A Food Editor’s Past Starts A Conversation About Youthful Idiocy, Forgiveness, And Diversity

Senior Editor
05.13.16 13 Comments

Eater.com editor Nick Solares is currently on leave after old pictures of him surfaced from when he was the lead singer of a skinhead punk band. Back then he was known as “English Nick,” and sang for Y.D.L. (Youth Defense League), who “while never explicitly racist,” otherwise sound fairly typical of hooligany, white nationalist-tinged oi! punk — songs about “taking back the streets” and so forth.

Solares disavowed his past in an apology post on Eater on Wednesday.

When I was a teenager in NYC in the 1980s, I became involved with the right-wing skinhead scene within the hard punk subculture. I am deeply ashamed by this, and I made the decision decades ago to disassociate myself from far-right politics and fully disavow the bigoted and dehumanizing ideologies they represent.

Even though it was the pre-internet age, there are plenty of records of who I was then, including photos and videos. Recently, records of me from that time — photos, video, and text — surfaced on an online messageboard, and some members of that community are circulating them to the media. The material connects me to the hateful and poorly informed beliefs that I held as a teenager, but which now I find morally reprehensible and completely disavow.

I was a British kid who wound up falling in with a group of white-pride American nationalists, and while I was part of this group I believed the hateful things that they believed, and helped spread the message. I was the lead singer of a popular hardcore band and fed off — and indeed contributed to — the darker impulses of the scene.

Plenty of photos are still freely available online showing Solares performing in front of Confederate and Afrikaner Resistance Movement flags in places full of racist symbology — none of which should be surprising to learn about a guy who admits he was involved in the skinhead scene.

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