20 Apr 2022


Media Impacts on Race, Class, and Gender in Society

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The American History is a film that is in the form of crime drama, and it was released in the year 1998. Tony Kaye directed the movie. The two main characters are Danny and Derek, and they are brothers from a white race. The brothers support the Neo-Nazi movement that is referred as the skinhead association that is rooted in white supremacy beliefs. Even though the main characters are young people with a brought future prospect, they get recruited in an uncivilized organization that is called the neo-Nazi or skinned head group. The skinhead association is involved in the abuse of minorities. The movie depicts the white race as insensitive, hateful, violent, and as people who lack tolerance. However, the minorities are portrayed as tolerant, understanding and gentle people.

Danny teacher asks his students to write about any book that entails human rights. However, Danny's paper is a subject of discussion between the teacher who is a Jewish and the principal who belongs to the black community. Some racism crimes are committed as well as remarks that characterize the movie. The father of the two white brothers was murdered by a black man and this motivated Derek to join groups that promoted racism. It was during this period that he brutally killed two black men who were trying to steal his car. 

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The film demonstrates racial tension and its negative impact on the society. Derek was imprisoned for three years, and the environment too has a mix of races. In prison, he gets the chance to appreciate the kindness of the man from the black community and receives a brutal treatment from a white man serving in the same prison. The film depicts racism from two perceptive that is with regard to the white race and Derek’s quest for revenge for the wrongs done to him that include the murder of his father and the two men who were attempting to get away with his car.Derek reformation and try to change his brother perception depict efforts counter racism and reject neo-Nazism, thus promoting equality and justice. The movie attempts to educate the audience on the impact of racism that is a kind of narrow thinking which can lead to hate crimes and violence. Another theme that is portrayed in the movie other than racism is the gender issue. Derek was raped by a member of the neo-Nazi group, and this also made him question the underlying beliefs (Turchik & Edwards 2012). Derek is regretting his past life as well as ideological beliefs that only ruined part of his life. He guilty of the problems he brought to his family and hopes to change his brother's perception. The movie has not dwelt much in the development of the black characters and has portrayed most of them as thugs and antagonists ("An Analysis of ‘American History X’ & Its Contemporary Relevance", 2016).

My help is about black house helpers working in the white people’s homes. The movie begins when the daughter of the White family, referred as Skeeter who has just graduated from college decides write a book that focuses on the struggles that the maids go through in their work face opposition by her own mother who thinks that she should be finding a husband instead of pursuing a career.

The white women have a poor image of the black women, and there is a case in which a friend of Skeeter asks her to consider putting ad advertisement on the newspaper that pertains the benefits of a having separate lavatories for house helper. She does not like the idea because she believes that the black maids deserve change and respect of their human rights. The house maids distrust their employers. For instance, Skeeters mother fired the long serving maid, and she does not want to tell the truth about the cause. It would take Skeeter, a lot of convincing to win the heart of the black maids as they were unwilling to share their stories due to their fear of retribution from their employees. The black maids are depicted as having a low self-image and low confidence. However, as the movies progress, they come to appreciate who they are and their rights. Minny, one of the maids, is empowered to the point that she was able to leave her abusive marriage together with her children. Social class is threatened. In the movie, black maids work for in the white households, and this depicts social class. Initially, women in the movies view each other in a mistrusting, and they are less cooperative. The social class gap is also wide, but with the Skeeters secret project, women come to the point of appreciating each other, and they can identify with each other's problems, for instance, they attend a charity meeting to help the African child (Ebert, 2016)

There is also an aspect of gender inequality in the movies, whereby men are businessmen and other powerful positions while women are mostly housewife who are driven by the desire to please their husbands. Men in this film are depicted as dominant figures in the political arena as well as violent brutal in the household like Minny’s husband. Women value marriage more than a career as described by Skeeters who advises her daughter to find a husband (Ebert, 2016).

In conclusion, the two movies have covered some important issues that pertain races and perception. The American History X has clearly demonstrated how racism can be destructive and it represents a small kind of thinking that does not help the society in any way. The support film has shed light into the social class that exists in the society, and this has been illustrated well by the white and black women. The black women serve in the white household. Similarly, their relation with the women at home is based on mistrust, suspension. Besides, there is a great need for friendship, and a good example is Cecilia who is looking for a friend.


An Analysis of ‘American History X’ & Its Contemporary Relevance . (2016). The Film Magazine Retrieved 14 December 2016, from http://www.thefilmagazine.com/american-history-x-and-its-contemporary-relevance/

Ebert, R. (2016). The Help Movie Review & Film Summary (2011) | Roger Ebert . Rogerebert.com . Retrieved 14 December 2016, from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-help-2011

Turchik, J. A., & Edwards, K. M. (2012). Myths about male rape: a literature review. Psychology of Men & Masculinity , 13 (2), 211.

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