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Author Topic: Dr. Marten's
kohoutek
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Heard an obvious UL awhile back that the popular boot/shoemaker Dr. Marten's donates money to neo-Nazi groups in Germany. Has anyone else heard this? It sounds like the typical rumor-mongering done by someone dissatisfied with a company. Anyway, I was told this by a German friend who made the comment upon noticing my Dr. Marten's boots.

I posted this query at About.com many moons ago and got scathing replies from people who thought I was duped by this rumor. The thread then degenerated into a discussion about Volkswagen vehicles during WW II. No kidding. Hope that doesn't happen here.

kohoutek


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Groucho
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I doubt it. Doc Marten's is a British company, so I don't know if they are required by law to document all of their donations or not. Probably, so you could start there.

Keep in mind, however, that there are no "official" Neo-Nazi groups in Germany. It's illegal to even display a swastika there. So, if Doc Martens were donating to such a group as a company (which I still think is unlikely), they would actually have to donate to a "front" organization.

Have you checked Doc Marten's web page? If this rumor is widespread, there's a chance that they've issued some sort of statement saying "it ain't so!"

It's also possible that your friends are confusing Doc Marten's with Birkenstock, which is a Germany company (with no Nazi ties however).

One thing I can confirm, however: Doc Marten's shoes are sure comfortable!

Grou "Unlike the backseat of a Volkswagen" Cho


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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Dr. Martens has an utterly horrible web site that requires Shockwave flash. You can ask them yur question directly by going to their feeback page.

[This message has been edited by Kathy B (edited 01-31-2001).]


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kohoutek
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Groucho,

You know, I could be confusing Birkenstocks with Doc Marten's. I'm going to check both company websites and see what's up. Neo-Nazi skinheads are known for wearing big 'ol boots so maybe that's how the rumor got started? Anyway, thanks for the info.

Off-topic: I have two pair of Dr. Marten's products and love 'em both.


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Cat Grey
Happy Holly Days


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Actually, I think what you're hearing is a case of mutating rumors. I remember hearing (as much as ten years ago) that Doc Martins were 'racist' footwear-- the logic being, apparently, that they are popular with a certain breed of skinhead (who like big, clunky, comfortable, combat-boot looking footwear), therefore some racists wear them, therefore anyone who wears them is racist.

My reply was simply that the shoes had never said anything about it to me. Which is a polite way of saying that the whole 'issue' sounds like pure, grade-A Horse-NFBSK to me.

If I recall correctly (and this is pure anecdote, I wasn't there), the Allen Public School System (it's a suburb of Dallas, Texas) tried to forbid their students to wear them on the basis of this crack-brained logic; they gave that idea up when about 1/3 of the high school walked out in protest.

In any case, it wouldn't surprise me if that rumor had mutated into one where the Dr Martins company was racist. I still think it's horse-NFBSK.

Cat "upgraded to real combat boots when the Docs wore out" Grey


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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Cat Grey:
Actually, I think what you're hearing is a case of mutating rumors. I remember hearing (as much as ten years ago) that Doc Martins were 'racist' footwear-- the logic being, apparently, that they are popular with a certain breed of skinhead (who like big, clunky, comfortable, combat-boot looking footwear), therefore some racists wear them, therefore anyone who wears them is racist.
That makes a lot of sense. I found assorted usenet posts that referred to Dr. Martens as "skinhead boots" and castigated or praised people for wearing them, depending on the writer's view of skinheads.


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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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altculture has a rundown of skinhead fashion (both the 60s and 70s varieties).

I too assumed that any rumours about Docs would relate to their being favoured by skinheads or "bovver boys". As well as the reasoning that the ox-blood coloured version wouldn't "show the blood" from fights, a former skinhead once told me that there was a whole coding system involved in the colour of your laces, indicating for example you support for "white power" or you particular hatred of one or other minority group. Not pleasant, but not Dr. Maertens' fault either. And it shouldn't be forgotten that the skinhead style has also been taken on by a lot of gay men as well...

Birkenstocks have always been associated with hippies rather than violence in my mind. In fact I would rather like another pair

Embra "taking 'stock"


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kohoutek
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I checked the Dr. Marten's website. Ick, Ick, Ick. They should be cited for overus of the Flash plug-in. No news release there on this UL. Also checked Birkenstock websites and learned that they're making a whole line of shoes now.

Thank you Kathy B, Embra and Cat Grey for helping out on this one. The "Skinhead" fashion mutating into a rumor makes a lot of sense.


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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I once met a skinhead who was the steriotypical skinhead; Doc Martens, skinhead (obviously), leather jacket, white t-shirt and red braces holding up ripped blue jeans. He even had a tattoo of, well basically himself, on his neck. Two things set him apart. First, he was wearing red laces (red=communist, white=fascist), and secondly he was wearing about three Anti-Nazi League badges. Very nice bloke as it turned out, a councillor working with abused children.

I've had this to a lesser extent, I used to have a skinhead and one night I was wearing Doc Martens when this bloke that I'd met at the beginning of the night turned round to me and said "So why are you a racist, then?", and I was like "I'm not", "So why have you got a skinhead, then?". I then had to explain the difference between a skinhead (shaved head, may or may not be to do with politics - I'd just got rid of my Dreads) and a bonehead (Bic'd head, almost certainly racist). But even that's not infallable, my mate George, for example, has a bonehead is 6-foot-something (about 4 or 5) and wears big boots, trench coat etc. Lovely bloke without a discriminating bone in his body.

Do not read a book by it's cover.

Troll "Dr. Martens, Dr. Martens, Dr. Martens boots" face

------------------
Life is like a bog roll, it's only when you get to the end that you realise how much you've wasted.


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robertbell
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I love kids....NOT!

They dress "differently" to get attention, and then get upset when everyone stares at them! "What are you looking at, man!"

Someone once tried to explain to me the "good skinhead/bad skinhead" thing. WhatEver!

Dress like a weirdo and you should expect to do a lot of explaining and have people stare at you. Gee, wasn't that the point of the clown costume in the first place?

FWIW, you'll grow out of it, eventually. You don't see many dreadlocks or skinheads (except the au natural type) amongst the 50-60 year old crowd.

I have an acquaintance with dreadlocks. Loves to piss and moan about how he is "discriminated" against because of his hair. He loves it - it gets him attention. If people didn't notice him, he would cut off the dreadlocks in a heartbeat and move on to some other weird look.

When you get older, you start to appreciate the value of blending-in and are less concerned about making a statement or getting attention (cuz you've already got it made).

What puzzles me is why youths like to dress as thugs (especially blacks) and then complain about being discriminated against. The fad for a while was to wear ski masks and stockings on your head like you were on your way to rob a 7-11. I mean, for christ's sake, why not just dress up as the Hamburgler(tm)?

What you wear on a daily basis should not double as a Halloween costume.

Trend spotting: I saw an Arab taxi driver wearing this sort of ultra-long shirt the other day - the shirttails went down to his knees. I wonder when the kids are going to hook into ethnic wear - indian turbans, arab headgear, and those weird flowing gowns you see the taxi drivers wear (where do they get them?). It is weird enough to become a "fashion". You heard it here first!

"Everthing that was IT isn't IT anymore, and what is IT seems strange and weird...it will happen to you too! You'll See!" --Grandpa Simpson.

--Bob "hair like Elvis" Bell.


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cowboysally
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:

What you wear on a daily basis should not double as a Halloween costume.

Trend spotting: I saw an Arab taxi driver wearing this sort of ultra-long shirt the other day - the shirttails went down to his knees. I wonder when the kids are going to hook into ethnic wear - indian turbans, arab headgear, and those weird flowing gowns you see the taxi drivers wear (where do they get them?). It is weird enough to become a "fashion". You heard it here first!


Um, are you likening religious dress to a fad? The "Arab" you are referring to could be any number of religions, perhaps Sikh:

quote:
From Britannica:
Traditional Sikh (a religion combining Hindu and Muslim elements) dress is an ordinary kurtah and cotton trousers, covered by a long hanging coat (choghah). The male Sikh is recognized especially by his practice of wearing his hair and beard uncut, the former being covered by a particularly large turban and the latter often restrained by a net.

Even if you question the validity of people sporting any number of hooligan-style looks (I myself enjoyed something my mother termed a "ragamuffin" look as a teen), religious dress is a little different.

cowboy"this post cut short by a fire drill"sally


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cowboysally
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ok, back from the fire drill.
quote:
I too assumed that any rumours about Docs would relate to their being favoured by skinheads or "bovver boys". As well as the reasoning that the ox-blood coloured version wouldn't "show the blood" from fights, a former skinhead once told me that there was a whole coding system involved in the colour of your laces, indicating for example you support for "white power" or you particular hatred of one or other minority group.

Yeah, it's fairly complex, too. Yellow can mean anarchist, or it can mean anti-communist. Blue can mean anarchist, or it can mean that the wearer killed someone. Tattoos also mean something-- spiderwebs on the elbows (a common biker and prison tat) also mean you've killed someone. The problem with the racist skins vs. the SHARPs ( Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice )
is that 90% of population finds it difficult to tell them apart. That's certainly a problem if you're trying to strike out against racism.

quote:
And it shouldn't be forgotten that the skinhead style has also been taken on by a lot of gay men as well...

Though most won't admit that they even exist, there are gay skins. In some circles they're called boot boys. There's even pornos devoted to the subject.

In terms of the connection between fascism and fashion and whathaveyou, I highly recommend Dick Hebdige's Subculture.

cowboy"no longer a ragamuffin, ma"sally



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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by robertbell:
Dress like a weirdo and you should expect to do a lot of explaining and have people stare at you. Gee, wasn't that the point of the clown costume in the first place?

Suppose it depends on your definition of 'weirdo'. If I see anyone in a full suit when they're not at a wedding/funeral I think that's weird. To a lot of people that's weird. Nowadays few people wear hats, are those who do weirdos by your definition?

quote:
FWIW, you'll grow out of it, eventually. You don't see many dreadlocks or skinheads (except the au natural type) amongst the 50-60 year old crowd.

I know at least 2 people in their mid-to-late
40's with dreads. And that's not counting Rastas.
quote:

W n you get older, you start to appreciate the value of blending-in and are less concerned about making a statement or getting attention (cuz you've already got it made).

(Sorry about the "W n", the computer seems to have gone from "insert" mode to "overwrite" mode and there's nowt I can do about it.). So what is the value of blending in? Pretending not to be intelligent is a good way of blending in, but I wouldn't recommend it. Getting married is a good way of blending in, but I wouldn't do it for the sake of it (could have done it years ago).
quote:

What puzzles me is why youths like to dress as thugs (especially blacks) and then complain about being discriminated against. The fad for a while was to wear ski masks and stockings on your head like you were on your way to rob a 7-11. I mean, for christ's sake, why not just dress up as the Hamburgler(tm)?

What you wear on a daily basis should not double as a Halloween costume.


I think that the point is that you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I know that we all do, but that doesn't make it right. A lot of people think that forigners shouldn't live in England. Doesn't make it an acceptable opinion. Why should someone be assumed to be a racist based on nothing but a haircut? That's just discrimination of the highest order. "Because everyone knows that skinhead=racist", yeah, everyone "knows" that an earring in your right ear means that you're gay, too.

BTW, how many Halloween costumes have you seen? Stupid, unoriginal, easy knee-jerk comment.

Troll "I'll take the high road and you'll take the low road" face


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jg
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Gee Robertbell, I sure hope I never grow out of it. On the weekends I tend to dress the same as I always did and my hair is getting all funked up again which is pretty fun. I have quit wearing the dog collars though, so perhaps you are correct. Although, I stopped wearing those when you could buy them in a clothing store. What fun was that? Much more entertaining to clothes shop at the pet store.

True, some of it is to get noticed. But it is also just a statement that you shouldn't judge by outward appearance. Common perceptions and acceptances should be challenged otherwise there is no change. Even in the suit and tie category people try to express some freedom. Tie designs, colors, pleats...all change and come and go. Whatever happened to brown suits?

One of my favorite examples of the danger in judgement was when I was working in Key West. [FYI, my wife and I took three years off to sail around]. I was working as a dockmaster. Ponytail, earrings, stained clothes... I'm checking a guy in at the bar which was my office and he said something along the lines of "Maybe if you work hard you can get an education and move up in the world." I handed him his paper and informed him that if he wanted some financial consultation or his taxes done while he was there, that I charged much more for my CPA services. And that if he needed some other services the bartender had a masters in education.

jg...I dress this way just to keep them at bay


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basegrrl
The Red and the Green Stamps


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neo nazis just like to wear 'em - w/ white laces. supposedly there is a code; diff colored laces mean diff things. like red would be communist, or whatever.
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DrFraud
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by robertbell:
FWIW, you'll grow out of it, eventually. You don't see many dreadlocks or skinheads (except the au natural type) amongst the 50-60 year old crowd.

Tell that to my stepfather - ponytail, three earrings in a single ear, and a slowly-growing buncha tattoos...

quote:
When you get older, you start to appreciate the value of blending-in and are less concerned about making a statement or getting attention (cuz you've already got it made).

Personally, I'd much rather appreciate the value of individuality. If I cared the least iota about "blending in," then I wouldn't be the only early-30's woman I know with mens' gymshoes, slogan caps and a shaved head.

Dr "Don't wear makeup, either" Fraud


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DataAngel
Xboxing Day


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Hmmm *sigh* I hope I never blend in.

Currently up to 10 ear piercings, which isn't that shocking, but in some places gets more stares than facial piercings.

I still wear my dollar store Choke lead (usually on days when I'm feeling particularly like I'm being held back/forced to submit to the higher powers at work). Currently my hair's plum. It was green for the longest time. It's been lots of other shades, as well.

I wear black, blood red, or brownish colours of lipstick, heavy black eyeliner, and black eyeshadow because I like it. I like my eyes especially and I want them to really stand out.

I don't do any of this to shock, offend, or get attention. My clothing is pretty conservative by most standards (lots of black, blue, grey, olive, white -- jeans and t-shirts mostly). I do it because it makes me happy. I'm comfortable.

Data "Love me, love my Doc Martens" Angel


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