American History X is a powerful film that delves into the complex topic of racism and the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole. One of the most shocking scenes in the film is when a young black boy named Danny kills underprivileged white teenager Cameron Alexander’s younger brother. This begs the question – why did Danny, who had previously shown remorse for his own racist actions, commit such a heinous act?
To understand Danny’s motivations, we need to look at his character arc throughout the film. At the beginning of American History X, Danny is a troubled teenager who has been heavily influenced by his older brother Derek’s neo-Nazi beliefs. He is deeply entrenched in this ideology and sees people of color as inferior.
However, as the film progresses, we see Danny start to question these beliefs. He befriends an African American student named Lamont and begins to see things from a different perspective. He even writes an essay for his high school English class outlining how his beliefs were misguided and how he now understands that racism is wrong.
So what caused Danny to revert back to violence? The answer lies in his relationship with Cameron Alexander.
Throughout the film, Cameron manipulates Danny and tries to turn him against his brother Derek. He feeds him lies about Derek betraying their cause and tries to convince him that he should be leading their group instead.
In one scene, Cameron takes advantage of Danny’s vulnerability by showing him images of black men attacking white women. This triggers Danny’s fear and anger towards people of color once again.
Later on, when Cameron’s younger brother is killed by a group of black teenagers in retaliation for their actions, he uses this tragedy to manipulate Danny even further. He convinces him that they need to take revenge for what happened.
In this moment of weakness, Danny falls back into old patterns and takes up arms alongside Cameron’s gang. It is during this violent confrontation that he ends up killing Cameron’s brother, in a moment of blind rage and desperation.
So, why did Danny kill Cameron’s brother? It was a combination of factors – his vulnerability, his fear and anger towards people of color, and Cameron’s manipulations.
In the end, Danny’s actions serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of hatred and extremism. They also highlight the importance of critical thinking, empathy, and compassion in building a more tolerant and inclusive society.
In conclusion, American History X is a powerful film that tackles complex issues with nuance and depth. The question of why Danny killed Cameron’s brother is one that can only be answered by examining his character arc throughout the film. While there are no easy answers to this question, it is clear that Danny’s actions were influenced by a combination of factors – including his own vulnerabilities and the manipulations of those around him.