Perhaps you met youth groups with shaved heads, in identical black jeans and camouflage jackets without collars, in high army boots, with the flag of the slave-owning Confederation sewn on the sleeve? This is skinheads, or else skinheads. They call themselves the short word "skins". Now they almost do not write about them, but among teenagers of big cities they are already a legend.
The first skinheads appeared in England in 1968. The current followers would be surprised to learn that their predecessors got along well with mulattoes and blacks. The fact is that skins appeared as a working, not a racial subculture, directed against both the official culture and in peak with many alternative trends. For example, they considered rockers "unreal" because they were a thunderstorm only on weekends, and on weekdays they worked hard in the office. Whom skinheads didn’t like - “Paki” (Pakistani). And not as foreigners, but as shopkeepers. And negros and Arabs, who worked with skinheads in some factories, were their children to them.
The first skinheads were not skinheads in the literal sense of the word, just their short haircuts with pots contrasted with the then-fashionable long hair. The style of clothing was not “militaristic”, but proletarian: coarse coats or short coats with leather yoke, coarse trousers with a “eternal arrow”, long knee-length pants, zoot jacket and heavy, durable high boots of construction workers and dockers. No followers of the first skinheads were found, and by 1973, when the guys had matured and got families, the movement had gone to "no."
Skinheads of the "first wave", the 60s of the XX century
Skinheads were revived in the late 70s, when the Margaret Thatcher government liquidated entire sectors of the economy, which led to an unprecedented increase in unemployment and unrest in the so-called depressed regions. New skins were no longer a working aristocracy, but a declassified medium, brought up not on relaxed reggae, but on aggressive punk rock. These guys beat all immigrants indiscriminately because they "took their jobs." The neo-Nazi ideologues worked with new skinheads. Skin clubs appeared, for the first time the slogan “Let's keep Britain white!” Sounded.
Then skinheads of the “first wave” got out of their apartments, enraged by the fact that they began to associate their movement with the fascists. The fights between “old” and “new” skinheads took on the character of street riots (especially in Glasgow). The result of these collisions was the appearance of two skin movements - on the one hand, the Nazi-skins (“new”), on the other - the “Red-skinned”, “red skins” (“old”). Externally, the red skins differed only stripes with portraits of Lenin, Mandela, Che Guevara and sometimes red laces in shoes. They received distribution in England, France, Poland, Spain. Natsi-skins took root in Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, Canada, USA, and later in France, Denmark, Belgium.
Hoxton Tom McCourt, bass guitarist of The 4-Skins, 1977
In America, there were groups of skinheads-whites, skinheads-blacks, skinheads-Puerto Ricans, skinheads-Jews, skinheads-Latin Americans. In Germany, the Nazi-skins became famous not only for the beatings of migrant workers (foreign workers, mostly Turks and Kurds), but also for their killings. At the same time, the judges, who were more afraid of the “red terror”, showed rare favor to the skinheads (in the 80s, in Germany, skins were convicted only once for the murder of the Turkish Ramazan Avsi in summer 1986).
In the meantime, skinheads became a political force: they smashed anti-fascists, dealt with trade unions. The authorities realized who they were dealing with when, in 1987, in Lindau, the skins attacked the Christian believers during a church holiday at St. Stephen’s Cathedral (city authorities refused to provide the municipal hall for the skinheads ’congress). The Vatican intervened, skinheads pressed by the police.
But soon the Berlin Wall collapsed, and the ranks of skinheads increased at the expense of the Germans from East Germany, where unemployment and despair reigned among the youth. The German neo-fascists began to be reckoned throughout the world as “specialists” for working with young people, and the Germans of the 1990s became notorious for arson of the hostels of immigrants.
After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, skinheads appeared in Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria and Russia.