There have been numerous email sent to the Toronto S.H.A.R.P. blog asking all sorts of questions. From the well thought out, to the really really strange (along with the normal Neo-Nazi bonehead rants and raves, but we will leave that for another day). Normally when an email comes in, we do our best to answer it. But sometimes the same question pops up from may different readers. So today, we are going to answer a few of the generally asked questions for everyone.
What is S.H.A.R.P.?
S.H.A.R.P. stands for Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice. Nothing more, nothing less. No, this is not a joke, and no this is not an oxymoron. Most skinheads are not racist. And by 'skinheads', we mean actual skinheads, not bald racists running around trying to ruin a good scene. It takes more than a shaved head and a pair of boots to be a skinhead. You should have pride in yourself, your friends, family and country. You should have a good love of skinhead reggae, ska, soul, and oi music. You should care about how you look, and be working class. Stand up for yourself, and those you care about. Have a beer with your friends, watch a game, listen to some good tunes, don't take too much crap from people and have a good time. This is what it takes to be a skinhead. S.H.A.R.P. skinheads are just traditional skinheads tired of being associated with racist boneheads in the general media. Remember your skinhead roots. Pride without prejudice.
Another way to look at it is that the Klu Klux Klan claim to be Christians, so does that mean everyone who celebrates Christmas is a Klan member? Of course not. The same holds true for skinheads. Some bald idiot in army pants and boots shouting racist stuff is as representitive of skinheads as the Klan is to Christians.
Is S.H.A.R.P. political?
S.H.A.R.P. is political in one way only. We are against racial prejudice in our scene. Beyond that one point any member of S.H.A.R.P. is an individual, with his or her own politics, be they left leaning, right leaning or center politics.
Is S.H.A.R.P. a gang?
No. We are a crew of friends. If we were not S.H.A.R.P. we would still hang out, drink beer, watch TFC matches, and go to shows.
I'm not a skinhead. Can I still be a S.H.A.R.P.?
Ask yourself this question. Why do you want to be a S.H.A.R.P.? If you are not a skinhead, are you part of the scene that skinheads involve ourselves in? If the answer is no, why would you wan to be a S.H.A.R.P.? While there are a few non skinheads in Toronto S.H.A.R.P., they are all involved in the the ska, soul, punk or oi scene, or in the football scene. If you are an anti-racist, and want to make a difference fighting racists, you might want to look into one of the many local anti-racist groups. We don't go looking for racists to fight. We will ALWAYS take a stand against them when they try to start shit, but there are more active groups out there that might be more to your liking.
I'm not white. Can I join S.H.A.R.P.?
Skin colour has nothing to do with being a skinhead. A skinhead of any colour will always be welcome in S.H.A.R.P.
Can women be S.H.A.R.P. too?
Is S.H.A.R.P. violent?
S.H.A.R.P. is a skinhead thing, and lets be honest... skinheads are known to fight. But Toronto S.H.A.R.P. will never go out and look for a fight. And we will never start one. But we will also not back down to racist bullies. These our our streets, our pubs, and to borrow a chant from TFC supporters, "This is our house".
What do different colour laces mean?
We have already written about this. See here for the answer.
Keep writing into the Toronto S.H.A.R.P. blog with your questions We will answer them.