The Color Of Your Shoelaces Might Tell Someone You're A Neo Nazi

The Color Of Your Shoelaces Might Tell Someone You're A Neo Nazi

What you don't know can hurt you.

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In my younger days, I would match my shoelaces to my hair color (I still do, but with more discretion). In my days of blue hair, I began playing in a new band, and for the first time, I was experiencing a scene larger than the immediate suburbs. At a practice early into this group's life, our guitarist looked me from shoes to face, and casually remarked "you must really hate cops." I was confused. You could say that I've never been on the law enforcement side of an argument, but at the same time, I wasn't sure that could be construed as "really hating" anything, or from where he was gleaning this information.

He explained that he could tell by my shoelaces, and I was even more confused. I thought he was making something up, or that this was some failing attempt at a joke, but it turns out that what he was telling me held weight: in the punk scene (and more specifically, the skinhead scene) Dr. Marten's boots worn with colored shoelaces have various meanings. Keep in mind that these vary from region to region, but I feel like it's important to note the most common ones, if only for the sake of avoiding conflict, knowing who is to be avoided, and understanding that our music scene isn't free of hate. Not yet. And we should be working to shut out that hate to the best of our ability.

As far fetched as this all may seem, I promise you that this article is very much accurate, or as accurate as it can be without actually sitting down with a "true believer." Racism is alive and well in America, as unfortunate as it may be. While it may not be as active in the music community as it used to be (at least locally), skinheads still exist, and have a whole background that many aren't familiar with. Keep your eyes on people's boots. It just might save your life.

White: White Pride

This is often used to represent Ku Klux Klan affiliation, as well. Often times the two go hand in hand. Fun anecdote about the difference between KKK members and Neo-Nazis: the KKK refuses to associate with the beliefs of Hitler, because he was foreign, and they hate foreigners. That's right folks, the Ku Klux Klan's hate is American made, and accepts no substitutions.

Blue: Killed a Cop

The scariest thing to me is that these shoelaces indicate not just murder of a police officer, but the fact that they're openly bragging about it, and that it's so prevalent that there's a code for it.

Red: Neo-Nazi/National Front

Could also mean always up for a fight, or that they've killed someone. These are apparently the meanest SOB's you'll come across, and it's advised that you don't associate with them.

Yellow: Anti-Racist

Thankfully, since Docs often come with yellow laces, they haven't been given an assigned meaning. The anti-nazi punk movement claimed a few lace colors, and this is one of them.

Purple: Gay Pride

An interesting one. Purple laces are anti-skinhead, but also often mean gay pride. This has nothing to do with the others, but I think it's worth noting.

Black: No Affiliation

Another good thing to know is that black laces (another standard Doc lace) don't have a meaning either.


Hopefully this code gets put to some good use. I know that some may start calling out people based on their shoelace color, and I recommend not to. Not everyone who wears these laces knows about these rules -- and even if they do, even if you think you could take the person in a fight, know that doing anything violent will only make these people believe more in their case. This is meant as a warning, and not as an advocation for any more violence. Hate only creates more hate, after all.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Why Getting Financially Stable is Too Difficult

Becoming 18 and having freedom is every kid's dream, but the reality of it hits you hard. The problem is not the laziness of people, but the system is set up in a bad way.

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Turning 18 is a big deal in life because you are finally a legal adult and your about to graduate from high school. It is a new experience for young adults because now all the pressure is on and you in control of your own life. The freedom and ability to choose your own path is a great problem to have because the opportunities are endless on what a person wants. The problem that kids do not realize and I think need to be changed is the cost of trying to get comfortable living in life.

One major problem is the number of bills that young people have to start paying for themselves. A car is a necessity to get a person to school or work and car insurance is the most expensive at a younger age due to the lack of inexperience and the increased risk of a child participating in poor behavior while operating the vehicle. Most people need a cell phone for many uses and that is another expensive bill. The more people on a plan the cheaper it is, but most people only get their own.

Some parents expect children to pay their own bills and get a job while they attend college or tech schools to learn responsibilities and start supporting themselves. Although some parents make children pay rent and utilities or ask them to get their own place and that is had to do when only working a minimum wage job without school experience. Getting a college degree or certified in a tech school can take 2 years, but if the student has to work a lot to support themselves then it takes longer to just get their basic knowledge for their job.

Establishing credit is something that many young adults struggle with because no place wants to give you the first chance to do it which makes no sense. People will apply for loans and credit cards and be denied because they have no credit, but you can't get any because you are not given the fair chance to work hard at making your payments on time and avoiding falling into a huge amount of debt. Credit cards can help teenagers with emergency situations and can help them attempt to establish their future credit when they need to make a purchase on a home or car. These are necessities in everyday life and the fact that nobody wants to be the first to trust you is extremely annoying and not fair.

The responsibility of learning to budget money and make the payments on time would be great if they were affordable for students. They should have small set limits to start out to teach them how to budget their credit card. Credit cards can be dangerous if you spend too much that is not within your financial means, but they are a good way to get established for the future. Buying a house is a big deal and if a younger adult does not have any credit they will easily be denied if they do not have good credit with tons of experience in paying their debt back.

Obtaining school loans is the hardest task I have ever had to deal with. I have struggled to get approved due to our absurd system of needing a cosigner to sign for the student. Most college kids are pretty responsible because they typically are maturing and gaining plenty of responsibilities and they have gained knowledge from their parents to become better. Parents have their own finances to worry about and being an adult at 18 or older we wanted to take the responsibility on ourselves to take out the loans. Taking out the loans in your own name can make a person feel good that they have been given the opportunity and work harder knowing you're doing this all by yourself and becoming a full adult.

The way the world is set up is a little too difficult for a younger adult to get established in their career and schooling to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. The key to a persons success is finding what they want to do and making sure they have the right schooling or certification to get in the career field they choose. People will all need to have money and credit to get necessities like houses and cars in their lives in order to provide for their families to ensure they are happy and healthy. Young adults have a lot of stress and change happening in their lives and they are still trying to gain the knowledge, experience, and opportunities they need to become stable with their money so they can enjoy their job and come home to their family and be happy.

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