In "American History X," the issues of racism are depicted by exploring the socio-economic roots of fascism in the characters, their cultural environment, and community. The film, directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna stars Edward Norton, Edward Furlong and Beverly D'Angelo as a poor middle class family of a single mother and two sons growing up in modern, suburban America…
The socio-economic aspects of the family and the path of the eldest son are interesting because they directly reflect the traditional root causes of fascism in society. For example, the film compares the emasculating effects of the father figure defeated and fallen, as in the Kaiser’s Germany in post-World War One Germany or in Derek Vinyard’s father. The poverty and helplessness of the family is contrasted with a violent outburst Derek has when his mother dates a Jewish man and invites him home to dinner. The psychological aspects of humiliation are related to the familial issues as a symbolic way to discuss the socio-economic and psychological roots of fascism, racism, and anti-semitism through the characters, making it an excellent example for the deconstruction of the racist mentality. In “American History X,” a new brand of neo-Nazi culture is depicted to be thriving, accessing the tools and vehicles of modern culture such as information technology, pop culture, music, and fashion. The neo-Nazis are composed of skinhead, racist punks and led by an old KKK headmaster. ...
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