Writing Our Own History
American History X is a recent drama film, starring Edward Norton, which evaluates current American life, and more specifically, a former neo-nazi skinhead trying to prevent his younger brother from going down the same misguided path that he did.
I found the movie extremely interesting, as it forced me to reevaluate my beliefs on race issues in modern day America, and how they affect not only my nation, but me as a multiracial citizen. The thoughts shared by Derek (a former neo-nazi skinhead) reflect many of the beliefs still held in Americans today.
I thought this film was particularly relevant because of the current issues America is facing regarding immigration laws and regulation, an issue driven significantly by race issues in the United States. While modern day America projects itself as a “post racial” nation, race issues in our media and everyday life support the conclusion that American race issues are a significant influence on the country. Derek, an avid racist and white supremacist repeatedly makes comments throughout the movie on how immigrants(he focuses primarily on African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans) should not be allowed into the United States, and their natural inferiority to whites.
While not a particularly uplifting message, I think this is a message, and movie that should be considered by anyone living in modern day America. While we have progressed significantly from race issues we have faced in the past, it’s imperative that we acknowledge current issues in the United States not only including race, but also class, sex, and age. Instead of being a proponent of viewing America as a post-racial haven for minorities, I believe Americans should be reevaluating what it really means to be American in current times.