AMERICAN HISTORY X Prepared by David McKenna August 9, 1996 INT. HOUSE – CLOSED EYES The young man’s beautiful blues slowly open. A girl moans from the next room. EXT. STREET CORNER – A LARGE TIRE turns the corner and splashes through a puddle from an earlier rain. 2PAC SHAKUR blares from inside. INT. HOUSE – TIGHT ON THE EYES They snap wide as the woman in the next room MOANS even louder. EXT. VENICE BEACH BEACH HOUSE – A WET NIGHT A slight buzz emanates from the power lines and street lights above the humble VINYARD household. A black 1986 Jetta GLI with sharp rims rests in the driveway. EXT. WET STREET – A BLACK TRANS AM 2PAC’S rapping builds. The window-tinted drive-by slowly heads down the residential street, cruises past the Jetta in the driveway, and slows to a stop. The music stops and TWO BLACK MEN with SKI CAPS spring from the car. They move with a purpose. The larger figure, crowbar in hand, moves to the Jetta. The GUN wielding passenger hurries to the front door and stands guard. Inside the car, a SKI MASKED DRIVER with WHITE HANDS sparks up a joint. \ INT. BEDROOM – DANNY VINYARD’S EYES The sex happening in the next room makes it difficult for Danny to sleep. Next to the digital clock that reads 3:07AM, the clean cut 14-year-old flips to his side. Danny’s room is decorated with athletic and academic trophies. One basketball trophy above his head reads "VENIVE HIGH SCHOOL – FRESHMAN MVP." To the side, a TEAM PICTURE where Danny holds the ball in the forefront. Another white kid stands behind – the rest all black. A whisper from outside grabs Danny’s attention. He sits up in the dark and looks through the blinds. He SEES the man trying to jar open the trunk and spots the car with the driver. DANNY: Holy shit. Danny quickly bolts out of his room and into the adjacent bedroom down the hall. He barges through the door. INT. DEREK’S BEDROOM – A HUGE AMERICAN FLAG TIGHT ON DEREK VINYARD. The young man has a shaved head, a trimmed goatee, and a SWASTIKA on his right tit – the center of the symbol crossed perfectly at the nipple. On the top of Derek in the bed is his barely-of-age girlfriend, STACEY. The covers are completely off and a BLACK ROSE is tattooed on her shoulder. Danny watches in awe. DANNY: (softly) Derek! Danny walks over and shakes him. Startled, Derek forcefully grabs his little brother’s arm. DEREK: (controlled) What? Stacey stops and looks over. Frustrated, she rolls off Derek and onto her side. STACEY: Fucking pervert, Dan. DANNY: There’s a black guy outside Der…breaking into your trunk. Derek, muscled and tattooed, jumps out of the bed and quickly puts on his skivvies. He reaches under his mattress and pulls out a SIG 45 semi-automatic pistol. He grabs a pair of glasses off the night stand and places them on. DEREK: How long have they been out there? DANNY: Not long. STACEY: Who? DEREK: Nobody. Relax. He checks the cartridge. There are no shells. DEREK: Shit. Where are my boots? DANNY: I don’t know. Stacey sits up quickly from the bed. Derek spots his BLACK COOTS by the closet. STACEY: (concerned, to Derek) Who’s out there, Daddy?! DEREK: Not right now, honey. Please. (to Danny) How many? DANNY: One…I think. DEREK: Is he strapped? DANNY: Huh? DEREK: Does he have a fucking gun, Dan? DANNY: I’m not sure. Derek reaches into the boot, pulls out a seven clip cartridge, and fists it in. DEREK: Okay. Is there a driver? Danny nods his head yes. Derek quickly slides his feet into his UNITED BLACK COMBAT BOOTS. DEREK: Stay the fuck here. He looks at his girlfriend and says nothing. She nods with confidence. TIGHT ON DEREK. He storms down the hall. The intensity on his face is alarming. He stops at the front door and grabs the knob, he walks over to the small kitchen window and looks out front. EXT. HOUSE – DEREK’S POV THE BLACK GUARD turns toward the driveway to see what’s taking his partner so long. BLACK GUARD: (whispering) Come on, man! The trunk pops open. The man lifts up a towel and sees a KILO OF COCAINE. He smiles. INT. HOUSE – DEREK AT THE DOOR The guard has his back to him. Derek thinks, takes a deep breath, and goes. EXT. HOUSE – THE DUEL Derek throws open the door and before the black man standing guard can wheel, Derek, TOUNGE pressed violently against his TEETH, buries three bullets in his chest. The force propels the man six feet backwards. INT. JETTA TRUNK – THE BAG OF COKE The other man, stunned by the exchange of gunfire, quickly grabs the stuff and CHARGES back to the awaiting Trans Am. In tight skivvies, and without hesitation, Derek buries a bullet in the other man’s shoulder. The man falls to the ground, the bag of cocaine dropping safely to the grass. From the getaway car, the driver fires off a late volley of bullets but they miss Derek wide. Derek faces the car, walks towards it, and fearlessly fires shot after shot at the driver as the car speeds down the street. INT. VINYARD HOUSEHOLD – DARKNESS Davina and Doris Vinyard scream and yell in the background. Totally oblivious, they can’t place the direction of gunfire. DAVINA: MOM!!!! DORIS: STAY DOWN, HONEY! STAY DOWN! INT. BEDROOM – DANNY’S POV From the rain soaked window he watches Derek face his wounded prey – crawling on the ground. On the ground behind Danny is Stacey. STACEY (O.S.): Get down, Danny! TIGHT ON DANNY. He curiously stares at his brother from his bedroom window. Adrenaline pumps through his blue eyes. Derek, in a manic sweat, hovers over the man. His shadow moves even closer as the gun reflects off the street lights. TIGHT ON DEREK’S FACE. Eyes blistering. The frame FREEZES. FADE TO BLACK. THREE YEARS LATER ANCHOR (O.S.): Earlier this evening…LA County Firefighter Dennis Vinyard was shot and killed while putting out a fire in the City of Industry. EXT. POLICE STATION – EARLY MORNING A black man in a suit exudes power as he passes two cops, goes through the automatic doors and into the station. The news segment plays over the man’s clattering shoes against the hall floor. ANCHOR (O.S.): "The death of a hero", many from the community are calling it. But still the questions, who and why, remain. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – SIX DETECTIVES They all sit in a darkened room and watch the television screen. The clock on the wall reads 7:33AM. CAPTAIN JOHN RASMUSSEN, middle-aged with slicked black hair, takes a long drag off his cigarette and drops it on the floor. DARKNESS. DR. ROBERT SWEENEY ENTER THE DIM ROOM. His black masculine face is a combination of power and control. He watches the t.v. and stares at Rasmussen and the others like they were once his enemies. INTERCUT LIVE ACTION WITH VIDEOTAPE RASMUSSEN (sarcastically to Sweeney): I’m sure you remember this. Sweeney gives him a look and we shift back to the screen. EXT. VINYARD HOUSEHOLD – A LIVE BROADCAST – VIDEOTAPE A YOUNGER DEREK, flat top and no tattoos, stands next to the reporter. Derek wears a Santa Monica City College Basketball practice jersey drenched in sweat. Towel around neck and extremely disturbed, he stares at the ground. REPORTER: To my right I have Lieutenant Vinyard’s oldest son Derek. (to Derek) How do you feel about all this, son? DEREK (composed, into the camera): "How do I feel?!" Well…I think it’s typical. REPORTER: Typical how? DEREK: Well...look at our country for chrissake. It’s a melting pot of criminals. Black…brown…yellow…whatever. REPORTER: So you’re saying…the shooting of your father is "race" related? DEREK: Every problem in this country is "race" related. It’s either the blacks, the Mexican’s, the Chinese…every non-Protestant group in our society. (then) Look at immigration…welfare…AIDS…it’s all the fault of the non-white. INT. POLICE STATION – A GROUP OF DETECTIVES They all watch the OLD NEWS SEGMENT in awe. One even smiles. COP #1: Holy shit. RASMUSSEN: Classic Derek Vinyard, gentlemen! That point right there! DR SWEENEY rises and walks up to Captain Rasmussen and quietly stands at his side. Rasmussen acknowledges, albeit reluctantly. REPORTER (O.S.): Most of these issues you’re referring to though son are related to… EXT. VINYARD HOUSEHOLD – YOUNG DEREK He stares at the reporter, anticipating. DEREK (interrupting): Don’t say poverty right now cause that’s not it. They’re not a product of our environment either. Minorities don’t give a fuck (beep) about America! They’re here to exploit…not embrace. INT POLICE STATION – TIGHT ON VARIOUS FACES Sweeney, Rasmussen, and the rest of the suited detectives attentively watch the screen.. RASMUSSEN (O.S.): (over the reporter’s question) Once the press got a hold of this…it became the Gettysberg address for hate groups all across the country. TIGHT ON THE SCREEN. Derek grabs the mike from the reporter and explodes in a fit of frenzy. DEREK: My father was doing his fucking (beep) job and he got killed because some fucking (beep) nigger (beep) with a gun took advantage of the fucking (beep) system! Plain and fucking (beep) simple. Derek stare into the camera, drops the mike to the ground, and walks over to his mother DORIS. The camera follows him as he puts his arm around her and escorts her back inside their Venice residence. The camera pans back to the reporter who just stands there, speechless. INT. POLICE STATION – THE SCREEN Rasmussen ejects the tape from the VCR and the screen turns to fuzz. Cops chuckle in amazement. RASMUSSEN: Curtis? Get the shades, will you? A voice acknowledges with a "Yes sir" and light leaks in to the gloomy conference room. Officers in the background quietly sip hot coffee. A young MARK FUHRMAN prototype, hungry and slick, gestures sincerely to his left. YOUG COP: (softly busting up) This guy’s fucking great! RASMUSSEN: (continuing intensely) Gentlemen. This is Bob Sweeney. He’s Principal over at Venice High and for some time now he’s worked with Crips…in and out of the can. SWEENEY: (nodding) Hello. COP #1: Where is Vinyard? Is he still at Metro Detention? SWEENEY: Not any more he’s not. RASMUSSEN (V/O): Vinyard just made parole, gentlemen…after three and some odd years. FLASH TO: EXT. METROPOLITAN PRISON – THE VINYARD’S Doris, Danny, and Davina wait outside as a few reporters film in the background. RASMUSSEN (V/O): And Mr. Sweeney has contacted me in advance about a possible situation that may exist. Danny walks to meet a long-haired Derek and they smile and hug. Derek is then hugged by Davina and Doris. Not one of them loosens their hold. SWEENEY (V/O): Prepare for the worst…cause I have a pretty good understanding of what these guys have in mind. CUT TO: INT. STATION – TIGHT ON THE YOUNG FUHRMAN He smirks at Rasmussen and Sweeney almost like he’s excited. YOUNG VOP: So what are we saying exactly? SWEENEY: We’re sayin’ that if Vinyard goes down…you can expect bloodshed. On more fronts than you think. The concerned group stares at the intimidating Sweeney. COP #1: Why are we here, Captain? RASMUSSEN: It’s not exactly LAPD policy but I want 24-hour surveillance on Mr. Vinyard. For the time being. COP #2: We don’t have the manpower for--- RASMUSSEN: I know, Lieutenant. But when I hear war…I get kind of scared. I’d like to say that I at least tried to stop it beforehand. SWEENEY: There are kids out there who have been waiting for this day for a long time. RASMUSSEN: So stay on your toes. CUT TO: EXT. VENICE BEACH BOARDWALK – MORNING PEACEFUL DAY by PENNYWISE blasts on Danny’s walkman headphones. The day is cloudy and overcast but that doesn’t bother the local SURFERS. A twosome paddles north to get a better break on the next set. Danny watches as he skateboards aggressively down the strand. His appearance is changed, now resembling a young version of Derek. He stops for a moment, scratches his head with his cigarette laden hand, and takes a deep drag. Head shaved to a quarter of an inch, he wears a PLAIN WHITE BACKPACK with punk bands scribbled all over it. Your standard Sex Pistols, DK, The Germs, G.B.H., AND Adolescence in black. Outlined in red is the largest name, DICK NIXON. CUT TO: EXT. VENICE HIGH SCHOOL – THE BIKE CORRAL Kids from all walks of life park their cars, lock their bikes and head off to class. EXT. HALLWAY – TIGHT ON THRASHED LOCKER Danny throws his SKATEBOARD in, slams the door, and turns to face LIZZY, a pretty, redheaded freshman. LIZZY: Hi Danny. DANNY: Hey. The two fondly smile at each other. CUT TO: INT. CLASSROOM – A WHITE MALE TEACHER He sits in front of the quiet STUDY HALL class. A door opens and a well-dressed boy enters and the teacher a small piece of paper. The tall, intimidating man looks up. TEACHER: Vinyard? The class knows better than to "ooh" and "aah." Danny grabs his backpack and casually strolls up to the front. He grabs the note, snaps his gum, and walks out. TIGHT ON THE PIECE OF PAPER. Out of all the "time convenience" choices on the paper, the box checked is "NOW PLEASE." DANNY: Shit. Danny puts his gum in the paper and balls it into a locker. INT. SCHOOL BATHROOM – A URINAL Danny smokes a cigarette and pees simultaneously. Outside, a voice pleads "It wasn’t me!" DARYL DAWSON, pale and thin, is shoved into the bathroom and he falls to the tiles. LITTLE HENRY, a young black kid, enters with two of his buddies. Danny quickly zips and faces them. LITTLE HENRY: (to a terrified Daryl) Little fuckin’ rat, this guy. Tellin’ bitch Baker I’m fuckin’ cheatin’? DARYL: I didn’t say anything, Henry! I swear! LITTLE HENRY: I oughta cap your mother fuckin’ ass right now! Little Henry cracks Daryl in the face and practically knocks him out with one shot. A bleeding Daryl struggles to his hands and knees behind Danny as Henry and his pals cackle. Danny simply defends Daryl by staring into Henry’s eyes and taking a drag. After a few moments, Henry and his boys exit. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY – DANNY He sits in a chair next to an office door marked DR. ROBERT SWEENEY – PRINCIPAL. Danny glances at the white trash secretary as she types and talks about Oprah on the phone. TIGHT ON DANNY. He sighs and quietly listens to the conversation through the crack in the door. MURRAY (V/O): I do not have a problem with him as an individual, alright? I don’t. SWEENEY (V/O): Oh shit Murray sure you do. Let’s be honest and maybe we’ll get somewhere. You hate this kid. MURRAY (V/O): If I went around hating kids Bob I woulda quit this job ten frickin’ years ago. SWEENEY (V/O): You hate what he stands for. INT. OFFICE – THE PRINCIPALS The bespectacled, short-haired MURRAY ROSENBERG, 48, looks over and spots Danny listening outside. Murray walks over and shuts the door. He looks at DR. SWEENEY, who now has his jacket off. He points to a typewritten report on the desk. It is titled MEIN KAMPF. "Daniel Vinyard – American History" is in the upper left hand corner. MURRAY: It’s genius racism, Bob! At its finest! This paper made me sick. SWEENEY: Murray…it says in your syllabus…right here in front of me…that they could do their assignment on any book related to Civil Rights. Tell me if I’m readin’ it wrong. You even emphasized the word "any." MURRAY: That wasn’t my intent. SWEENEY: Let me finish, Murray! I try to give you answers but you keep jumpin’ in! MURRAY: Okay. I’m sorry. SWEENEY: The fact that he chose Mein Kampf is a problem…I’m not disputing that. MURRAY: His brother probably put him up to it. SWEENEY: I don’t give two shits who put him up to it, Murray. He chose a racy topic…I won’t throw him out for that. Murray sighs and takes off his glasses. MURRAY: Don’t let him walk scot-free here like he always does. For his sake Bob…not mine. You might be all he has left. (relenting with a smile) we both know the family a little better than we’d like to. SWEENEY: (definitively) You more than me, big guy. MURRAY: Fine. Please do something though. Sweeney stares at Murray. CUT TO: EXT. OFFICE THE DOOR OPENS - TWO MINUTES LATER Murray walks out and turns back to Sweeney. MURRAY: Thanks, Bob. SWEENEY (O.S.): Okay. Get in here, Dan! Danny and Murray make hostile eye contact. DANNY: I knew it was you. SWEENEY (O.S.): Shut up and get your ass in here! Danny relents. INT. OFFICE – DANNY ENTERS Before he even gets through the door he’s chastised. SWEENEY: (pissed) What’s it gonna be, Dan? DANNY: What’s what going to be? SWEENEY: I’m sick and tired of all this petty shit your pullin’. I’ve had it. DANNY: (confused) Well…I don’t know. SWEENEY: You don’t know what? DANNY: (looking away) Nothin’. SWEENEY: You said it, all right. Sit down. Danny does what he’s told. Sweeney stares at the teenager, smirks and leans back in his chair. SWEENEY: (calmly) How are things at home? DANNY: Fine. SWEENEY: How’s basketball? DANNY: You know I quit. SWEENEY: Yeah I know. But I wanted to hear it come outta your mouth. DANNY: Well now you have. SWEENEY: Why’d you quit, Dan? Danny shrugs at Sweeney and looks away. Sweeney takes a sip of coffee, takes a breath, and continues. SWEENEY: How’s your brother? DANNY: Fine. SWEENEY: Derek was a student of mine…you knew that, right? DANNY: Yeah. SWEENEY: Honors English. Was one of my favorite students. He was very smart Dan…like you…but he hung out with a bunch of strung-out knuckleheads. Also like you. That’s probably why he ended up in the can, hunh? Danny looks at his principal, conceding. Sweeney hold up Danny’s paper in disgust and shakes his head. DANNY: (defending) Look. Sweeney. I followed directions and wrote an "A" paper. What happened with Derek has nothing to do with me. SWEENEY: That’s where we disagree, Danny. It has everything to do with you. DANNY: How so? SWEENEY: What do you think? (after a beat) You think these guys have just forgotten about everything? DANNY: Let us get on with our lives, man. SWEENEY: Hey. I’m not worried about Derek. DANNY: Okay then. SWEENEY: I’m worried about his little brother. DANNY: Why? SWEENEY: Why? Look at yourself. I should expel you indefinitely right now and put your ass in the street. DANNY: You don’t think I could handle it? SWEENEY: I think it would kill you. You’re not tough. The second a brother pulls a gun on your ass you'll be hollerin' for Doris. Danny smirks at the reference. SWEENEY: So here’s the drill. Take it or leave it. I’m your history teacher from here on out. This is my class. Call it American History…X. I see your ass once a day. Any more…any less…and you’re a memory at Venice High. Clear? DANNY: Clear. SWEENEY: Okay. First things first then. I’m not even gonna read this bullshit. DANNY: It took me a week to read Mein Kampf! Come on Sweeney! It’s important! SWEENEY: It’s Dr. Sweeney! And I want a new one on my desk tomorrow Dan, or you’re gone. Danny sulks quietly in his chair. DANNY: Who am I doing it on then…Doctor? SWEENEY: Derek…Alan…Vinyard SMASH TO: EXT. VENICE SHORELINE – LATE AFTERNOON A series of intercuts shows activity in and around the pier. A HMELESS LATINO MAN searches in a trash dumpster. OPEN VENDORS sell tie dye and water bong paraphernalia. A FAT WOMAN walks past eating a hot dog. BLACK GANG MEMBERS play basketball in their low-rider shorts and boxers. TIGHT ON DANNY. He skateboards down the boardwalk, performing tricks and spinning the board. From afar, he sees the group of black gang members shooting hoops. He stops, sparks up a cigarette, and watches them play. DANNY (V/O): Venice Beach didn’t always look like this. It didn’t. I mean…our dad used to take us down here to run…before he got shot…and it was cool, you know. My brother Derek owned this place. Since then though…the Crips, man— Danny stops as LITTLE HENRY from earlier and OLDER BROTHER JEROME catch their breath. Danny doesn’t flinch. He and Little Henry exchange cold eyes. Jerome, in a blue bandana, sips from a 40 oz. Beer. Soon, they both resume playing. DANNY (V/O): Jerome Hastings and his little brother Henry. I know Jerome’s a Shoreline Crip and I’m sure Little Henry’s pretty damn close. TIGHT ON DANNY. He watches the basketball action as he takes drag after drag off his Marlboro Red. DANNY (V/O): The Shoreliners moved west from Inglewood and South Central and they’ve really just…taken over. Especially at my high school. The Venice Locos are another big gang but they stay in bumfuck Mar Vista most of the time. And then there’s the The Disciples of Christ. The D.O.C….Kind of a subdivision of the Fourth Reich Skinheads North…but gnarlier. Jerome and Little Henry argue with the players on the other team. Danny’s cigarette crackles sharply. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BASKETBALL COURT – A GAME – FLASHBACK The sun beats down on the blacktop. The players are a mixed assemblage of black and white, jumbled together on different teams. DANNY (V/O): My brother Derek was pretty much the backbone to D.O.C….before all the bullshit. TIGHT ON DEREK. He has a shaved head, a GERMS t-shirt on, and eye goggles. Derek brings the ball upcourt as LAWRENCE, a monstrous black man in a blue bandana, blatantly HAND CHECKS him. LAWRENCE: Bring it on, boy. Derek yo-yo-‘s the ball in place and grins at this irony. DEREK: President Lincoln was a good man, hunh? LAWRENCE: Fuck you. Derek blows by Lawrence easily for a left handed layup. Big Lawrence fouls him hard but it still goes in. SETH: Ten a piece! Nice left, Daddy. The chubby SETH RYAN slaps Derek’s hand enthusiastically as they get back on transition. Derek’s stares at Lawrence as long-haired CAMMERON ALEXANDER, in a GREEN BAY PACKER JERSEY, STP HAT and JEANS, also congratulates him. CAMMERON: Beautiful fucking left! LAWRENCE: Let’s go, O! All we need is one! Lawrence and Derek lock eyes, a look exceeding competitive boundary. A look filled with rage. DEREK: Dee up now, Seth! Use that fat ass and keep him out! Seth and the opposing player bang to get position underneath. LAWRENCE: (to Derek) This is my house! And I ain’t fuckin’ losin’ in my house! Clear it out! The six-five POWER FORWARD dribbles beautifully up the court – his teammates clearing out the key. Defensively, Derek is solid. DEREK: You got nothin’. You do the same move every time. LAWRENCE: You mean this one? He tries to pass Derek but Derek’s defense is stifling. With another tricky move, Jerome inadvertently puts his LEFT ELBOW into Derek’s face, sending him quickly to the pavement. EVERYBODY STOPS> SETH: That’s fuckin’ offense! CAMMERON: All the way! LAWRENCE: Get the fuck outta here! He was movin’ his feet! A bleeding Derek rises, diplomatically. He stares at the bigger player. DEREK: (threateningly) I’ll go if you want to. LAWRENCE: What’s that? DEREK: If you wanna go…let me know. Don’t be throwin’ fuckin’ elbows. SETH: Derek? LAWRENCE: (smiling) I think that would be a mistake, man. DEREK: I don’t give two fucks what you think. Just let me know if you want to. SETH: Derek! Come on, man. DEREK: Shut the fuck up, Seth! (to Lawrence) What’s it gonna be? LAWRENCE: Jesus, man. It was an accident, a’ight? A bleeding Derek removes his goggles and walks over to Danny and short-haired STACEY standing courtside. She has a water bottle and a towel for him. He wipes his BLOODY LIP with the towel, takes a sip, and kisses her. Cammeron, sweating hard from his heavy attire, stares at the two. CAMMERON: (grimacing) Father V? Are you copacetic? Derek ignores him and looks at Danny and Stacey. DANNY: You gotta call offense on that. DEREK: Not on point game you don’t. STACEY: (gesturing to Lawrence) Fuck that, Daddy. That chucker can’t be doin’ that shit…especially to you. DEREK: Not on point, honey. He turns back to the court and walks over to Big Lawrence. He stands in front of him and checks the ball in. Cammeron looks over his shoulder at the beautiful Stacey. She looks back, uncomfortably. DANNY (O.S.): Dee up, Cam! DEREK: (to the group) Tens! Dee up right now! Ball in! Lawrence takes the ball, passes it to the wing, and quickly gets it back. Lawrence dribbles up top, makes a marvelous 180 spin with the ball, and pulls up for a ten foot jumper. It’s REJECTED by Derek. Derek grabs the ball off the fast break and DUNKS IT. DANNY: (amazed by the dunk) Holy shit! Everybody courtside goes nuts, especially after the last exchange of words. DEREK: (to the other team) Fuck you! Get off my court! This is my house! Seth, Cam, and his other teammates congratulate him. Derek STARES DOWN a recovering Lawrence and the rival team. He walks to the sideline and slaps his brother’s hand. DANNY: (smiling) Yeah! Fuck…yeah! Derek takes a drink of water, spits it out, and says nothing. Players randomly come up and pat him on the back. "That was your show" from a friendly looking black man. Derek doesn’t even acknowledge him. Then, an admiring "nice game" from a few other dorky whites. Derek nods. DANNY’S POV. He watches Cammeron from afar talk to a recovering Lawrence. Danny notices cam stare back over Stacey, methodically. He looks at an approaching Seth. SETH: (to Derek) I hear you got the "mother load." DEREK: Intervene in something like that again you fat tub of shit and I’ll kill you. SETH: Oh. You will, hunh? DEREK: What do you think? SETH: All right. Seth looks at him and walks away with his tail between his legs. Danny watches Stacey congratulate Derek with a kiss. STACEY: (pulling off slightly) What "mother load" is he talking about? DEREK: Nothin’. Don’t worry about it. (smiling to Lawrence) Goddamn! How sweet it is! Young Danny proudly stares at his brother. CUT TO: EXT. VENICE BOARDWALK – PRESENT – DANNY’S POV Danny awakens from his daydream. The black players now stare at him. Danny puts his board down and skates down the boardwalk. DANNY (V/O): Cammeron told me once that the Crips would take America over one day. That white people are all too afraid to stand up for themselves. Maybe he was right. EXT. SMALL BEACH HOUSE – A PATIO Danny skates up to the gate and shoots his board up to his hand. He passes two SURFBOARDS on his way towards the back. EXT. SIDE ENTRANCE – TWO 14-YEAR-OLDS Stoned LIZZY, the redhead beauty from earlier, and her blond friend KAMMI, stumble out and laugh. KAMMI: Hey Dan! DANNY: Hey. Lizzy is immediately on him as Kammi sparks up a cigarette in the background. LIZZY: You going tonight, right? DANNY: Where? LIZZY: That party. DANNY: What party? KAMMI: Liz! Come on! We’re late, man! LIZZY: Go there. I wanna see you. The two girls take off. INT. TINY, MESSY BEDROOM A BONG JASON, a 17-year-old punk with a shaved head, holds the bong in one hand and a lighter in the other. He sings a verse from INSTITUTIONALIZED BY SUICIDAL TENDANCIES on the stereo. His partner in crime, CHRIS, sprinkle COCAINE on the top of the bong load and Jason finally lights it. The two wear the pants of their full wetsuits – with the tops hanging down. DANNY (O/S.): There’s dick for waves. CHRIS: I don’t care. I just wanna get wet. Jason sucks it through, clears it, and holds it in. The two quickly turn behind them and face the bed. TIGHT ON DANNY. He sits on the sandy, unmade bed and spins a basketball on his finger. CHRIS (O/S): (continuing to Dan) So what was this now? DANNY: Henry Hastings almost beat the shit out of Daryl Dawson. He would’ve too if— CHRIS: Little Henry the negroid? DANNY: Yeah. JASON: Daryl Dawson is a pussy faggot. He stops and looks at Jason as he exhales. CHRIS: Want a "Coco-Puff," Vinyard? DANNY: I already told you. I gotta bail. JASON: (smiling) You’ll be able write that fuckin’ bullshit paper in ten minutes on this shit, dude. Guaranteed. (reacting to the hit) You’ll be able to take on the fucking world, man! CHRIS: One puff to get the juices flowin’? Danny thinks to himself and stands up. DANNY: I can’t. I have to do this shit. CHRIS: You don’t have to do anything, dude. DANNY: Yes I do. CUT TO: EXT. BOARDWALK – DANNY, JASON AND CHRIS – LATER The three skateboard down the strand, Jason and Chris with their surfboards and suits. Ahead an OLD DRUNK WHITE WOMAN tows a succession of SHOPPING CARTS. As Jason passes, he smacks her with his surfboard and knocks her to the ground. They all laugh and Danny breaks off and heads east on Rose. CUT TO: INT. DUMPY APARTMENT – A PINK BLANKET DAVINA VINYARD, the raspy middle sister, takes the wretched blanket and carefully places it over DORIS, her sleeping mother. There’s a knock on the door and Davina, in a large UCLA T-SHIRT and panties, rushes to get it. INT. APARTMENT – THE OPENING OF A DOOR – NIGHT She opens the door and tries to shut it immediately. FAT SETH, from the game earlier, forcefully pushes it back open, a BOX in hand. DAVINA: What are you doin’ here? SETH: Gotta take a shit, bitch. Step aside. DAVINA: (examining him) Jesus! Are you sure you can fit through the door? SETH: Fuck off. Seth pushes inside, passes Doris, and heads down the hall. EXT. DUMPY APARTMENT – NIGHT Danny skates up to his residence and looks at a car across the street. Two plainclothes cops from the earlier meeting sit in their car and attempt to be inconspicuous. INT. THREE BEDROOM APARTMENT – DANNY ENTERS The apartment is messy but still has the traces of a woman’s touch. He peeks inside the living room and sees Davina in a chair doing homework. His mother DORIS sleeps on the couch opposite. DAVINA: What’s up? DANNY: Nothin’. How is she? DAVINA: She’s sick. He turns and walks down the hall. On the left he opens up the bathroom door. INT. BATHROOM – THE CAN Seth sits on the toilet and toys with a VIDEO CAMERA. The empty box sits on the floor. Danny stares at Seth’s GUN on the bathroom counter. SETH: What are you lookin’ at? DANNY: I’m still trying to figure it out. SETH: Come in here and I’ll show you, maggot. DANNY: Fuck off. When’d you start carrying? SETH: Hey. I’m dropping the kids off at the pool, junior. Shut the damn door! Danny quickly grabs his nose. DANNY: You need to go to the doctor! He slams the bathroom door and faces the closed bedroom behind him. INT. BEDROOM – DANNY’S POV He opens the door and hesitates. His muscular brother Derek stands there in jeans and black boots. LONG HAIR slicked back to his shoulders, everything about him is different now. He looks through THE CLASSIFIEDS. DANNY: What’s up? THE PHONE RINGS IMMEDIATELY. Derek glances up at his brother, turns around and grabs the receiver. Above Derek is Danny’s surfboard, hanging on ropes hooked to the ceiling. DEREK: (into the receiver) Hello. Yeah? Hi. Across Derek’s back is a massive tattoo that reads "PECKERWOOD." All the smaller tats covering his arms and shoulders are inconsequential next to PECKERWOOD. Soft music quietly plays in the background. DANNY STARES AT THE TAT. DANNY: Who is that? DEREK: (into the receiver) Can you hold on a minute? (to Danny without turning) What’s up? DANNY: The pigs are outside. DEREK: I know. I think they got me around the clock. Derek cautiously leans over the computer, looks through the blinds, and stares at the UNMARKED CAR. DEREK: (quickly) Is Seth here yet? DANNY: Yep. DEREK: Okay. I’ll be out in a few minutes. Danny throws his backpack on the bed and exits. Derek puts his ear back up to the receiver. DEREK: Yeah. Sorry. What’s up? INT. BATHROOM – TIGHT ON SETH He points his Glock 9mm at the mirror. The thick kid grabs the camera, points it at the mirror, and films himself. SETH: Drop the t.v., nigger. He smiles, reaches over and flushes the toilet. INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUE ACTION Danny walks through the living room and sees his mother asleep on the couch. Doris, once beautiful, is now aged and graying. NYQUIL, PEPTO BISMOL, two PRESCRIPTION CONTAINERS, and a spoon rest next to her on the coffee table. FAMILY MATTERS IS ON THE TELEVISION. Davina hasn’t moved. DANNY: Turn the channel, Davina. DAVINA: No. It helps her sleep. Seth walks out of the bathroom, into a small dining room, and looks at Davina’s revealing panties. SETH: Turn that shit, brainchild. DAVINA: (under her breath) Whatever you say…FREE WILLY. TIGHT ON SETH. Small tattoos completely cover Seth’s forearms. A BLOODY SNAKE is halfway tucked under his black t-shirt. Gut lightly hanging out, the bald skin stares through the view finder of the brand new 8mm camera. SETH: This thing is fuckin’ sick, man. Two hundred speed…playback view finder— INT SMALL KITCHEN – VIDEO CAMERA POV He focuses on Davina’s CROTCH. Seth pans back to Danny as he walks in the kitchen and look through the refrigerator. He pulls out a leftover piece of steak and gnaws on it. DANNY: (chewing) Goin’ to Cammeron’s party tonight? SETH: Is Davina’s ass water tight? Danny laughs. DAVINA: Hurry up and leave, Goodyear. You’ve taken your dump now go. SETH: (smiling at Danny) Listen to her. You callin’ me a blimp, you fuckin’ Democrat?! DAVINA: Yes! Danny takes a bite and laughs at Seth. SETH: Hey. Keep Cameron’s house fuckin’ low. DANNY: I’m already there. SETH: Oh yeah? You ask Derek? DANNY: (begging) Noo…but…he’s got two kegs. SETH: Well…you can think of me drinkin’ ‘em then when you’re studying with fuckin’…White Trash in there. Davina scoffs and Seth refocuses the camera on her. DANNY: That girl’s goin’, too. SETH: Ask Derek, dude. Where is he? I haven’t even seen the fucker yet. Davina finally looks up from her homework and catches the pervert. He quickly moves the camera back to Danny. Davina crosses her legs and looks at Seth, shocked and disgusted. DAVINA: You’re not even human. DANNY: (to a laughing Seth) Is Cam still playing with DICK NIXON? SETH: Yep. Seth drums his hands on the dining room table. Danny takes another bite off the steak – smearing barbecue sauce all over his mouth. Seth points the camera at Dan. SETH: Hey. Hold still. I wanna ask you a few questions. DANNY: (looking into the lens) I got homework, Seth. SETH: Two fucking seconds, dude! I wanna see how this thing records. Danny sits across the table from Seth. He looks uncomfortably into the lens and takes another bite. SETH: Okay. Tell me your convictions. DANNY: Excuse you? SETH: Tell me some of the shit you believe in fuckbrain before I pistol-whip you. Danny thinks as he looks into the camera. VIDEO CAMERA VIEW – BLACK AND WHITE The barbecue sauce all over his mouth looks more like blood. DANNY: (smiling) Okay. I believe in death and destruction and chaos and filth and greed. SETH: What else? DANNY: I believe in the Disciple of Christ. SETH: Are you absolutely, 100 percent positive? DANNY: Yes. SETH: What else? DANNY: I believe in my family. SETH: Why? DANNY: "Respect your father and your mother. Whoever curses your mother and father…is to be put to death." Matthew 15-4. SETH: Good. What else? Tell me what I want to hear, ass hole. DANNY: I don’t know what you wanna hear. SETH: Yes you do. DANNY: You mean that stuff about your mother? Davina CACKLES in the background. SETH: You’re just begging for a beating. Danny smirks and sparks up a cigarette, unfazed. SETH: Do you believe in Adolf? INT. LIVING ROOM _ DAVINA She puts down her homework and looks over at Seth. DAVINA: Seth? Cut it out. SETH: I’m not fuckin’ talkin’ to you, Davina, shut up! (filming Danny) Do you believe in Adolf? DAVINA: Get the hell outta here! Doris stirs— DORIS: Davina, please. DANNY: (to Davina) Yes! I believe in Adolf! Seth smiles at the youth and speaks intimately. SETH: Who do you hate, Danny? Tell the millions of people watching. DANNY: I hate everyone that isn’t white Protestant. SETH: Why? DANNY: Because they’re a burden to the advancement of the white race. Some of them are all right…the one that are productive…but— SETH: None of them are fuckin’ productive, Danny. Get that in your head right now. They’re all a bunch of freeloaders. Now…what don’t you like about them? DANNY: I feel threatened by them. DAVINA: They feel threatened by you. SETH: (ignoring her) What else, Danny? And speak intelligently you little queer faggot. Davina’s attention is unwavering. DANNY: I hate the fact that it’s cool to be black these days. SETH: Good. DANNY: I hate this fuckin’ hip hop influence on white fuckin’ suburbia. SETH: Good! DANNY: I hate Tabitha Soren and all of the Zionist MTV pigs telling us we should all get along. Save the rhetorical bullshit, Miss Hilary Rodham Clinton. It ain’t gonna happen. Seth stops filming and looks at the young man. He smiles at him with distinct revelation. SETH: That’s the best shit I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth. TIGHT ON DAVINA. She stares at the two hate mongers. DAVINA: (from the living room) I feel sorry for you, Danny. You don’t stand a chance. SETH: Shut up, Davina. DAVINA: You shut up, you poison to society. Get out of our house. SETH: Your brother requested my presence. DAVINA: Derek hates you, Seth. Haven’t you figured it out yet? DEREK (O.S.): How do you know who I hate, Davina? TIGHT ON DEREK VINYARD – SILENCE. He’s a striking presence with his scruff, tight t-shirt and tats hanging down his arm. A rundown jacket wraps around his waist. DAVINA (O.S.): I just know. DEREK: Maybe you do. Derek removes a cigarette and lighter out of Danny’s shirt pocket and sparks it up. Seth stands and smiles at his old friend. SETH: How are you, man? Fuckin’ A. Long time no see. Look at that fuckin’ hair. Derek virtually ignores Seth’s greeting. DEREK: (to Danny) Did you do a book report on Mein Kampf? DANNY: Yeah. DEREK: Why? DANNY: I don’t know. Because I felt like it. DEREK: Oh. You felt like it? Well I feel like smacking you. Would you mind if I did a report on that? DANNY: (like Butthead) Uhh…yeah. DEREK: Get a fucking clue, you idiot. DANNY: How’s you find out about it? DEREK: None of your fucking business. SETH: I thought it was a pretty good idea. DEREK: That figures. You’re even more stupid. SETH: It’s great to see you too, Der, you fuckin’… Derek stares down at Seth – who’s too afraid to finish. Derek looks back at Danny. DEREK: Don’t be a dick. Sweeney cares about you. DANNY: was that him on the phone? DEREK: Yep. So wise up. SETH: Sweeney’s a fuckin’ nigger on a power trip, Vinyard. That’s what he was like when we were there and that’s how he is now. It’ll never change either. A nigger is a nigger. (pointing the camera at Derek) Now smile and say…"monkey." DEREK: Give me the camera, Seth.. Derek stubs his cigarette in the ASH TRAY> SETH: Let me play Dan back for you. DEREK: I already heard enough. Give me the camera. SETH: I want to see you through this. DEREK: Seth? You have three seconds to give me the goddamn camera before I strangle your fat ass. SETH: I think it’s extremely important that you hear this though, Der. Come on! Derek quickly clasps Seth’s NECK and forces him out of his chair and to the ground. SETH: (begging) Son of a bitch! Okay! Jesus Christ! Seth releases the camera and Derek grabs it. Seth: (recuperating) Fuckin’ asshole, man. Derek checks out all of its function. SETH: (desiring approval) Go ahead, man. I stole it for you. Derek puts the camera up to his eye. IN SLO MO – DREAMLIKE SEQUENCE Derek pans the camera around the kitchen and stops at assorted pictures of the family. Derek focuses on a FAMILY SHOT of Doris, Derek, Danny, Davina, and DENNIS VINYARD. TIGHT ON DENNIS. The handsome man smiles in a coat and tie. Derek PANS to a picture of a dirty and rugged Dennis and a young Davina, wearing her father’s FIRE HELMET. Derek pans the video camera. He stops on Danny who’s now in the sink washing barbecue sauce off his hands and face. Derek concentrates on the RUNNING WATER. The sink faucet becomes a POWERFUL SHOWER FAUCET crashing down. He turns off the camera and hands it back to Seth. DEREK: Here. Keep it. A bewildered Seth stares at him. SETH: You’re bein’ weird, dude. DEREK: Oh yeah? Derek’s tongue presses against his teeth. Fear sparks in Seth’s eyes as Derek approaches. SETH: (afraid) What the fuck did I do? DAVINA: (sensing danger) Derek? Doris suddenly starts in with a COUGHING ATTACK. Derek stops and the moment is lost. DORIS (O.S.): What time is it!? Derek walks into the living room and sits down beside his sick mother. Everybody follows. INT. LIVING ROOM – DORIS ON COUCH The middle-aged woman is half asleep on the couch. Caught under a severe spell of the flu, Derek CARESSES her head. DEREK: Where’d you get this couch? DAVINA: Piece of shit garage sale. Derek checks out a significant tear on the right cushion. DEREK: We gotta get the hell outta here. DAVINA: Sounds good to me. DORIS: (softly, once more) What time is it? DEREK: Night time. Are you going to live? DORIS: I think so. I need a cigarette. DEREK: No way. You smoke three packs a day. That’s why you’re spittin’ phlegm. Doris coughs once again and spits green into her napkin. SETH: (astonished) Jesus Mrs. Vinyard. I think a lung just came up. Everyone laughs. DEREK: That’s good though. Get all of that mucus outta there. (after a beat) Just wait until we take off, will you? Everybody laughs – including Doris. Derek tenderly puts his hand on his mother’s cheek. DEREK: You’re drowsy from all those drugs. DORIS: I’m high as a kite is what I am. DANNY: You got any more? DORIS: Daniel? I know you got homework to do. DANNY: I’m goin’ in a second! Relax. SETH: (interjecting to Derek) Hey. I’m puttin’ the camera in your room and we’re outta here. Derek hardly acknowledges as Seth walks down the hall. DORIS: (whispering to Derek) I don’t like him in this house. DEREK: I know you don’t. DAVINA: He’s a fuckin’ loser, Nazi scumbag. DANNY: (defending) No he’s not. DEREK: Yes he is. Open your eyes. Danny looks at Derek, perplexed. DANNY: Why are you goin’ out with him then? DEREK: Why are you so curious? DANNY: Can’t help it. DEREK: Try. Danny pats his brother on the shoulder and walks off. DANN: Okay. I’ll see you later then. DEREK: (over his shoulder) Not at Cammeron’s you won’t. DANNY: Come on, Der! It’s gonna be— DEREK: Forget it, Danny! It ain’t gonna happen for you tonight. DAVINA: Is Stacey gonna be there? Derek looks at her, caught completely off-guard. DANNY: (back to Derek, diverting) Can I use your computer? DEREK: Go ahead. Danny walks off, crosses Seth’s path, gets shoved into the wall, and reacts like it’s an everyday occurrence. Derek kisses Doris’ forehead, smiles and stares into her eyes. DEREK’S POV – TIGHT ON A SMIRKING DORIS. MATCH CUT TO: INT. PRISON VISITING ROOM – DORIS – FLASHBACK She holds a receiver to her ear, a look of false strength in her eyes. DORIS: Are you making it okay? Derek sits opposite from Doris and nods, not wanting her to think otherwise. DORIS: How’s the biker? Keeping an eye out on you I hope. DEREK: (nodding again) Jimmy’s a good man. DORIS: Davina got accepted to UCLA last week. They share a long, magical smile. DEREK: Make sure you put some of that money towards it. DORIS: I’m planning on it. Even though I— DEREK: Mom? Relax. It’s going to good use. What about Dan? DORIS: (after a beat) I don’t know. He says he’s good but…Cammeron’s name keeps popping up. TIGHT ON DEREK’S EYES. That’s the last thing he wanted to hear. DORIS (O.S.): I can’t monitor him all day, Derek. I wish I could but I can’t. He needs you. BACK TO: INT. VINYARD APARTMENT – PRESENT Derek smiles at his precious mother. SETH (O.S.): Hey? Are you back on fuckin’ earth yet? DEREK: What? SETH: Can we go soon? DEREK: Yeah. Right now. (to the girls) I’ll be back early. Derek looks out the front window. He sees the two cops outside, oblivious. Derek follows Seth out the SIDE WINDOW as if it was planned. They jump and quickly dart down the alley. INT. APARTMENT – TIGHT ON DORIS She thinks to herself and closes her eyes. Derek looks at the COPS and drops into the passenger’s seat. Seth starts the engine and drives away. CUT TO: INT. DANNY’S BEDROOM – A DESK Danny’s attention is everywhere except his homework. He walks back out of his bedroom. INT. HALLWAY – DANNY’S POV He watches Davina complete her homework on the couch. Doris, on the sofa opposite, tries to sleep. DANNY: Hey. DAVINA: Hey what? DANNY: Come here. DAVINA: What? DANNY: Come here for a second! Danny looks at her. The wiry, pretty scholar sets her homework aside and follows him down the hall into… INT. BEDROOM – TWO SINGLE BEDS She sits on the edge of DANNY’S bed. Danny hands her his syllabus. DAVINA: I got shit to do, Dan. DANNY: Just read it. She sighs and begins to read it out loud. DAVINA: "American History X. Take home paper as assigned by Principal Robert Sweeney." (to Danny) Why is he giving you homework? What happened to Murray Rosenberg? DANNY: Just read the thing. DAVINA: "Describe in detail your opinion of the historical event that took place in the early morning of October 4th…1993." What’s that? DANNY: What do you think it was? DAVINA: I didn’t know it was like this. DANNY: I know. DAVINA: (continuing her reading) "Before and after…how has this event helped or hurt your present perspective concerning life in contemporary America. Use the standard five paragraph format…stating your thesis in the introduction…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. (to Danny; amazed) He can’t do this. DANNY: It’s already done. THE PHONE RINGS. Davina quickly reaches over to pick it up. Danny stares hard at his sister. DAVINA: Hello? Hello? Yeah? (after a beat) What do you want, you fuckin’ --? Danny snatches the receiver from her. DANNY: Who is this? DAVINA: (upset) That same asshole who keep callin’ Danny hangs it up. DANNY: What did he say? DAVINA: (afraid) He doesn’t say anything! (then, referring to the paper) What do you want from me on this? DANNY: Will you do it? DAVINA: Eat me, Dan. DANNY: Come on! Dick Nixon’s playin’ at Cammeron’s tonight. DAVINA: Forget it! I have a spreadsheet due. DANNY: Goddammit! Davina walks to the door and looks back to her brother. DAVINA: (frustrated) What’s the matter with you? You wanna be a loser your whole life? Not receiving a response, she walks out the door. DANNY: (to himself) Fuckin’ asshole Sweeney. TIGHT ON DANNY. The frustrated kid sits and thinks to himself. He slowly begins to strike the computer keys. DANNY (V/O): People look at me…and they see my brother. CUT TO: EXT. UCLA CAMPUS ALLEY – AFTERNOON – FLASHBACK TIGHT ON SKINHEAD DEREK. He looks at a newspaper and reads to himself. DANNY (V/O): (snapping the keys) That’s how things have transpired since my father was murdered. Derek now reads the article out loud. DEREK: (smiling) "University Officials approved over $15,000 in funding for the Gay and Lesbian Student Union, The Bruin learned yesterday." (looking up from the paper) This is fucking hilarious! He looks over at SETH who kicks a man as he painfully lies on the ground. The man wears a PINK POLO SHIRT. Derek’s tongue presses hyperactively against his front teeth as his boot strikes the helpless man after Seth. DEREK: (reading in disbelief) "Robert Gibbons, President of the G.L.S.U., declared the funding a major victory for gay students across the nation." A smiling CAMMERON stands in the b.g. in a white COWBOY HAT and a DALLAS COWBOY JERSEY #8 with "Aikman" on the back. Cam has his arm around Danny. DEREK: (to Cammeron) Can you believe this shit? CAMMERON: It makes me wasn’t to vomit. DANNY’S POV. He stares at the sobbing man as he rolls around in pain. Cammeron laughs as Derek KICKS him again. DEREK: (reading) Said Gibbons – "Gays are one of the most pivotal on-campus organizations and we…" (frustrated, to the man) What the fuck are you saying!? CAMMERON: (to the man) You’re such a pretty little thing. You know that? SETH: He’s beautiful. DEREK: How about I interview you, you little flamer? Hunh? (then, smiling) Do you like big red nipples that stick out a half fuckin’ inch? Do you? Derek kicks the tortured man – dirtying his shirt further. SETH: Fuckin’ pink shirt faggot pussy. DEREK: How about a thin, beautiful back? With tiny little freckles? Derek kicks him again – tongue pressed against teeth. Cammeron continues to laugh. DEREK: A tight, wet pussy?! How could you not like a tight, wet pussy?! The man cries and yells on the ground as Derek kicks him again and again and again. Danny observes his brother’s power as horrified STUDENTS watch from afar. SETH: Instead you prefer a nice, hairy, ass. Seth kicks the man a final time. CAMMERON: (laughing) With pimples all over it. (looking up) PIGS! Simultaneously, two SQUAD CARS turn the corner and sound their sirens. The four quickly scatter. TIGHT ON A FLEEING DANNY. He sprints alone through the side of a building. He enters an alley and, anticipating another SQUAD CAR, jumps into a DUMPSTER.