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Cant We All Just Get Along?

1829 words - 8 pages

Prejudice, a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or personal experience. The amount of prejudice differs from person to person, but no one is free from it. In the film, American History X, Derek is a great example of how prejudice someone can be. Derek agrees with the white power movement because he feels victimized and threatened by everyone who is not white, but in prison he learns his stereotypes are full of holes; from the film I learned there is no reason to hate one another based on race or stereotypes. Life is too short to live a life based on hate.
Throughout the film, American History X, Derek feels victimized and threatened as a white American. He blames gangs, blacks, immigrants and even his mentor Cameron for all of America's problems. For instance, in one of the scenes in the film, both whites and blacks were playing basketball on the local basketball court. After an argument with one of the blacks, Derek decides whoever wins the game keeps the court and whoever loses leaves for good. “ If you win, we will walk outta here, but if we win, no bitching, no fighting, right here in front of everybody you pack up your shit and get your black asses outta here (American History X).” The violent game came to an end and the black gang was kicked out. Instead of kicking each other off the court, they should have shared at least half. However, Derek felt the black people don't deserve to play on the same ground as the whites. Derek claims his fathers death was the source of his hatred towards blacks, but it actually came from his father. Over dinner Derek brought up an interesting book about a black guy he was reading for English class. Since the class was doing black literature and Derek's teacher was black, Derek's father started putting ideas in his head telling him it was affirmative action. Dr. Sweeney, Derek's teacher, sounds very convincing
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to him but Derek's father continues brainwashing him saying, “It's's nigger bullshit (American History X).” Unknowingly, Derek's hate towards blacks was passed on by his father just like Derek passes it on to Danny, his younger brother. Illegal Immigrants are another group Derek finds unworthy. He blames them for taking American jobs. When Derek recruits the skinheads he gave them a speech on how America is falling apart because of the illegal immigrants, “...hard working Americans falling through the cracks and getting the shaft because their government cares more about the constitutional rights of a bunch of people who aren't even citizens of this country (American History X)!” Like Hitler, Derek uses scapegoating to persuade the skinheads to attack the local supermarket. Derek doesn't even consider Illegal Immigrants as humans, “Every night, thousands of these parasites stream across the border like some fucking piñata exploded (American History X).” Once motivated, the skinheads went off to destroy the Supermarket where two former skinheads were...

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