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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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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I'm Not A Taylor Swift Fan, But I Respect Her Voicing Her Beliefs

It's about time women stopped hiding in the shadows from fear of judgment and ridicule. Stop, informed females should begin using their platforms for good.

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Taylor Swift steered away from posting her usual concert and friend photographs. Instead, she decided to break her norm and speak out about politics – something she's never really done in the past.

I'm not a Taylor Swift fan today. Back in elementary school and middle school, I used to own all of her CDs and I saw her during the "Red" tour. As I grew up, I felt the magic of her music wear down and I began to lose interest. For someone so powerful in the music industry, I was disappointed that she never used her platform to really benefit this country.

Two summers ago when she was going through her court case against the man who had his hand on her butt in a photo and sued him for only $1, I began to have faith in her again. He was trying to get hundreds of thousands of dollars out of her and instead of stooping to his level and requesting the same amount if she won, she didn't. She knew this court case was about the principle that women are not treated with the same respect as men.

When she posted her photo this past week detailing her thoughts, facts she found and encouraging words, I once again found an appreciation for what the woman was doing.

Taylor Swift on Instagram: “I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past…”

Her caption reads: "I'm writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I'll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I've been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.
I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway.
So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈"

Now, of course, there are people who immediately attacked her, saying she doesn't know what she is talking about and that she should stick to what she knows – Pop music.

But that's the problem, if everyone stuck to "what they know," no one would have the right to speak about politics besides politicians and that sentiment ruins the central core of this country: freedom. As Americans, we have the right to talk about politics, candidates we do and don't like, platform points we do and don't agree with, and everything in between.

America is known for being a democratic nation, so how come we feel that only certain individuals are allowed this privilege?

Men with money trump conversations about politics. They believe their opinions are the be-all and end-all and because they somehow know more about what is going on in this country than anyone else, than women, than minorities, than those in the LGBTQ+ community, than those with disabilities.

The issue with this is that because they're at the top of the pyramid of the citizens of this nation, they can only see so far down, and that's only if they actually desire to look further than their feet. They have no clue what is actually happening, what is really being said, and what anyone else who is not a white male needs.

As I was thinking more about issues at hand, one of these white men who have no clue about what happens in society but wants to act like they do decided to tweet an ignorant remark. Luckily, Queen Hayley Williams came to the scene and put him in his place.

The best part? She didn't stop there.

If we don't stand up for the women in this nation – the poor, the rich, the young, the old, those of all races – we fail one another. The Tweet from Hayley above is what true feminism looks like. It's standing up for the women and girls who are far too often beat down into the gutter for being young, for being female. At any age, women are never safe from male ridicule. But when we have powerful women standing up for their beliefs (i.e. Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams here), the ladies who have been ridiculed by men begin to stand a little taller and will eventually begin to fight back.

Soon enough all those 13-year-old girls will become 18-year-old women and will vote all those men who shamed them for being female out of office. A storm is coming, and the product of this generation is about to turn the world upside down.

I certainly can't wait to see it.

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