What Are You Lookin’ At Boy? 6 Of The Most Racist Characters In Movie History

Wednesday, January 4 by Steve Silverman

Derek Vinyard, American History X

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<p><span data-scayt_word=Vinyard (played by Edward Norton) is a dangerous neo-Nazi who preaches the gospel of hate to anyone who will listen. Vinyard shows his viciousness when he executes a black gang member who is attempting to steal his father’s truck by curb-stomping him without remorse. During his prison term, Vinyard starts to understand that his racism is misguided. However, because he is in prison, he can’t stop his younger brother from following in his footsteps. His younger brother is eventually murdered and Derek attempts to change his life direction as the movie ends.

Bill Gillespie, In the Heat of the Night

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A wealthy Chicago man is found murdered in Mississippi, and the Sparta Police Department has to solve the crime. When sheriff  Bill Gillespie (played by Rod Steiger) comes across Virgil Tibbs (played by Sidney Poitier) who is passing through the city as he travels back to Philadelphia, he is convinced that Tibbs has committed the murder because he is a black man with a lot of cash in his pocket. Gillespie’s deep-seated hatred gives way to embarrassment when he learns that Tibbs is a police detective from Philadelphia. Tibbs eventually helps Gillespie solve the murder and Gillespie’s racial hatred turns to respect for his colleague.