Saturday, November 03, 2007

shaved (edited)

i don't know how else to begin this post but to just say that i get really, really nervous when i see white guys around portland with shaved heads. i haven't yet had the chance to have this conversation with any other black people but i wonder if they get nervous like i do.

maybe because portland oregon is so close to the white supremacy meccas like idaho and, even somewhere in oregon perhaps? all i know is, i don't like that haircut. as far as i'm concerned, if you're a white man, and you are not tied to some ary*n nation type stuff, please don't wear your hair that way. it can be very unnerving for black people like me. and i don't just mean shaved, as in military style, or crew cut. i'm talking about that whole look. it looks like 90's grunge with closer-than-close shaved hair, maybe a goat-tee, and even possibly some boots. is there some social group other than the ary*n nation that just thinks this look is cool? i've seen white guys like this before, and gotten really nervous only to later see them chatting and being friendly with someone black. so, i don't think that everyone who looks like that is some racist skinhe*d but that look is just too misleading.

the other day as i was picking up my child from school, there was a group 3 men standing together waiting for one of their kids. i'd never seen them before, either. but they all had shaved heads. my imagination started to go wild until i realized that they were in the 'hood, there were three of them but a ton of us. they weren't there to do anything crazy, but still. it just makes me feel uncomfortable, 'cuz you never know.

edited to add:

obviously i need to clarify. it's not a shaved head alone. i actually like the close-cuts. i'm referring to the whole package-the shaved head along with say, a hooded sweatshirt,or army-type jacket and black boots. get the picture? weirdly enough, there are white men who choose to dress this way for fashion(?) reasons and are not affiliated with any racist supremecist groups. i have to wonder why people would dress that way when it's so similar to a hate group. and so YES, that look does scare me.

24 comments:

Golden Silence said...

It depends on the situation. I do get nervous when I see shaved-head White guys, but at the same time many of them tend to shave their heads because they're going bald (I see a lot of young guys losing their hair prematurely) and would rather shave it than deal with a combover.

I guess it depends on the context in this case. I don't know.

Anonymous said...

You are so hypocritical. You talk about intolerance and racism and stereotyping, when you're the one doing it yourself in almost everything you write, don't you get that? I am a white man in my 40s and have shaved my head twice a week now for 10 years; I also have a goatee, and blue eyes; therefore, I must be a white-supremacist, right?...you're the one who is intolerant...and you're the one who is stereotyping people...by the way, I have had a number of black women ask me out because they admired my shaved head, and I've had a number of pleasant dates with some very nice black women...get real and blow out all that hatred you have inside yourself...

Matt Davis said...

I used to shave my head in London all the time but won't do it here for fear of being mis-identified as a racist.

cardiowhore said...

Dr King said that we should only be judged by the content of our charecter and not the color of our skin!! So I am sure you beleive in this principal as I do. so this goes both ways! and also let me play devils advocate here! Do you get as nervous around blacks that look extremley thuggish with Dreds, sagging pants, gang colors on also? Dont get me wrong I get you totaly!! I am you ! Trust me I just dont have any children but I am fearful of any potential or suspicious looking people I dont give a crap what color you are! So I try to give people an opportunity to prove me wrong first! we all know looks are very misleading at times!!!

: JustaDog said...

Isn't this called racist and stereotyping? Funny that some non-blacks (not me) would be concerned about seeing a group of bald black men with hoods at night!

Which would you feel safer at:

a) Portland at night, or

b) New Orleans at night


Hint: New Orleans has among the highest murder rates in the nation - no matter what color the victim is.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to post onthis one. I can see why you guys would think this is racist, or stereotyping, but I thought it was very clear in the post that she wasn't singling out all bald white men, and was just confused. And, if anything, she didn't come up with that description on her own...they(the shaved head, tall black boots,etc)are part of the imagery used to evoke white suprematist group. Fair, no, but it does persist. So, to try and answer the question, there are other groups who dress this way who are not white supremacists. Interestingly enough, the term 'skinhead' which is usually used to refer to neonazis isn't truly accurate; the original skinheads were followers of the punk and mod movements in britain. Some joined white supremacy groups, but a the majority did not...actually, other skinheads formed anti-racism alliances. As a personal anecdote: I went to a party in new york, and most of the partiers were skinheads, not in the negative light we've come to see the word in. Some were black, indian, etc.
So, that's one example.
The discomfort is understandable, but what you saw probably wasn't a neonazi skinhead. Hope that was a little helpful!

Leigh Anne said...

I think this is rather like seeing all those rapper wannabe black guys with fake bling and baggy clothes...

simplymoi said...

Please don't let people try to make you feel wrong for having these types of feelings because this could save your life. I'm a black immigrant college student who attended a predominately white school in a state like "Oregon" any way one year my friends came to see me and we went to this party where a group of these guys show up with the whole outfit shave heads heavy metal boats and dress in black, tattoos all over. Now I was just like some of these people and though oh its just a look their not really skinheads well the precede to harass most of the minorities at the college party; as they got drunk they jump this two guys one was white the other a black guy while screaming racist comments about Jews, blacks, and N#@$% lovers. Now supposedly these people could have been anyone but why not be cautions and be aware of your environment, yes stereotypes are bad but sometimes there's a grain of truth in them.

simplymoi said...

Plus to those that are trying to allude that she’s racist for being suspicious of shave head skinhead looking white men and not the black thugs. Well I don't know about you but as women she needs to be aware of every one around her. Which include thuggish black or white men because not every male is your friend and just because your black doesn't prevent a black person from robbing, raping, or killing you as I'm sure most of you who watch the news know crime is not only committed against another race.

Natalie said...

I would agree with anonymous about the nonracist skinheads. I felt very similar to you but did some reading about the subject and found that group. They are generally a bunch of really awesome guys and don't like the neonazi types one bit. You can usually tell the difference by the way they respond to their surroundings or if the have a "tough guy" attitude. The nonracist skinheads generally just look like a bunch of guys chilling. The book American Skin is about this nonracist culture.

Sparkle86 said...

I'd be scared about the whole shaved head, skinhead look too. As a woman, I'd be suspicious of ANY male, period, so to the poster who said where would you feel safe, Portland or New Orleans? I would feel safe NOWHERE because women need to look out for suspicious looking MEN whatever they are wearing. And to the poster who said black women he's dated like the shaved look, well, black women are NOT monolithic. WE don't all like the same things. TBG is fully entitled to be weary of some men esp. ones who look like Aryan nation types or extremely thuggish gangster types. I'd be too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a middle aged WM who keeps a very short hair cut. God chose me to be hair challenged and that's how the cards were dealt. I keep it short because it's business professional.

The males you commented on were probably passing thru the period of their lives where they are vulnerable to negative social influences. They most likely (in my view) were skinheads or wannabees. I know of no middle aged men though myself that continued their involvement in those types of groups.

I do agree though that the safety of women is a terrible social issue though. Women SHOULD be able to walk down a neighborhood or city street without being terrified.

Peace to all.

Anonymous said...

I know that you're being honest about your personal perceptions and that it's your personal blog, but I have to say good grief, lady. Ironically, the more I read your blog, the more I think that you're part of the problem. Tell me, when are you going to blog about a situation where you WEREN'T jumping to some racially-based conclusion about someone? Have you found that by blogging about your experiences, you've changed YOUR ways in anyway?

I do believe that we create our realities. It's not to say our world is perfect, because it is far from it, but it's not up for us to hope others will create the world we'd like to live in -- in most situations, we have to rollup our sleeves and do this work in our own hearts and minds.

I think that you are a good person at heart, but if you see a racist everywhere, then sadly, that will be all you see, and there's so much more to humanity than just race.

I know I don't know you personally, and of course you have a right to your feelings onthe subject, but we have so many people these days that complain complain complain and yet don't realize that they need to be looking at themselves for the faults that they see in others.

Good luck with everything. I do wish you well.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You've said more racist things than anyone else I can recall. More bigoted than my uncle Steve, that is for sure, and I didn't think ANYONE was more prejudiced than that armchair tyrant. He just doesn't know how to operate a computer.

brazilian said...

wow. seriously just ignorant.

skinheads took their looks *from* the punk genre. punk culture has been around for years and is still a major part of fashion. take a look at any fashion magazine - see a diesel ad? probably a punk influence. the boots? a very fine multi-million dollar company with an outlet in portland called dr. martens. of which the style came out of the punk culture.

i'm just seriously surprised at how someone in portland could make such an incredibly ignorant statement.

learn some cultah.

sirius jack said...

Racism IS still alive and kickin', courtesy of the judgmental minds like the one which came up with this twisted entry. The problem with most 'liberal' types is that their tolerance runs on a one-way street, and frankly, they are the most INtolerant people that one could ever encounter. This column is one more example. Call it 'affirmative action race hatred'.
Just between us - if I was about to go into a 7-11 store one night, and inside the store I could see two or three whites with skinhead shaves and flight jackets, or two or three blacks with gang hoodies, pimp necklaces, knee-drop 'bang my butt' trousers and shades, I would go into the store with the white guys rather than the 'yo dawg' gangbanger wannabes.
Peace out :o)

the letter z said...

The above poster doesn't know what he's saying.

Choosing white Nazi Skinheads or
black gangbangers?

Hmmm... being beaten to death for the color of my skin or being shot to death because I have a wallet?,

what shall I choose?

keep it real said...

Nope! A balled white guy does not scare me. Stop sterotyping. Racist, thieves, murders etc. per say comes in all forms.

Hoopskidoodle said...

i haven't yet had the chance to have this conversation with any other black people but i wonder if they get nervous like i do.

Nope. Then again, I'm a man, I'm 6'6", I have a license to carry and I live in a suburb of a city with 1 million black folks (that had a race riot some 40 years ago that still has white folks "shook.")

Fecundity21 said...

It's funny that people who are following these blogs religiously care to negatively comment on her thoughts. I'm sure many others have thoughts similar to these and probably worse but fear to voice them. This woman is reaching out for your help, your ideas and you give back to her negativity for it. I just don't understand. Sustain from continuing to read if you're not going to extend a helping hand, one that creates a positive atmosphere for this woman to come to. Otherwise you become one more reason for her to refrain from voicing these demons and addressing things that many of you would never have the confidence to even admit to yourself. Constructive answers people!!!!

Anonymous said...

A very funny post... thanks for giving me a laugh (albeit probably unintended on your part)

I would just like to leave these facts for you to ponder, possibly allowing you some access to a wonderful thing called "perspective" :

1) While white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time

2) Black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse

3) Black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

These are not opinions or feelings, my dear, they are facts.

You may choose to ignore them, debate them, rebuke them, as is your desire....

However, they remain, the facts.

errata said...

I am white, I keep my head shaved totally bald at all times, and I'm covered in all black tattoos.

I've been asked if I was a "skinhead", to which I reply, "I'm a Messianic Jew, a "sharp" and my tattoos are religious in nature to mark the memory of the living and eternal.

I'm not going to stop shaving my head or cover my tattoo's no more than I'd ask a black person to cover themselves so other people aren't nervous if they are "afraid of dark people".

I have plenty of friends of all different "genotypes" that shave their heads and are covered in tattoos as well.

Be concerned with what's concealed, not what's revealed!

errata said...

Oh and another thing, there is no such thing as "racism".

Racism is a lie, and not factual because there is "ONE" human race upon the earth.

A person can get a blood transfusion, a organ transplant, etc, etc, and it has nothing to do with the notion of RACE.

There are different genetic mutations based upon the adaptive qualities of the human race.

Put me as a white person in sub Saharan Africa and within a certain number of years, my skin and features will adapt to that locale, "IF" I'm out in the sun for the duration of time it takes for the mutations to start to "PROTECT" my physics in the relative ways!

RACISM IS A LIE, THERE IS BUT ONE RACE OF HUMANS, ALL UNDER GOD, DIVIDED BY ONE DISTINCTION, MALE AND FEMALE, ALL MADE IN HIS IMAGE!

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