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Skinheads, let’s know more about them!

This is an excerpt from the book “Hate Prejudice and Racism” by
Milton Kleg. It was published in 1993 by The State of New York
Press, Albany.

The Skinhead movement began in Great Britain during the late sixties and
has spread to the United States as well as Germany and other western and
central European states The rise of Skinheads in Britain was a white
youth reaction to the influx of Indians, East Indians, and other
individuals racially different from the majority of the Commonwealth.
Since the sixties, racial violence in Great Britain has been prevalent,
usually involving conflicts between immigrants and the lower middle
class whites.
The term Skinhead refers to the shaven heads of its members. In
the United States, Skinhead members generally range from approximately
11 years of age to 23. However, there are Skins, who, having immigrated
from England, are in their thirties. The estimated number of American
Skinheads varies from 3,000 to 5,000, but there may be as many as
10,000. In addition to the shaven head among male members, their
“uniform” consists of Doc Marten boots (“docs”), suspenders (“braces”),
tattoos (“tats” or “ink”), and flight jackets (“flights” or “bombers”).
Trousers may vary from drab green military fatigues to black jeans.
Emblems sewn on their jackets usually consist of the swastika, Celtic
cross, an American flag on either the left or right shoulder, a
Confederate flag on the opposite shoulder, and other insignia, such as
the South African three 7’a Occasionally, the halo crown W of the Church
of the Creator may be seen. More recently, the shaven head has been more
or less limited to new members and may no longer be regarded as a factor
in recognizing a member of the movement. Male members refer to their
shaven haircuts as buzz cuts. Females, called Skinettes or Birds, also
shave their heads but leave the bangs and fringes on the back and sides.
These haircuts are called buzz fringes or just fringes.
From initiation to exiting the movement, the period in which
most teens are active as skins lasts about six months. Those who remain
in the movement for any appreciable length of time may become entrenched
and eventually move onto adult groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, another
neo-Nazi group, or an Identity Church. The latter is less appealing, due
to the more restrictive religious orientation. The Ku Klux Klan,
Metzger’s WAR movement, and Butler’s Aryan Nations have made concerted
efforts to recruit Skinheads One major success among adult racist groups
has been the recruitment of Shawn Slater into the Klan. Slater moved in
rank from novice to Exalted Cyclops within approximately one year. An
Exalted Cyclops heads a local chapter or Klanton.
The Skinhead lifestyle contrasts sharply with that of gangs.
Skins are opposed to hard drugs, but are heavily into beer drinking.
Drugs are viewed as something limited to the “mud races.” Skins also
emphasize monogamous relationships between male and female members,
whereas some gangs share their females. Should a young woman enter the
movement and pass herself around to male members in order to become more
acceptable, her membership generally will be terminated.
In terms of organizational structure, the Skinheads are a loose
affiliation, and rivalries among subgroups are almost non-existent.
However, one must distinguish between Skinheads and Sharps. Sharps dress
like Skinheads and claim to be Skinheads against racism. Sharps are
described as “Shit talkers,” and tend to avoid actual combat with
Skinheads. Nevertheless, a fight between these two groups should not be
construed as an internecine conflict. Likewise, Trojan Skinheads, who
are homosexuals, should not be confused with authentic Skinheads. In
fact, Skinheads not only view homosexuals as perverts, but they have
been known to act out violently against the homosexual community.
Race or, more specifically, white racial purity is the main item
on the Skinhead agenda. “Being down for one’s race” refers to defending
one’s white racial pride and white family or nation. The most common
activities among Skinheads are the distribution of racist materials,
demonstrations, writing graffiti, fighting, and partying. Public
demonstrations usually take place as counter demonstrations against such
occasions as a Martin Luther King Day parade. There also have been joint
Klan-Nazi-Skinhead rallies in some cities.
Early speculations on the background of youths who join the
Skinhead movement suggested that most of the members are from broken
homes and the lower middle class. They also were described as school
dropouts and loners who had a propensity for violence. While this is
still true for a number of Skinheads, there have been some notable
changes. More and more middle-middle and upper middle class, full-time
students have entered the movement. Furthermore, many of these youths
come from intact households. Currently, it may be said that the profile
of a Skinhead does not differ significantly from any typical teenager.
The Skinhead movement provides a group identity for white youths
along somewhat the same lines of minority gangsQBloods, Crips, Vice
Lords, and Disciples. But this is the only similarity. The concept of
race is a mark of pride and superiority around which members can rally.
It also serves as an outlet for some youths who are seeking their own
identity in counter position to the values and mores of their parents.
In other words, it offers an opportunity to engage in youthful rebellion
common among adolescents.
Another reason for joining the Skinhead movement is the
resentment created by the perception that minorities are given
preferential treatment in schools and in the workplace. In some cases,
white students find the Skinhead movement a psychological and tangible
defense against the threat of minorities, especially those who have
perpetrated acts of violence against whites, either in gangs or
individually. Regarding the latter, one should keep in mind that when an
ethnic or racial minority group member commits a wrong, that wrong often
is generalized to all members of that group, especially, if it reinforces
some traditional stereotype.
Skin can be different!Skin can be different!Skinhead with scooter


1. Sean Lewis - July 3, 2008

Whoever wrote this article is obviously deranged and/or is specifically trying to denegrate the skinhead movement, which is NOT a majority racist movement. It is in fact the opposite. Every fact in this article sounds like it was just made up by the author and was never properly researched before being published. What a bunch of lies and half-truths. WAY OFF…

2. enraged by idiocy - November 27, 2008

I don’t even know where to start criticizing this article.

The skinhead movement was born out of the british class system and influenced by the immigrants who where moveing into the country at the time. The racism that worked it’s way in later was politically motivated to capitalize on the fact that many of the members where undereducated and over zelous.

I know it’s viewed as a less credible source but this article on wiki is far more accurate.


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