The Aryan Brotherhood are one of the main antagonists of American History X and are based on a real-life prison gang and White Supremacist movement.
At first they sought to befriend Derek Vinyard after they saw he had Aryan tattoos and he joined them for about a year.
However Derek grew disillusioned with the gang after witnessing how they befriended Mexican gangs (despite claiming to be White Supremacists) and their involvement in narcotics - this ultimately leads him to go against them,and as vengeance the gang corner Derek in the prison showers, beat him and then rape him as "punishment".
Following the brutal beating Derek is shown to be in obvious pain and the Aryan Brotherhood leave him be, though the experience forever changes him and it also reveals the hypocrisy of Nazism in that the Aryan Brotherhood were the only prisoners to attack Derek, despite being white themselves (though it is revealed that the other non-White prisoners left Derek be by the request of Lamont, an African-American he had befriended).
- The Aryan Brotherhood are a real gang, one of the more infamous White Supremacist groups.
- The shower scene (and rape) continues to be controversial due to it being one relatively few male-on-male rapes depicted in film.