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American History X Essay

783 words - 4 pages

The world is composed of different people with diverse nationalities. There are many countries in this world which contribute different traits to society. In the United States itself, there are about 198 nationalities out of 254 countries worldwide as reported in the 2000 census. As showed by the film American History X, prejudice is the antagonist. The character of Derek Vinyard, the leader of the Nazi skinhead community in the film demonstrates neglect, discrimination and brutality against non-American citizens (migrants) which results in Derek being sent to prison for a couple of years, after which he returns a changed man. Never show prejudice against anybody regardless of race, skin color, religion, etc., without getting to know a person, because for every action, there is an equal reaction.
Prejudice is showed throughout the beginning as well as the ending of American history X film. In the film, there is a scene in which Derek is prejudiced against a gang of African–American basketball players in Venice Beach, CA. Derek decides to intervene in a basketball game in order to impose a deal in which the squandered team abandons the Venice basketball courts permanently. A win is granted to Derek’s skinhead team, resulting in a run off on behalf of the losing team African-American team. This shows us that prejudice can take over a certain individual without them knowing the person or persons they are about to discriminate against. No matter what their skin color, race or religion is, no act of discrimination will ever be acceptable.
Family, friends, work environment or media can be a factor in promoting prejudice against others. A certain individual can learn discrimination, plus prejudice, in the factors I illustrated. In the film American History X, Derek learns prejudice mainly from his father, Dennis Vinyard. Derek’s father is disturbed by the fact that Derek has to read and write about a book assigned by Dr. Sweeney (Native Son by Richard Wright) which deals mainly about the African-American culture. As revealed, prejudice can be learned from a certain person who despises other ethnicities, or from a family whose points of view towards other cultures are negative and deceiving. As pointed out by the film, Derek’s discrimination and prejudiced mentality is later on fed by forming a group of revolting skinheads that share a prejudicial view like Derek’s. As...

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