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The original skinhead subculture started in the late 1960s, and had heavy British mod and Jamaican rude boy influences — including an appreciation for ska, early reggae and soul music. The identity of skinheads in the 1960s was neither based on white power nor neo-Nazism, but some skinheads (including black skinheads) had engaged in "gay-bashing", "hippy-bashing" and/or "Paki bashing" (violence against random Pakistanis and other Asian immigrants).
The original skinhead scene had mostly died out by 1972, and a late-1970s revival came partly as a backlash against the commercialization of punk rock. This revival coincided with the development of the 2 Tone and Oi! music genres. The skinhead revival in Britain included a sizeable white nationalist faction, involving organizations such as the National Front, British Movement, Rock Against Communism and later Blood and Honour. Because of this, the mainstream media began to label the whole skinhead identity as neo-Nazi.
The racist subculture eventually spread to North America, Europe and other areas of the world. Groups soon emerged, such as the Hammerskins, and racist skinheads gained acceptance among other organized hate groups such as Church of the Creator, White Aryan Resistance and the Ku Klux Klan. In 1988, there were approximately 2,000 neo-Nazi skinheads in the US. The majority of American white power skinhead groups are organized either at the state, county, city or neighborhood level; the Hammerskin Nation (HSN) is one of the few exceptions, due to its international presence. According to a 2007 report by the Anti-Defamation League, groups such as white power skinheads, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, have been growing more active in the United States in recent years, with a particular focus on opposing non-white immigration, specifically from Mexico.
Style and clothing
White power skinheads, (and non-racist skinheads), are known for wearing Dr. Martens or combat-style boots, flight jackets, jeans and suspenders (also known as braces). In contrast to the mod-influenced Trojan skinheads, white power skinheads tend to wear higher boots (often with white shoelaces, although in many locales white laces indicate that the wearer is non-racist, traditional skinhead or anti-racist skinhead), T-shirts instead of button-up shirts, and army trousers or jeans instead of Sta-Prest trousers. They usually crop their hair shorter than the 1960s-style skinheads; often to grade 0 length or shaved off completely with a razor. White power skinheads generally have more tattoos than the skinheads of the 1960s, and these tattoos often feature explicitly racist content. Some wear badges, chains or rings featuring Nazi or white power emblems. In Germany and The Netherlands, the Lonsdale clothing brand has been popular among some neo-Nazi skinheads (although Lonsdale brand has been very popular with non-racist skinheads for decades). This is partly because the four middle letters of Lonsdale, NSDA, are almost the same as the abbreviation of Adolf Hitler's political party, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP). Punk-influenced Oi! skinheads also dress in a similar fashion as white power skinheads, minus the racist or neo-Nazi symbols.
Portrayals in films and videogames
- Made In Britain (1982)
- Romper Stomper (1992)
- Sökarna (1993)
- Higher Learning (1995)
- The Infiltrator (1995)
- Nattbuss 807 (1997)
- Tic Tac (1997)
- American History X (1998)
- The Believer (2001)
- Manhunt (2003)
- Skinhead Attitude (2003)
- This Is England (2006)
- Steel Toes (2006)
- Russia 88 (2009)
- Skinning (Šisanje) (2010)
- "White Power Music". Anti-Defamation League. 2005. http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/music.asp. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
- "Immigration Fueling White Supremacists". CBS News. 2007-02-06. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/06/national/main2440306.shtml.
- - New York Times - "Neo-Nazi Activity Is Arising Among U.S. Youth"
- National Geographic - "Profile of the New American Skinheads"
- Brown, Timothy S. (2004). "Subcultures, pop music and politics: skinheads and "Nazi rock" in England and Germany". Journal of Social History. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. http://archive.is/Tv6P.
- Old Skool Jim. Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set liner notes. London: Trojan Records. TJETD169.
- Marshall, George (1991). Spirit of '69 - A Skinhead Bible. Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 1-898927-10-3).
- Special Articles
- Skinhead History - the Tilbury Trojan Skins
- Monty Q&A
- 2 Tone Records
- skinhead clothing and skinhead fashion
- www.garry-bushell.co.uk - Oi! – The Truth by Garry Bushell
- Southern Poverty Law Center - Hammerskin Nation
- Phyllis B. Gerstenfeld, Diana Ruth Grant, "Crimes of hate - Chapter:Target recruitment of Nazi Skinheads" - p. 217, 218.
- Betty A. Dobratz, Stephanie L. Shanks-Meile, "The white separatist movement in the United States" - p. 69, 70.
- The New York Times. http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/race/061388race-ra.html.
- Encyclopedia of Gangs 2007
- Southern Poverty Law Center - "Skinhead Style is Back"
- BBC News - "Under the skin"
- Paterson, Tony (2006-03-22). "Lonsdale faces ban over 'neo-Nazi associations'". The Independent (London). http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article352747.ece.
- Diamond in the Dust - The Ian Stuart Biography. London: Blood and Honour England. 2002. http://www.skrewdriver.org/diamond.html.
- Dobratz, Betty A. (1997). "White power, white pride!": The white separatist movement in the United States. London: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8057-3865-0.