Brian Andreen American History X: Race and Culture
After seeing the film American History X in class I believe that it is both a great anti-racism film, while at the same time perpetuating racism. The film was very anti-racism if it was really listened to and the viewer really thought about what they were watching. There were many, many points in the film that pointed out the flaws in the beliefs of the racists. The racists used facts to support their beliefs, but these facts were twisted to support the view of the racists and if fully thought out the twisting of these facts were extremely obvious. At the same time however, if the viewer did not fully think through the facts that were being given they heavily supported racism.
The movie called attention to the flaws in the logic of the racists by having the main character realize the flaws himself. Despite this, the average viewer who was just going to the movie out of a desire for entertainment most likely still did not think hard about what this meant, meaning that the viewers simply listened to the very racist opening. The producers of the movie meant it to be an anti-racism film, as they expected people to really think about what they were hearing. Unfortunately people did not do this and their good intentions ended often ended up perpetuating racism rather than lessening it.
I found one part of this movie extremely disturbing. This is the first movie I have ever watched and have been really disturbed by. The thing that disturbed me was how the movie had me feeling about the crime Derek committed. The crime in and of itself was horrendous and sickening to watch as he stomped on the mans head. This in and of itself was disturbing and extremely wrong. I did not realize this while watching the movie but afterwards I realized that I was happy while watching the film that he had only gotten three years of jail time for his crimes, as in a way the movie made you like Derik and feel like he did not deserve more time. In afterthought while analyzing the movie I realized that I feel like the Derik should have had life in prison. For a crime like the one he committed I do not think he should be allowed to walk free again, regardless of his change of heart.
I think it is important to realize what is stated in The White Supremacist in Anti-Racist Films. The main characters that were pushing for equal rights and were fighting against racism, were not the minorities, but were instead white males. This shows unintentionally how white supremacist the film industry was as even in the anti-racism films white males were the ones who were cast in the positions of leadership and were given the main roles.