American History X Quotes

Monday, July 25 by Travis Petersen

"American History X" is a powerful film about hate, racism, and redemption, and there are many memorable American History X quotes that illustrate the film's power. The story of an ex-skinhead, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) getting out of prison and trying to save his younger brother from the going down the same path, the film's American History X quotes show that people can change but maybe the world cannot. Here are some of the more memorable American History X quotes.

  1. "I hate anyone that isn't white protestant." This line comes from Danny Vinyard, the younger brother of Edward Norton's character, as he's being grilled on his skinhead principals by Seth (Ethan Suplee), a skinhead of his brother's generation. It shows how indoctrinated he is, that the answer comes automatically, almost without the feeling one associates with hate, and is a powerful example of the film's message through American History X quotes.
  2. "Has anything you've done made your life any better?" This line comes from Bob Sweeney (Avery Brooks), speaking to Derek about turning the corner, away from his hatred. This is a turning point in the film illustrated by this American History X quote, a powerful, poignant moment in the movie when Derek is at his lowest low.
  3. "That's it. Now say good night!" This quote comes from the film's opening scene, a flashback to the night that Edward Norton's character's actions cause him to go to prison. It is followed by an act of violence so vivid it cannot be shown, but what the audience can see in its mind is just as terrible, punctuated by this powerful, cold American History X quote.
  4. "My conclusion is: Hate is baggage." This line is perhaps the most important of all American History X quotes as it shows Danny too has reached his turning point. It comes in voiceover at the conclusion of the film, lending hope even as the film ends tragically.

Readin the American History X quotes only gives a portion of the picture, as the film's mix of stark black and white and vivid, blasted-out color adds a whole new distinctive level to the story telling. It is a film that should be seen to be believed.

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