When you here the term Skinhead you probably think about young rebels
wearing big black boots and Nazi symbols. These happen to be a few trademarks
but across the world “Skinhead” refers to a diverse cult of young people. The
origin of this cult goes back to the 60’s in England, where menacing-looking,
shaven-headed and tattooed youths in combat boots began to be seen in the
streets. This cult has matured into a large collection of smaller gangs across
33 countries. The ages of members range from 13 to 25 in which half the members
are hard-core activists and the rest supporters. This cult is tied into
political and other violent and nonviolent groups, suck as the White Aryan
Resistance, KKK, populist Party, British National Party, and several others.
They get support from so called punks and football (soccer) hooligans known as
“hools” to create riots and violence. From the creation of this cult until
today it has supported violence, starting with beatings with boots and small
weapons, evolving today into a terrorist like cult armed with deadly military
Just like gangs in the U.S. skinheads also fight among each other. These
fights are actually where most deaths by skinheads occur. And just like gangs
skinheads have several different beliefs and methods of expression. These
types of skinheads range from racist and violent to groups which are political
but against racism and violence. The members come from a diverse range of
lifestyles among broken homes, poor families, and alienated youngsters. They
like the brotherhood of the gangs which they are missing from home. Being a
skinhead is not a hobby for the weekends but a lifestyle which ids full of
violence and hatred, wreaking havoc on their towns to express their beliefs.
The Oklahoma City bombing brought home to American people that no country
is immune from terrorism. Although thought to be tied into larger extremist
groups, the actual bombing was the work of only a few people. Although they are
not responsible for this bombing, the neo-nazi skinheads impose these type
threats to their community. Nowhere do the neo-nazi skinheads by themselves
constitute a mass-movement. The danger posed by these young racist thugs lies
in their taste for violence. Skinheads across the globe have committed numerous
murders, firebombing and other crimes of violence against innocent victims whom
they deemed to be of the wrong race, religion, nationality, or sexual
preference. Their goal whether in Los Angeles or Berlin is a racially pure
society like that of the Third Reich.
Contrary to their claim to represent the working class youth, skinheads
come from widely varying economic backgrounds. Their roots often lie in
domestic instability; a high portion of skinheads come from broken homes, or
single parent families. Their gangs often serve as surrogate families for
their members. Often youngsters join these groups because it is a place where
they can be in an environment which supports their views and beliefs. Skinheads
frequently live in communal homes and apartments. Those who live with their
families often do so under tense conditions. In February of this year two
brothers were accused of killing their mother, father, and younger brother.
After the murders they fled to Michigan where they stayed with other skinheads.
When captured they had nazi symbols and slogans tattooed all over their bodies.
This illustrates the domestic discord which can arise from a family trying to
turn their sons away from their hateful way of life.
The nazi ideology and violent behavior of skinheads has caused fear and
anguish in every community they have infested. There are ways to counter these
gangs before or after they have infested a community. Germany along with other
countries have found that if immediate action is not taken against these small
groups then the effect is a dangerous escalation off skinhead gangs and
violence. They found the best way to counter was through tough-minded law
enforcement . The U.S. and other countries have made the decision to form a task
force which had succeeded in convicting numerous skinheads. This type of tough
law enforcement has also resulted in a decline of skinhead violence. The
bottom line is that where ever skinheads operate, their desire for hate and
violence makes them a devious and dangerous force in the community.