Descriptive Essay Based On The Movie American History X Saint Leo University/Building A Multiracial Society

1267 words - 6 pages

AMERICAN HISTORY “X”

Racism in America is a problem as old as the country itself. Generation after generation hatred and prejudice has been part of the American culture. As can be seen in the movie American History X, the situation that existed in that area where the movie was filmed between whites against minorities.

Hatred towards people of another race, specifically black people was the fuel that started the riots and the formation of white supremacist group. At the beginning of the story, it can be seen how the father of Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), who was a white man who serves his community as a firefighter; He taught his children to "see" the difference between blacks and whites.


The father used a combination of colored frames like the abstract liberalism, which talks about getting results or positions based on merit. When the father tells Derek; you think it's fair that just because this guy is black, the supervisors give him the job. They give a position to someone who was not as competent as the other white candidate.... Then the father repeats no, it's not fair.

Here we can see how the father transmits to his son the misconception that just because he was black, that person was giving the position. Then you can notice as Derek tries to explain to his father that perhaps not all blacks are bad; he says he has a Black English teacher who happens to be excellent; he also says that this teacher is helping them to think with the kind of reading that is giving them.

The father used again another color blind frame, the frame of cultural racism; which indicates that whites believe that minorities especially blacks, doesn't have the ability to get a better education or education for blacks it is simply not an option. It should be noted that Derek explained to his father that his teacher has a master's degree and is also a great person; exposing that he doesn't have any prejudice towards people of color.

The father, before ending the conversation ends using new color frames, but this time is much more direct by expressing his true racist feelings. Derek's dad told him not to let those "nigger" ideas get into his head; he asked his son just to get a good grade and not to let those ideas change "what you truly are."


Continuing the context of the movie, days after, the firefighter (Derek's father) was kill while working putting out a fire. The fire occurred in a neighborhood where people were mostly black; apparently, the person who murdered Derek's father was a black man. This situation, untie the protagonist's measureless hatred against what for at the time to him, were simply "parasites."

Derek uses the same rhetoric he learned from his father and used it on his first speech, which contains all color blind frame of racism. He began using the color-blind frame of cultural racism; when he says that minorities do not want to help the country by being an active part of the society, and they don't have...

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