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Neo-Nazism in "American History X"

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American History X is about two brothers, Danny and Derek Vinyard. Danny is following in his brothers known footsteps of being a Neo-Nazi, hating everyone who is not a white Protestant. Derek is released from jail 3 years after his brutal attacks he made on two African American men. After his release, Derek tries his best to get Danny to understand the importance of stopping this harsh movement of Neo-Nazism.To get Danny to understand, Derek explains all the cruel things that he endured in prison, along with how he grew to become a better man with a new outlook. Some of the Social Psychology topics brought into this movie were attitude change, aggression, discrimination, and group behaviors. The attitude change was displayed clearly when Derek went from being portrayed as a Neo-Nazi to a non-prejudice man.

Aggression was brought into this movie full forced from multiple characters. Derek killing two African Americans; Derek getting beat in jail; Derek beating up his old Neo-Nazi leader; Danny getting shot. Aggression played a huge part in this film. Discrimination played a big part as well. Derek and Danny, along with quite a few others, discriminated against anyone who was not a white Protestant. There was an immense amount of hate, even from the other end of the spectrum. African Americans equally did not care for the Neo-Nazi’s. Lastly, group behaviors were brought into this film.

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Neo-Nazism was the prejudice group that sprung into action by attacking many different races. This group even when so far as to break in and destroy a grocery store ran by Korean man.The turning point of the movie came with a great attitude change. Danny was headed down the same path Derek was before jail, by being influenced by the racist brainwashing. While in jail, Derek joins a group of other Neo-Nazi prisoners, but soon becomes discouraged in this group because of the inter-racial drug deals between the different races in prison. Derek then befriends Lamont, an African American inmate who gives him tips on how to survive in prison. While becoming close to Lamonts, Derek runs into a gruesome situation with fellow Neo-Nazi’s for turning his back on them. Derek learns to keep to himself while still befriending Lamont for the rest of his sentence. Derek realizes the unfair treatment of African Americans in their society, when listening to Lamont explain what he is put in jail for. Once he is released, Derek explains to Danny the wrong in their past actions.


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