Social Question

airowDee's avatar

Was I right to assume they are neo nazis?

Asked by airowDee (1791points) October 26th, 2009

First I think its important to state I am chinese and female. I was going into the escalator and there were two skinheads in front of me. I tried to go around them but it was crowded as usual. He said I pushed him on the escalator, and he mumbled to me about how he is going to break me if I dared to do it again, I didn’t think I pushed him, I may have touched him. I got down to the escalator and looked up at them and asked them what they’d said, the man looked at me with extremely anger and said he will break my bones if I touched him again. I got scared and continued my way although I didn’t show my fear. I have never really had men threaten to beat me up like that before, most men are not so violent to women in public.

The two men were bald, white and had tattoos and wear leather type thing. I immediately thought they must be Nazis. Do you think this is a right assumption

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30 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Not all skinheads are neo-nazis.
Some skinheads are very much against neo-nazis.

These guys sounded like thugs. Racist or no, that guy threatened you directly.

trailsillustrated's avatar

probably. just asses more like.

judochop's avatar

Well, I’m white, I shaved my head all through summer, I’m covered in tattoos and if you were to call me a Nazi I’d want to fight you for assuming such however assumptions are not always wrong. You did the right thing, he sounds like he was being a jackass. Who knows. Some people hate being touched, I know I don’t like it.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

sounds like the guy was just an asshole. There are plenty of them out there, and they come in all sizes, genders, colors, and costumes. Be glad you got away from him when you did. Life is too short to deal with negative pricks and crazy bigots.

airowDee's avatar

Maybe i am prejudical against skinheads, but i would never assume that just because a white guy is bald, he is a neo nazis. It also comes with the kind of clothes they wear, and boots and the types of tattoos they have. Its hard not to assume white power when i see skinheads, for me. :9

derekfnord's avatar

Umm… not to be argumentative, and please forgive me if I’m misunderstanding the situation, but…

You mentioned that you tried to go around them on an escalator. Can I ask why? (Rather than just riding the escalator down normally.) And if you did touch them when you went past (whether you actually “pushed” them or not) did you say excuse me?

I mean, their reaction seems to have been clearly way over the top, and I’m not really trying to defend it (especially if it was rooted in racism). I’m just trying to get an idea of the situation, and wondering if it might have seemed to them like you had been rude first, and they thought they were answering rudeness with rudeness…

Sarcasm's avatar

Unless the tattoos they had were things like swastikas, or they had “White power” on their leather clothing, that’s a huge assumption.

There are tons of people who are assholes and have tattoos and shaved heads, while not being neo-nazis.

FutureMemory's avatar

DId you happen to see a numeric tattoo?

If you see a 14/88 tat, it is a reference to the “14 words” (We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children), and 88 is the 8th letter of the alphabet x2, HH, as in Heil Hitler. (It’s quite common for net-nazi’s to incorporate these numbers into their online user names – “NordicWarrior1488” for example).

peedub's avatar

What is ‘leather type thing?’ Shaved heads and tattoos don’t ‘mean’ much these days.
You would have to look at details such as: color of boot laces, content of tattoos, or specific clothing.

White laces, swastikas, and flight jacket = most likely racist skin.
‘Other’ colored or red laces, ska-esque tattoos, or Fred Perry/Ben Sherman shirts = traditional skin, maybe.

I don’t see that it really matters. Assholes are assholes. Sorry you had to go through that.

jrpowell's avatar

There are Sharps. My sister was one. It is possible that he just hated being touched and it had nothing to do with race. But it was probably best to move on.

mammal's avatar

Perhaps you pre-empted that opponion, thus setting in motion a negative scenario that made your behaviour appear brusque and subliminally confrontational, your ethnicity may have been a factor or not. You could have been paranoid or you could have intuited correctly, either way, untill their politics are crystal clear rather than presumed…stay polite and cool.

mattbrowne's avatar

Neo-Nazis are a particular type of mean and evil people. If those two men showed this kind of rude behavior only with people of a particular race it would make them racist, or Jews, it would make them anti-Semites. Now add eugenics (getting rid of “unworthy” life) and a couple of other extreme ideologies you will eventually end up with Nazism and Neo-Nazism. You would have to know more about the two men in the elevator. Nazism belongs to one of the most perverse and despicable ideologies human beings ever came up with. The word Nazi and fascism should be handled with extreme care. A strict teacher should never be called a grammar nazi, because this belittles the true nature of Nazism. And it insults the great many victims of Nazism.

RareDenver's avatar

Physically you could be describing my brother there and he is most definitely not a nazi, quite the opposite in fact.

Those guys do sound like assholes though, whether they are assholes or nazi-assholes I would say is unlikely to be gleamed from a cursory glance

airowDee's avatar

Thanks guys. I will remember the number tattoos thing. Maybe i watched too much American X history.

RareDenver's avatar

Another number to look out for is 18 as in A=1 and H=8 (Adolf Hitler), in the UK specifically C18

RedPowerLady's avatar

I’m not sure if anyone here has ever seen a Nazi. But what you describe is very typical of people who belong to that group. It is stereotypical, yes. But the way they behaved adds more credibility to your assumption. It is never fair to make assumptions based on stereotypes. But I think there is something to be said for having your safety in mind especially when these men were threatening you.

RareDenver's avatar

@RedPowerLady I’ve met people who proclaim to be Nazi’s, that makes them a Nazi in my book.

mattbrowne's avatar

@RareDenver – People who proclaim to be Nazis are in fact Neo-Nazis. The term Nazi refers to supporters of Nazism who lived between 1933 and 1945.

Sarcasm's avatar

@RedPowerLady What you’re saying feels to me like saying “All latinos are members of the Latin Kings gang”.

Hell, I was a skinheaded asshole for a while in my life [no tattoos]. I’ve never had white supremacist thoughts.

RareDenver's avatar

@mattbrowne Nazi, Neo-Nazi, Nick Griffin, it’s all just semantics

RedPowerLady's avatar

@RareDenver Unfortunately I’ve met people who say racist things and make nasty threats who don’t claim to be Nazi’s. However they do have Nazi tattoos. That makes them one in my book. I’ve also met Nazi’s who proclaim to be a Nazi but not racist. Now that was hard to believe.

@Sarcasm How does it feel that way? I absolutely never would categorize people that way. I said it is a stereotypical image and we should not support stereotypes. But that if they are threatening her then she should keep her safety in mind.

How can you be a skinhead without being racist? Do you mean a skinhead (lower case as in shaved your head) or a Skinhead (upper case as in belonging to a White Supremest group)?

Sarcasm's avatar

Misread that second-to-last sentence. Sorry.

Given the two choices, lower case skinhead. But I’ve never heard “Skinhead” as being a name solely for white supremacists. Rather things like “Skinhead neo-nazi”. You know, like, an adjective.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Sarcasm Ya there are lots of people who have shaved heads who are not gang members. So that does not support the stereotype at all. I simply advocate for this young woman’s safety (as they were threatening her). I did say that her image supports the stereotype, which is a controversial thing to say, but that we shouldn’t support stereotypes.

I probably shouldn’t have googled this at work. Now I’m about to clear my web browser but ya Skinheads are a sub-group of White Supremacists. They have their own little gang and everything. You can google if you feel up to it. Interesting but not fun.

RareDenver's avatar

There are plenty of Skinheads who refer to themselves as Skinheads (with a capital S) who are far from racist. Skinhead was a subculture that started with the working class in Great Britain in the 60’s, skinheads were into West Indian Rude Boy and British Mod fashion, music and lifestyle. The skinhead subculture was primarily based on those elements, not politics or race.

Check out these guys

RedPowerLady's avatar

@RareDenver I don’t understand why someone would associate themselves with a group known for racial hatred and then claim they are against racism. Even if you love the other aspects of the culture it seems a little self-demeaning. But I did read the Wiki article on it and it was quite interesting. I understand and advocate reclaiming the group without racism but personally I would never align myself with a group that has such a history of violence (even if the term was wrongly attributed).

RareDenver's avatar

@RedPowerLady I think it’s the fact that some people want to take back what they feel has been taken from them, there were plenty of black Skinheads in this country at one time, mainly influenced by their West Indian parents culture and music. The Skinhead subculture was hijacked by racists, some Skinheads just want their non-racially motivated identity back so they can be proud of being a Skinhead once again.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@RareDenver Hey I’m all for making as many groups un-racist as possible!

FutureMemory's avatar


Ahh the old days of 10 eyelet steel toed doc’s (with yellow or green laces, of course), flight jackets and Fred Perry’s; shaving my head twice a week without the plastic adjustment thing, just straight clippers on the skull (once I used a razor, damn that hurt like a bitch!). Thank god I grew out of that shit in my mid-teens, no longer feeling the need to prove to the world I was a Bad Ass. The whole concept of American skins is kind of a joke anyway, if you think about it. Very few teens here proclaim/identify themselves as “working class” in a cultural sense like they do in the UK. I still listen to Blitz and the Oppressed though (“we’re gonna work, (work!), work tuh-geh-thah!”). Speaking of the Oppressed, I think their vocalist started the SHARP thing, I can’t remember his name but an old girlfriend and he were pen-pals, she said he was a cool bloke.

Zen_Again's avatar

This is a now old Q – but it was related to my post so I’ll reply anyways; Two big men, shaved or not, Nazis or not, tattooed or not, or any combination of the above – should not threaten a small woman (or man) period. Just the outsizing, the numbers, it’s bullying simply put. Disgusting.

dreamwolf's avatar

They were totally neo-nazis. I’m basing it off the threats, the words described they would do, appearance, etc.

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