Originally Posted by London
You better identify yourself in certain parts of the country. If you come to New York with that, you may end up catching a bad one.
Without wishing to be controversial about this, to someone like myself, who was around in London (England) in the 1960s, anyone from a later revival is at a significant remove from authenticity. If you add to that the context of a country outside the UK, then the distance of the remove is greater still. This is simply a cultural fact, not an insult to anyone else. It is not necessarily bravado on my part to say I would never feel that I should have to explain myself to anyone in New York, but frankly I ought not
to have to - in New York or anywhere else. In the late 1960s the fact that I, as an individual and a skinhead, regularly and with ease mixed with people of other races proved that I wasn't a racist, and that anyone trying to tar the whole "movement" as such was adopting a simplistic view.
Having said that, things can get irksome. In the 1980s I re-adopted the look. I was only in my early 30s, still looked young, and could get away with it. I can recall attending a Caribbean carnival in Liverpool (one of England's cities with a large black population). I went there for the music. So there I was, standing in line to buy a Jamake Pattie for my lunch, and some (white) guy rolls up and challenges me because of the way I looked. Damn it - I even had a red-gold-green badge on my jacket! Still, some folk see what they want to see and disregard the rest...
It's like the Union Jack and the flag of St George - right wing activists commandeered those, but they remain properly national
symbols, not racist ones. A black Briton or Englander has as much right to march along with them as any fascist has. More even. The skinhead look remains a fashion, not
the uniform of neo-fascism, and the only way to assert that is to wear it in the face of all who make assumptions about it.
(Blimey - I had no idea I could still be that passionate about it in my 60s!)