The term trad skin originally referred to skinheads who uphold the traditions of the 1960s British skinhead subculture. This meant listening to soul and ska, dressing smart,and being NON-RACIST. Trads didn't care much for Oi! music; they considered it thug rock for bald punks.
Today there's a lot of snotty bastards calling themselves trads who don't know what the hell they're talking about. These guys mainly listen to bonehead R.A.C and generic American wannabe Oi! that sounds nothing like the original Oi! bands. They preach "no politics," but what they really mean is "only right-wing redneck politics are acceptable." They're usually the ones who always bring up politics in the first place! They slag anti-racists as commie poseurs, and say that groups like SHARP have no place in the skinhead scene. They also say stuff like "gays can't be skinheads," but they can never give a reason why.
These trendy Internet skins tend to use the book Spirit of '69: a Skinhead Bible to justify their beliefs. But just like the racists who use the real bible to justify their bigotry, these fake trad skins probably haven't truly read the book. Here are a couple of quotes from Spirit of '69 (the original edition).
"SHARP's biggest strength was that it was non-political. Its only aim was to let the world know that all skinheads weren't racist."
"...the SHARP ideal, particularly it its American form, was far closer to the traditions of the original skinheads than Blood And Honour."
SHARP Toronto doesn't have anything against genuine trads and non-political skinheads; in fact, some of us consider ourselves trads. So if you want to spout trendy bullshit and say we aren't real skinheads, we just have two words for you - and they aren't "happy birthday."
First of all, SHARP is not against any skinhead who calls him or herself traditional. In fact, as far as I know, there are people who call themselves traditional skinheads in SHARP Montreal. What we are against (besides racist boneheads) is fence sitting. Now, who do we describe as fence sitters? It's simple - any skinhead who claims to be not racist, but chooses to hang out with Nazi boneheads. When you hang out with them, you're telling them they can believe in something that has made millions of people suffer, and still be welcome in our subculture.
It's because of Nazi boneheads that the word skinhead means neo-Nazi to most people. It's because of Nazi skinheads that anyone who dresses like a skinhead has to worry about getting their heads kicked in by people who think they're Nazis. If you know anything about the roots of skinheads and the West Indian influence in our subculture, then you must realize a Nazi skinhead is an oxymoron.
Not too long ago, I talked to an old friend who had been a skinhead for a long time. He told me it was the fighting between the left-wing skinheads and right-wing skinheads that had ruined the movement. I have to disagree. I consider myself a leftist (not all SHARP's in Toronto are leftists), but I realise that the leftist skinhead scene has never been as big as the right. I would say the first group of skinheads that got really involved in politics where those who joined racist groups like the National Front in the late 70's. It was them who started the rise of the Nazi boneheads, it was them who brought politics into our subculture, and it was them who made sure skinhead and Nazi were the same thing in the public's mind. So stop blaming SHARP and groups like it for any political fighting in the skinhead scene; we didn't start it. We're just trying to bring back the skinhead name to what it used to mean.
SHARP Toronto is not
a political group (there are political skins in it, but
their politics are kept to themselves, and to others who
want to hear them). To us, fighting racism is not a
political issue; it's a moral one. We don't dislike
Nazis because of abstract political reasons; we
can't stand them because of their racist and immoral views.
But it's a free country. If you want to be racist, you can;
just don't talk to us or bring the skinhead name down. It's
when racists commit hate crimes, try to recruit, or threaten and
attack anti-racists, we stand against them. If a small group of
white power boneheads is just sitting around and drinking beer,
then we'll leave them alone (we will be watching them though).
And if you just want to dress like a skinhead, listen to Oi! Ska and reggae, drink beer and watch soccer (I mean football), then that's great; we don't care. Who said skinheads have to be responsible for trying to change society? But leave us skins who are active in something (as long as it's not hurting innocent people, like racism), alone.