Prejudice, Comformity And Stereotyping In American History X

2861 words - 12 pages

Introduction To The TopicAmerican History X is a great film that portrays prejudice, stereotyping and conformity. Prejudice is negative attitudes toward others based on their gender, religion, race, or membership in a particular group. Prejudice involves beliefs and emotions that can turn into hatred. Having an opinion or idea about a member of a group without really knowing that individual is a part of prejudice. Some people make judgments about a whole group of people without knowing very much about them. Sometimes people are afraid of those who seem different from them and unfortunately, they express that with name-calling and negative treatment. When people grow up with these ideas, ...view middle of the document...

Sometimes a leader or housewife or teenager is somewhat like the stereotype but it is an injustice to automatically assume they all are.Prejudice can be in the form of negative put downs and helps those of us on top feel okay about being there. Prejudice can be a hostile, resentful feeling or dislike for someone or an unfair blaming or degrading of others.Along with prejudice and stereotypes, goes conformity. The more people already agree upon or share a particular idea, the more easily a newcomer will turn to be converted to that idea, and the more difficult it will be for one already converted to reject that ideaSummary of The FilmThe movie starts out through the eyes of Danny Vinyard, who idolizes his older brother Derek. Derek is seeking revenge for his father's murder and burning a way to vent his rage. His father was a firefighter who was on duty one night putting out a fire at a crack house. His father was shot and killed by black drug addicts while fighting a fire in a crack house in a black neighborhood. He blames all black people for the death of his father. Derek hates anyone who is not a white protestant. Later it is learned that it wasn't just his father's death that shaped him, but his father's conversation at the dinner table one night about racism.Derek finds himself transformed by a philosophy of hate as he turns into a disciple of a radical group of a local white power movement. He becomes a leader in this white supremacy group called the DOC organizing the other white kids in his neighborhood under the rule of a leader of the group named Cameron who stays behind the scene to keep his record clean. The skinheads that rule his group are convincing and are a very bonding group. It is assumed in theirAmerican History 4world that that all races stick together and are at undeclared war with all others. They are very much prejudice and all conform to the same stereotype.Despite Derek's intelligence, his violent actions end in a brutal murder and ultimately, a prison sentence. One night two black kids attempt to steal Derek's car, as the result of a playground feud that took place earlier. Derek fires his gun to kill and commits violent actions,which ends up in the death of the two black kids who tried to steal his car. He's convicted of murder and sent to prison for three years.While in prison, Derek begins to see things in a different way. While in jail he learns some hard truths about life from a fellow inmate and his old high school principal that takes special interest in him. Avery Brooks, the principle ask Derek a powerful question. "Has any thing you've done changed your life?" But, when Derek emerges with a desire to change his attitude, he finds that words are not enough.Three years later, everyone awaits Derek's return. His mother Doris who prays for his safety, his girlfriend Stacey who longs for his return, and most of all Danny who's desperate for his brother's love and guidance, yet is driven by his own increasing white...

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