FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Departments : In the Hood

The Straight Edge Scene: Rated XXX

The Straight Edge Movement preaches against several human vices, but some members believe in enforcing their beliefs through violence.

September 01, 2000  |  by Investigator Al Valdez

Skinhead Straight Edgers

Most Straight Edge members are non-racist.  However, since Straight Edge membership has acted as a recruitment pool for other extremist groups, it is no surprise that white-power-based groups have also successfully recruited from the Straight Edge membership.  Straight Edge racist skinheads have made their appearance, some becoming new members to the World Church of the Creator in 1998.  The World Church of the Creator made attempts to target Straight Edgers for membership by creating a Website that tied Straight Edge graphics and symbols in with racist ideologies.  It linked the idea of having a "pure body" to the concept of "racial purity."  The Website is no longer in existence.

Profile

Straight Edge members are typically Caucasian males between 12-21 years old.  Often, members are from middle and upper middle class families.  However, membership is not exclusively male.  Members tend to be more educated, more computer literate and able to access more modern technology than the average street gang member.  There are a number of Websites for the Straight Edge movement.

The Straight Edge look might include close-cropped haircuts or shaved heads, long sideburns, T-shirts with a large black "X" or "sXe" (Straight Edge symbols) or "XXX," (the Hardline symbol) or the words "Drug Free."  Sometimes, baggie-style punk rock or skater-style clothing is worn by members.  Body piercing or the wearing of heavy silver chains is seen.  These chains could be used as weapons.  Sometimes combat fatigues are worn, along with Doc Marten-style boots.

Today, there are more than 100 Straight Edge bands in the United States.  Music still continues to be a powerful recruitment and motivating tool.  New members are recruited both nationally and internationally because the Straight Edge movement is portrayed as an alternative to gang membership or the drug culture.

Some of the more popular bands are Earth Crisis, Integrity and Snapcase.  Their music is produced by the Victory Record label, which specializes in Straight Edge and Hardline music.

The Straight Edge movement seems to be entrenched in violence even though it did not start off that way.  Many of the young kids who get involved in Straight Edge move on to Hardline, ALF or racist skinhead membership and affiliation.  Be safe!

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Hedy Imoos, California Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in helping prepare this article.

Sources:

Arciaga, M. (1998) "Suburban Terrorists: The Animal Liberation Front and Straight Edge," 1998 Utah Gang Update Manual.  Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Area Gang Project.

Arciaga, M and Weber, M (1999) "Straight Edge: Then and Now," 1999 Utah Gang Update Manual.  Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Project Area Gang Project.

Al Valdez is an investigator with the Orange County (Calif.) District Attorney's Office and author of the book, Gangs.

«   Page 2 of 2   »

Tags: Gangs


Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Jim Keith @ 9/14/2013 4:18 AM

While your article about violence being associated with the Straight Edge movement holds accuracy, I

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.
Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine