The twist in the story comes when Derek ends up in prison for manslaughter of two African American men. He gets disillusioned by his now former beliefs and comrades and returns a reformed man – a hero from a villain. However, his reclusive younger brother, Danny, who always idolized him, has already turned into a skinhead himself. The rest of the film is the successes and failures of Derek and his former teacher Sweeney in trying to salvage Danny. The film ends when Danny is killed and, in the tragedy of Derek reaching for him and holding his head in his lap, we are told that Danny had finally agreed that hate was bad.
By placing a sharp focus on racial differences and insecurities, the story skillfully shows the synthesis of hate and its interplay with insecurity and distorted reality. From the basketball bet to the recruitment of young white supremacists to rising tensions when gangs cross each other, the film shows human interactions in such a way that hate seems logical (35:26). As Derek prepares his gang with new recruits to attack a store owned by a Korean, he passionately, and also seemingly intelligently, spins out a rationale why all non-white residents of the United States are “parasites”. Insecurity is implicitly built in as the prime argument to instigate the gang to attack the store by mentioning some of them becoming jobless as a result of the Korean owner. It is shown that poverty potentially induces insecurity which can be cleverly used to build up blind hate. In the very next scene, the argument within the family about Rodney King’s case at Derek’s home shows him in rage. More importantly, it also shows that his previous passionate and intelligent convincing power over his gang came out of his own distorted view of life when he blames the media for fudging the “truth” about Rodney King, who in Derek’s opinion was the perpetrator and the policemen hitting him were acting out of self defense. The irony of distorted