that the students from South Asian countries are faced not merely small attacks. There are some Neo-Nazi attacks around the world recently.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service


“American History X” is an American drama film which was named by Empire magazine in 2008 as one of the greatest movie of all the time (Wiki). The movie was a corporation of many talented people such as: Tony Kaye (the versatile director who won a Grammy Award), the film script was written by David McKenna; John Morrissey is the producer, music by Anne Dudley. This film was distributed by New Line Cinema. It is first debut in 1998. The 2-hour movie got a big number in cross revenue, $23,875,127. (Wiki)

However, the movie was got an “R” because of many violence scenes with fighting, bad language (such as: f**k, what the hell, bullshit, etc . . . during the film). The background of it is Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, USA with a strong actor force.



Edward Norton

Derek Vinyard

Edward Furlong

Danny Vinyard

Beverly DHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverly_D’Angelo”‘HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverly_D’Angelo”Angelo

Doris Vinyard

Avery Brooks 

Dr. Robert “Bob”Sweeney

Stacy Keach 

Cameron Alexander

Jennifer Lien

Davina Vinyard

Fairuza Balk


Elliott Gould


Ethan Suplee

Seth Ryan

Guy Torry


William Russ

Dennis Vinyard

Joseph Cortese


Keram Malicki-Sánchez


Giuseppe Andrews


Christopher Masterson

Daryl Dawson

Paul Le Mat


These actors and actress were working really hard to give a very successful movie about Neo-Nazi. Especially, Edward Norton got an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Derek in “American History X”. (Wiki)


The “American History X” is one of the greatest movies ever. Throughout the movie, the past and present are mixed together. The past was in black and white. And the present was in color. My summary will be arranged by time line. The movie told a story with two main characters: Derek and Danny Vinyard. Their father was a fireman who was working their current city. Mr Vinyard was killed by a black addicted guy while he was fighting a fire in a black neighborhood. After that accident, Derek was frustrated about black communication. Therefore, he joined the D.O.C, a Neo-Nazi gang. Derek was the leader of that group. He used to lead his group to destroy and demolish a shop in the town. Derek also won a game with black group at local basketball court to own the play place. One night, two black teen tried to steal Derek’s truck (which is given by his father). Derek used gun to shoot them and killed one of them. Danny looked at the terrible sense. Derek was judged to prison in 3 years. At this time, he met and was friends with a black inmate in the laundry room. And, he realized what he had done were absolutely wrong. He changed his mind and accepted black people. Danny tries to follow Derek’s mistakes. Danny joined the Neo-Nazi group. After backing home, Derek tried to pull his younger brother out of the dark marsh (the Neo-Nazi group). After existing of the Neo-Nazi group, the two brothers backed home and threw away all the D.O.C stuffs. In the end of the movie, Danny was killed by a black student before giving his assignment (the assignment is about Derek’s incarceration) at the restroom of Danny’s school.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services


In the first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln said that: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” This lesson can be learned from the “American History X” which contains the differences in culture origin and the human fear of the unknown. The following paragraph below will discuss main theme of the movie.

In the film, the main conflict of the story occurs because of the two different types of culture. Actually, culture can be defined in many ways. However, it can be known in three main ways. Culture is the taste of art and humanities. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture#Cultural_studies). Culture is human knowledge, belief, and behavior. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture#Cultural_studies). Or, it is a set of attitudes, values, goals, and practices. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture#Cultural_studies). Therefore, the different cultures can cause bad affect in communication. For example, Kissing on the cheeks of others is a kind action in western countries. However, in Vietnam, it is consider as an impolite type.

During the two-hour of the movie, there are a lot of violence, dark, and terrible scenes. All of the main character’s actions come from propaganda. When Derek was a kid, his father used to talk about the black communication. This makes his mind to contain a bad image about the color people in the USA. After the death of his father, he became a Neo-Nazi (his father death was caused by a black addicted guy when he was fighting a fire in the black neighborhood). That is one of the reason Derek joined D.O.C group. The leader of the group scatters thoughts about the color people. One time, Derek led a Neo-Nazi group who were fueled by drugs, beer, tattoos, and heavy metal attacked a small super market in the town. The violent and poignant scene scored a very sad motion for the viewers. The discrimination, racism, prejudice of the Neo-Nazi was built on different culture origin. Their thought is ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the belief that his/her culture is superior to others. In international business, it describes a company or individual so imbued with the belief that what worked at home should work abroad that it ignores societal differences (John, Lee H., and Daniel, 2007, International Business, 11th edition, Pearson, New Jersey – Article: “Charles Martin in Uganda”, pp. 72)

In another the scene at the play yard, Derek had a basketball game. Derek was fighting with the black guys to own the yard. During the game, there are many collisions between the black and white. This scene seems to be usual in the real life. The disruption of one group with others happens every day. It can be economic class, color skin, education, or many things else.

The difference of opinion between Derek and his family can cause violence, swear worlds, etc. . . . At that point of time, Derek’s attitude was totally different from his family. Therefore, he treated his family so badly. He heaped insults on his mother and her boyfriend. He blustered and hit his sister. The dinner was broken like the happiness of the family.

The most terrible image of the “American History X” is the first scene. Derek shot the two black guys who tried to steal his truck in the night. After killing one of them, Derek was smile and satisfies. However, Danny who was standing behind felt wretched because of the Derek’s action. It seems the racism is in every cell of Derek’s body.

The unknown of culture origin that make Derek and Danny cost a very high cost ever. Danny was shot by a black student in the end of the movie. The death of Danny will be the biggest lesson ever in the Derek life.


One of the causes for this event is stereotypes. Through media communication like television, radio, internet, book, movie, etc. which are the potential for mirror to build characteristics of the youth. When a person, especially one that is very young, is joined to stereotypes of a specific group for the first time, then that person will learn and get all knowledge by that way. Moreover, when a negative source is always displaying the perception of the youth about a particular race, then it will influence the thinking and opinions as well. Besides, Unfamiliarity is also the most common cause of racism. People concern what they do not know or understand. When people grow in one race of people, they will have a trend to join in the group of the same race or same color, because they don’t know about another race, they afraid of other color skin who maybe effect them or do something harm to them, so they try to avoid, deny, ignore them. Selfishness is another obvious cause of racism. In case Australia, Indian students speak their language and they get a trouble with the local students because they don’t speak English in public, besides the government also try to give more advantages for the local white skin students than the other skin, so they accidentally raise the racist in their community. Furthermore, the local citizen, especially white skin people, afraid of the position in society, job. They think the color skin people take their job, their money as well as their social position. They just want anything in their country belong to them. Family education is also a reason of racism. When parents and significant others have racism thinking, they almost express and teach it to their children, the child will incorporate those knowledge into their mind, cognitive, intellectual, emotional and frameworks of life. For that reason, children will grow up with the racism in mind and they never forget. Unless such the individual have experiences in living in many conditions living, spending time with many groups of race and understanding the difference of other race, they will change their mind like the content of film “American History X” below. Those are the 4 main reasons which cause racism. In general, racism is one of the most terrible things that will affect the characteristic of person and change the basic instinct of human. To avoid the happen of racism around the world, we must first solve the basic problems, which are: stereotypes, unfamiliarity, selfishness, and Family education. When we solve the problem, the racism will not appear anymore.


Racism happens in the world because of many reasons which are: stereotypes, unfamiliarity, selfishness, and Family education. They represent and fighting for their values, fear, norms and beliefs. Therefore, the most dangerous thing for mankind is a lack of knowledge. Address knowledge helps us understand the differences in culture, value, as well as beliefs. It is a premise to help us understand the different races of the world.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: