Twenty Years Since 'American History X': Anniversary Marks White Supremacy Resurgence

The Hollywood film that depicted young neo-Nazis in California is perhaps even more relevant today than in 1998.

One of Hollywood's rawest depictions of race relations, American History X has a scene that's still traumatic two decades since its release.

It's where neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) forces a terrified black man to put his jaw on the edge of a curb and stomps the back of his head.

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The critically-acclaimed film depicted how racism is passed on from one generation to another and how young minds can be poisoned by people they idolise.

Ed Norton and Edward Furlong in 1998's American History X. Image: Getty.

American History X celebrated its 20th anniversary this week and today the hate that fuels white supremacy is felt not only in the US but worldwide.

In America, 17 candidates who ran for elected positions this year are tied to various factions of the white supremacist movement, according to The Nation.

A recent study also found 11 million Americans hold 'alt right' views, which is roughly six percent of the population.

Last year, President Trump famously said there were "fine people on both sides" after white nationalists chanted racist slogans, displayed Nazi symbols and carried semi-automatic rifles when they marched on Charlottesville, Virginia.

One of the men attending the event, James A. Fields, rammed a car into a crowd of rally dissenters and killed counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32.

READ MORE: Trump Condemns 'All Racism' Ahead Of Charlottesville Anniversary

Neo Nazis, alt-right and white supremacists chant at counter protestors after marching with torches in Charlottesville. Image: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

In Europe last year, 60,000 people marched in Warsaw for Poland's independence day, many burning flares and carrying "White Europe" and "Clean Blood" posters.

There's also the Ukraine's growing Azov Regiment, a militia that trains local white radicals and recruits from countries like France and Brazil.

Closer to home, the white supremacist slogan "It's Okay To Be White" was adopted by Pauline Hanson for a (failed) motion in the Senate last month.

She urged her professional colleagues to acknowledge “the deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation”.

READ MORE: Every Senator Who Voted For Pauline Hanson's 'It's Okay To Be White' Motion

Pauline Hanson reacts during debate in the Australian Senate chamber to her "It's OK To Be White" motion. Image: AAP/Lukas Coch.

The issue has become enough of a problem in Australia that in 2012, anti-racism movement All Together Now created Community Action for Preventing Extremism [CAPE].

The country's only project of its kind, CAPE builds relationships with former white nationalists and engages with people who hold extreme far-right views.

It was established "to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of young people who are attracted to white nationalism and white supremacy".

Twenty years since American History X was released in the US, it remains one of the few major motion pictures to document the perils of white supremacy.

With the concerning ascent of global events, it will likely not be much longer until audiences are treated to more films of its kind.

Featured Image: Getty Images

Contact the author: samelia@networkten.com.au