Reflection on American History X. By Thanh Diep Truong
In the reading, Finley criticized the "American History X" as sending the message that the the only people who engage to hate crimes are those who shave their heads and have swastika tattoos, or who parade around wearing
white sheets and burn crosses. I disagree with this criticism of the film. I don't think the film sends out a message saying only people who show symbols of racism on their appearance are the only racists. I think what the film wants to say is that racism can take place at a very low level, like at a family discussion of "Native Son", however, it can be brought to the level of mass destruction from hatred and grows out to be one's idealism. I don't think the depiction of hate groups as the source of racism allows viewers to assume that if we just crack down on overtly racist groups we would no long suffer from racism. Those hate groups in the film acts as symbols of racism as a whole in the country. Those groups let the audience understand that racism is separation between the people, and they separate themselves when there is racism. Those groups symbolize individuals in the United States. Hatred makes them fell different and frustrated, then they would grow out to be more and more destructive, just like an individual would. Each and everyone's action has influence and consequences on the society that he or she lives in. After all, a group stands for each individuals. In order to have peace, each person needs to put out the fire of hatred within themselves, just like the groups needs to realize that the fire is burning them instead of doing them any goods.