Neo-Nazi Skinheads and Racist Rock:
Youth Subculture of Hate
The skinhead phenomenon originated in the early 1970s, when groups of
menacing-looking, shaved-head, tattooed youths in combat boots appeared
on the streets of England. For some, the racist and chauvinistic attitudes
held by these gangs developed into a crude form of Nazism with a penchant
for violence, exemplified by frequent, racially motivated attacks on Asian
immigrants ("Paki-bashing") and homosexuals ("fag-bashing").
In the years that followed, the Skinhead movement spread from England
to the Continent and beyond. Racist Skinheads are found today in almost
every industrialized country whose majority population is of European
stock, though not all Skinheads are racists. Skinheads are almost uniformly
white youths in their teens and twenties, who respond to the movement's
seductive sense of strength, group belonging and superiority over others.
Generally, neo-Nazi Skinheads' views have varied. Some believe in orthodox
Nazi ideology, while others adhere to a mixture of racism, populism, ethnocentrism
and ultranationalist chauvinism, along with a hodgepodge of Nazi-like
Their numbers have grown substantially since Neo-Nazi Skinheads first
appeared in the United States during the mid-1980s. Predictably, this
growth has been matched by violence: since 1987, racist Skinheads have
committed at least 43 murders in the United States as well as thousands
of lesser crimes such as beatings, stabbings, shootings, thefts, and synagogue
In addition to World Church of the Creator, Skinheads in the U.S. have
also linked up with other established hate groups, such as Aryan Nations,
the Ku Klux Klan, and Tom Metzger's White Aryan Resistance (WAR). On November
12, 1988, three members of a skinhead gang in Portland, Oregon, killed
an Ethiopian immigrant, Mulugeta Seraw. In a suit brought by the Southern
Poverty Law Center and ADL, it was later shown that Metzger and his son
John had incited these Skinheads to murder Seraw. A jury awarded Seraw's
family $12.5 million in damages, one of the largest civil verdicts of
its kind in U.S. history.
A major aspect of Skinhead life is devotion to bands that play "oi"
white power music, a hard-driving brand of rock and roll whose lyrics
pound home a message of bigotry and violence. Music is the Skinhead movement's
main propaganda weapon and its chief means of attracting young recruits.
Skinhead use of the Internet has almost exclusively focused on racist
music. Bigotry-laced hard rock and the Internet have proved a natural
match in being used by white supremacists trying to capture the minds
Before the World Wide Web became popular, neo-Nazi skinheads depended
on USENET newsgroups such as alt.skinheads to communicate with
each other and spread their propaganda. However, these extremists soon
realized the Web's power. By 1996, a few skinhead sites were already online,
including Skin Net, Skinheads, USA, and the site for Resistance
Canadian George Eric Hawthorne, a.k.a. George Burdi, was an acolyte of
Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel in the 1980s before turning to
the Skinhead scene. Burdi is lead vocalist for the Skinhead band RaHoWa
(as noted earlier, a contraction of the phrase "Racial Holy War")
and was formerly president of Resistance Records. Resistance distributes
RaHoWa's recordings and the music of several other Skinhead groups as
well as operating an E-mail mailing list and a Web site.
|Bigotry-laced hard rock and the Internet have proved a natural match in being
used by white supremacists trying to capture the minds of youngsters.
Until mid-1998, the Resistance site provided brief descriptions of the
albums it sold; a chance to download audio samples from those albums;
and some propaganda penned by Burdi. Also, the site specifically targeted
the young using hip, anti-establishment rhetoric similar to that employed
by Holocaust denier Bradley Smith. For many months, the Resistance Home
Page exclaimed, "WARNING: The music promoted by this Web Page has
been deemed unacceptable by Big Brother...If you are easily offended TURN
BACK NOW...If you are bold and independent-minded enough to think for
In 1997, Burdi was jailed in Canada on an assault conviction for violently
kicking an anti-racist protester at a RaHoWa concert in Ottawa. In April
of that year, Michigan authorities raided the offices of Resistance as
part of an investigation involving nonpayment of taxes. At the same time,
Canadian authorities raided Burdi's home in Windsor, Ontario, as part
of an investigation into whether Resistance was using its U.S. address
to get around Canadian hate crime laws. Burdi was charged by Canadian
police with "willfully promoting hatred."53 In 1998,
Resistance was sold and moved its offices to California.
In the midst of these changes, the Resistance Web site shrank, but it
continues to sell hateful music, including Resistance Records releases,
other domestic hate rock records, and foreign recordings. Visitors to
the site can still use a credit card to order albums such as Nordic Thunder's
Born to Hate and Johnny Rebel's For Segregationists Only.
Many other bigoted music companies have followed in the footsteps of
Resistance, selling hateful music on the Web. The Tri-State Terror Web
site peddles Aryan vs. Alien by the group Mudoven, which features
a cover photo depicting corpses from Nazi concentration camps. According
to that site, over 900 copies of this release have already been sold.54
Also available there are Racially Motivated Violence by Angry Aryans
and Murder Squad by Blue-Eyed Devils, which displays a photo portraying
three lynched Jews on its cover.
MSR Productions carries hundreds of domestic and foreign Skinhead CDs
at its site, as well as white supremacist T-shirts, flags, and videos.
Along with an album by the group Final Solution and More Evil Than
a Hollywood Jew by the band Lightning Rod, MSR sells recordings of
speeches by the late American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell;
albums of German music from Hitler's era, and a dozen records by Skrewdriver,
the world's most popular racist Skinhead band.
Numerous Skinhead Web sites, such as the site for Swedish record label
Nordland, have paid tribute to Skrewdriver, which was formed in 1977 and
led by Ian Stuart Donaldson (a.k.a. Ian Stuart), who died in a car crash
in 1993. Stuart penned lyrics such as
We were the country, and we could never lose,
Once a nation, and now we're run by Jews
We want our country back now!55
Stuart spent time in jail during the mid-1980s for physically attacking
a Black woman. In 1987, he founded Blood and Honour, which has acted as
an umbrella organization for Skin rock groups in Europe and the United
States since his death.
Not surprisingly, Web sites that promote Blood and Honour often focus
on Stuart. At the Blood & Honour England Web site, which accuses
the British government of killing Stuart, "Erik Bloodaxe" voices
his support for street violence inspired by Stuart's racist music. He
writes, "It is an insult to the memory of our fallen warrior, Ian
Stuart, to avoid combining words and action!"56 This site
also exclaims, "Tomorrow belongs to you, Ian! As long as your music
lives in the hearts of your kinsfolk, you are still alive. Hail Ian Stuart!"
Another Skinhead music site that refers to Stuart advocates violence
even more directly. The Oi! Boys site features a "BootParty"
page. Individuals are identified by the Oi! Boys as needing a "bootparty"
if they deserve to be kicked with steel-toed boots by a group of Skinheads.
Most of those pictured are former white supremacists (now deemed "traitors"),
but one is a young Black man, who is pictured with his mother:
This here is Nigger Nate. Him and his mama are holding a Nigger hunting
tag that was gave to him. This story made the front page in the newspaper
cause his mama is in the (NAACP) Niggers Are Always Causing Problems.
The one thing that his mama doesn't know is that her son is a gangbanger
and his getto-slang [sic] name is Chicago. Well if you see this Nigger
Kick him in the [expletive] head.
Two of the most extensive Skinhead Web sites, Plunder and Pillage
and The White Pride Network, also pay tribute to Ian Stuart. The
Plunder and Pillage site contains the full text of Skrewdriver:
The First Ten Years by Joe Pearce, a book-length, sympathetic account
of the career of Stuart's band, and The White Pride Network houses
pages for Blood and Honour Scandinavia and Blood and Honour Serbia, offshoots
of the group that Stuart founded.
Unlike the vast majority of racist Web sites, which are designed in part
to promote the bigots who stand behind them, both Plunder and Pillage
and The White Pride Network have been created and maintained anonymously.
Both sites have been registered to post office boxes in New Jersey, but
the registrants of these sites have not identified themselves.57
The huge Plunder and Pillage Web site serves as two fans' tribute
to white power music. These lovers of racist rock, who go by the names
"Plunder" and "Pillage," give their fellow fans the
latest news on new releases and concert appearances of Skinhead bands;
reviews of the latest white power records; reports on recent concerts;
lyrics from various albums and transcripts of their interviews with over
a dozen music groups. The Plunder and Pillage site also provides
racist rockers a historical perspective in "Oi! The Classics,"
which features reviews of and sound clips from early "oi" albums
that have "earned a spot in every skinhead's record collection."
The Skinhead who maintains The White Pride Network registered
his site under Ian Stuart's name in order to hide his identity. At his
site, he goes by the name "Micetrap." Though he cloaks himself
with a pseudonym, Micetrap doesn't hide his hateful views. Claiming to
"have been involved in the skinhead movement for many years,"
Micetrap declares the Holocaust "the biggest financial scam in history"
and glorifies the Skinhead movement as "a sub-culture built for pissed
off Pro-White youth to rebel against the ZOG system."58
Formerly known as Whitepower, The White Pride Network features
Micetrap's reviews of the latest racist rock records and houses the page
for "Patriot Video Services," which stocks video tapes of white
power bands performing. In addition to music-oriented pages, The White
Pride Network pays tribute to Hitler; posts some of William Pierce's
allegations of Jewish media control, and contains a "Skinhead Cyber
Tattoo Parlor," which pictures racist designs etched in ink on Skinheads'
arms, backs, and skulls. Micetrap also encourages his supporters to become
active, offering to sell them E-mail addresses and space for Web sites,
connecting them with each other in his "Personal Ads & Pen Pals"
section, and giving them advice on how to use Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
Though not a Skinhead, Alex Curtis also uses the Internet as a tool to
bring together and motivate the "youth of the Aryan Struggle."
Along with racist Skinheads and WCOTC devotees, Curtis, who is still in
his mid 20s, represents the new, young face of white supremacy on the