Skinheads are generally middle class people who lionized working-class
whites. They can be recognized by their shaven heads, pale faces,
and the Nazi symbols their have tattooed on their bodies. They
express violent hatred towards African Americans, Jews, homosexuals,
and other minority groups. Being a skinhead gives them a sense
of power and superiority over others. They have been active in
both the U.S. and Europe. In the past twenty years they have been
responsible for about 45 murders.
Skinheads first began in the 1960s in Great Britain. Gangs of
tattooed teenagers in combat boots, started hanging out in the
streets. At first their style was a symbol of a tough patriotic,
anti-immigrant, working-class attitude, but later groups of Skinheads
began accepting Neo-Nazi beliefs. But not all Skinheads became
racist. Many openly also opposed racism. This was a time when
the groups was not focused mainly on white supremacy.
Today, Skinheads focus mainly on white supremacy. They claim
to defend the white pride. They usually distribute literature,
attend demonstrations, writing graffiti, fighting and partying.
They are into heavy metal rock and are known for attending concerts
and starting riots there.
Many youths are thought to have joined because of their backgrounds.
Usually they come from dysfunctional families from the middle
and lower classes. They are also high school dropouts and loners.
But more and more have joined from upper classes and more full
time students have joined. There is something about being a Skinhead
that is attracting the youth of today.
Those who are young are influenced at an early age because of
their troubled environment. Usually the violence goes back to
the parents. In a troubled society, the young people turned to
what they perceived as comfort, security, and acceptance in the
presence of Skinheads. The Souther
Poverty Law Center recognized this trend and addressed it
in its Tolerance Program.