Re: R: RARA-AVIS: british terminology

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 09 Aug 2002

> Rene wrote:
> "Of course, since the 80's, skinhead has become synonymous with
> neo-Nazi, not just in the UK & Australia but the US & both Western
> Europe & Eastern Europe as well."
> Maybe synonymous by the media and/or the straight world, but certainly
> not within punk circles. Living just outside of DC, the home of
> Positive Force, I can tell you they are not even close to all

Even back in the context of the time/places I was mainly referring to skinheads were not all Nazis - I would describe most of the ones I came across as being apolitical, with a tendency towards extreme racist views. There were some "anti-Nazi" type skins who mostly came from the ska scene. As the skinhead scene wore on in Australia through the eighties it became more & more associated with racism & the last hardcore (visible) survivors of the scene were associated with org's such as the National Alliance. As far as I'm aware there's no skinhead scene in Australia, Nazi or not, although the look shows up occasionally as a style statement. I was generalising because I felt I'd already gone into a lot of detail for a topic of only tangential relevance to the list topic. To be honest though, the only skinheads I ever met that I liked were ex-skinheads. Without exception every skin I ever talked to was an extreme racist by anybody's definition. By skinheads I only mean skins who hang out with skins - in the eighties the look was not uncommon amongst inner-city boho's who generally made a point of letting you know they were left-wing, anti-racist & (hopefully) working class but these guys were not organised in any way, didn't hang out together & I think belonging to a gang, of whatever political stripe, is integral to being a skinhead. Having a quiff & sideburns doesn't make you a Tennessee truck driver. I have to admit though, it's been a hell of a long time since I would have had the foggiest about what goes on in punk circles. I didn't even know there still are punk circles. I've got 1 or 2 of those Richard Allen books but haven't read any. NEL churned out scores of novels featuring youth "cults" of the 60's & 70's - heaps of "biker" novels - I read a few of these when I was a kid - also skins, "suedeheads" & bovver boys (close cousins of original skins); & I can't recall what else. I recall the biker books as being entertaining reads when I was an adolescent & they may be worth a giggle now.

Rene, who doesn't want people to think he's prejudiced against skinheads, especially peace love & anarchy skins, with whom he shares certain spiritual ideals.

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