The term "Oi" was originally Cockney
, meaning "Hey". Later it became the name of a sub-genre of punk
music in England the late 1970s, originally without racist
content. Eventually neo-nazi skinhead
s infected the Oi scene to the extent that those outside the scene eqated Oi with racism
, although there are still many non-racist
Roddy Moreno of The Oppressed, one of the most outspoken anti-racist Oi bands, said:
If you don't care, they will take your scene, they will ruin it and suck the lifeblood out of it.
When I started off, we were doing well. We had songs on compilation albums and were making the national charts. We were just looked at as a punk offshoot. But once you had bands like Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack come out, singing "white Britain," and "white power," and stuff like that, all of a sudden the media started saying we have skinhead bands here, all of a sudden no coverage at all, nobody would touch any skinhead bands. Because all skinhead bands were Oi bands, automatically Oi got painted with the same brush. So if you were Oi or skinhead, you couldn't get gigs, you couldn't play anywhere, nobody would want to put your records out. It was all because the Nazis came in and most people stood by and let it happen.
source: Soundtracks to the White Revolution: White Supremacist Assaults on Youth Music Subcultures, edited by Devin Burghart