Sunday, April 7, 2013

Violence Against “Goths, Emos, Punks, and Metallers” to be Hate Crimes


Reports The Guardian: following a “campaign by [the] Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity set up in memory of a 20-year-old who was fatally attacked in a park near Manchester in 2007,” police in Manchester will now consider violence against ”goths, emos, punks and metallers” to be hate crimes. This will “enable officers to give more support to victims of anti-punk or anti-Goth crime.”  But it won’t mean much in the way of punishment for those convicted of such acts, because “Although British judicial guidelines call for people convicted of hate crimes to receive tougher sentences, the Manchester decision has not been recognised nationally.” In other words, this is basically a politically-motivated PR decision.

That being said, at least according to the finest and most accurate source of knowledge in the history of the world, a hate crime is defined as “when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group.” And goths, emos, punks and metallers certainly are their own social groups to varying degrees (depending on who you’re speaking to — I have plenty of friends who aren’t into metal, but I bet that kid in the photo up top does not have a lot of friends who don’t also dress like The Crow).
Still, I have some random observations to make about this new designation:
  • Why stop at goths, emos, punks and metallers? Isn’t someone just as likely to get the shit kicked out of them walking around dressed like this? Where is the extra support for country music fans???
  • Is anyone else alarmed that The Sophie Lancaster Foundation’s celebrity endorsers include Courtney Love and Gary Numan?
  • On behalf on metallers everywhere, mightn’t it be possible NOT to lump us in with goth and emos (punks don’t really bother me, so long as they don’t consider Blink-182 to be punk)?
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