Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice


Skinheads, Punks and stereotypes!

When you think about Skinheads what comes to your mind?

Racism / violence / white / shaved hair

Watch an extract from Arte Skin Attitude documentary, 2003.

Part 1- Buster Bloodvessel’s interview. 2’26 – 3’11

  1. What strikes you in this interview?

    He says to be a skinhead you must be anti-racist /

    opposite of what we assume about skinheads

  2. List all the attributes of the skinhead style / attitude.

    To be a skinhead you must love Dr Martens / love football / ska / be anti-racist / more than any other subculture / the skin subculture is about dancing with anyone.

Part 1 – 5’50 – 8’39 – 9’05 – Lauren AItken’s interview.

  1. When did he arrive in England? Why? 1960
  2. What music did he play? Skin reggae / ska
  3. How did Black and White skinheads get on together?

    Got on well / danced together “til the morning comes”

  4. According to him where did ska come from? America New Orleans / boogie
  5. What does Buster add to the origins of ska? Rhythm & Blues / guitar shuffled /

    ‘rude boys’ + hard working class

  6. Where did the clash happened? 

    In the club / on the dancefloor / there was no discrimination

    Right wing / radical / National Front rose in public opinion during the Thatcher years / economc crisis late 60s early 70s.

Part 2- Simon 0’11 – 1’54

  1. What does he say about the skinhead haircut? From the army / criminals
  2. What happened to him after he shaved his head? How old was he? 13 / stopped
  3. / frisked / searched by the police
  4. How did he feel? Annoyed but proud / he felt ‘tough’
  5. What was the Skinhead’s reputation? Hated or admired / by teachers / parents
  6. > scapegoats / blamed for all the wrongs of society
  7. What was the consequence?

    Girls were attracted to them / felt a strong ‘bond ‘ united and strong

  8. How did they feel about their reputation?

    Powerful / drew attention

Part 3- Roddy Moreno’s interview. 1’11- 4’19

  1. Why did he decide to become an anti-fascist skinhead?

    To fight against fascist skins

  2. What happened in their first concert? A guy sang the nazi salute ‘he zieg heiled’
  3. How did the band react? They stopped playing and had a word with him

    and then they kicked him out

  4. What did ‘being a skinhead’ mean to them? Working class / know where you come from / be proud of it / anti-racist
  5. What did the Right Wing do? Seduce the young naïve ones
  6. What did they think about it? They disapproved
  7. What is the link between Skinheads and Jamaica? Without Jamaica skinheads wouldn’t exist
  8. What does he call racist skinheads? Boneheads (tête de noeuds)
  9. What did he decide to do after his trip to New York? to take a stand (prendre position)
  10. What does SHARP stand for? SkinHead Against Racial Prejudice

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 15.05.42 Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 15.05.23 1e2ef23f17e27c51c3d1c306999ca390 Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 15.09.25

“How much longer will people wear
Nazi armbands and dye their hair”

How Much Longer – ATV 1977 me start off by saying that I do not believe there was a direct link between punk and Nazi ideology or an attempt to propagate right wing views. Let me also say that I am coming at this from a London angle – the origin of UK punk – and I’m talking Punk Rock 1976-79.

I cannot confirm what political views individual members of bands held but as a whole Punk was not Nazi. It is also worth pointing out that when the far right in the guise of the National Front was perceived as a realistic political threat in 1978 many punk bands mobilised under the Rock Against Racism banner and played gigs and benefits.

What cannot be denied is the use of Nazi symbols, imagery and look in the initial styles and fashion of punk rock. And while these can be explained away as designed to provoke and shock, some more intellectually challenged punks may have actually believed them.


The evidence for saying there was is all pretty circumstantial. Without a doubt the swastika and nazi regalia was a commonly used symbol as fashion accessory among punks and band members in the early days. Malcolm Mclaren sold replica nazi regalia in his shop. The destroy tshirt designed by Vivien Westwood and Mclaren had as its background a large swastika. In the film Rock ‘N’Roll Swindle Sid vicious is regularly seen wearing a swastika tshirt and for some reason a pair of briefs with one on. Siouxsie was (in)famous for her nazi look often wearing swastika armbands and regalia playing with nazi imagery and other members of punk bands like Captain Sensible and Johnny Rotten wore nazi gear . Add to this the use of nazi symbols by punks /punkettes.

When people wore swastikas, I think that was more to shock than because of any racist overtone. The time when Sid Vicious went around a Jewish area in France wearing a swastika t-shirt, just to shock and outrage all the people there, I though that was going beyond whatever line you shouldn’t go beyond.



Reading about PUNKS

1- define punk style

music energetic and fast music / violent

/ aggressive / antisocial / misfits / outcasts

3- describe / define

clothes = chains / safety pins / tatoos / piercings / Dr Martens / Black leather jackets / braces ( bretelles ) Harrington jackets

music = Ska / reggea // ‘Oï’

attitude (political message? ) = anarchy / no future / anti-politics

4- How has your vision of punks changed?

Our opinion hasn’t changed except about racism.

Reading about SKINS

1- origins = Jamaica ‘rude boys’ / British working class = attitude

New Orleans / Boogie / Jamaica = music

style = suits / loafers/ creepers / Dr Martens / braces

evolution = split / clash / racist vs anti-racist

2- Explain last paragraph with ‘Soul Britannia’

Jamaica influenced ‘colonized’ British music

Spaces & Exchanges / colonized taking their revenge on the colonizers / reversed colonization

Are British street styles / sub-culture 60 / 70s appropriation / stolen from the West Indies or influence / inspiration?

3- What have you learned about skinheads?

They are not all racist and meaningless.

Understanding the use of Nazi IMAGERY

1- Does the narrator think punks are neo-nazis?

No he doesn’t / not all of them / some of them / a majority stood up against racism.

2- How does he explain the use of the nazi imagery?

In his opinion is a way to shock / just a question of provocation > too far?

3- Explain the last line “ I thought that was going beyond whatever line you shouldn’t go beyond.”

He refers to Sid Vicious who wore a swastika Tshirt in the middle of a French jewish area / he did it for the sake of provocation. Iconoclastic or too much?




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