Gothic Council on Gothic Hate Crime

Categories: Gothtopia

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There was another random attack on United Kingdom goths last week. Melody McDermott, 22, was knocked across a tram by a head butt delivered from Kenneth Kelsall, 47. Kelsall then proceeded to punch and kick the downed McDermott while his accomplice, Gareth Farrar, attacked McDermott's companion Stephen Stafford before the two attackers ran off.

McDermott suffered a fractured eye socket while Stafford needed stitches for an ear injury. The attackers both pleaded guilty to assault and will be sentenced on July 2. The attack is an eerie mirror of the one that befell Sophie Lancaster in 2007, save that Lancaster didn't survive the beating delivered by a gang of thugs that celebrated having "done summat [something] good" in beating down the gothic teen.

The day after Memorial Day seems as good as any to summon the Gothic Council to debate what could be considered a rise of hate crimes against goths, and if so why. Joining us this week are fashion designer Batty, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, blogger at Night's Plutonium Shore Sarah Fanning, living historian Morrighanne Burns, author of Starblood Carmilla Voiez, artist Ugly Shyla, and Webmistress at Morticia's Morgue Becky Plexco.

Batty: Just at a glance, I don't think anyone will ever answer why people do these things. Some people are inherently evil and fucked-up in the head, and it will never change, sadly. Goth or not, hate crimes against anyone are usually done by those type of evil bastards that no one can ever figure out and who will never listen to reason because they have none themselves. Bad eggs.


Alethea Carr: People who are capable of that level of violence often need only a target, and goths are walking, big, black targets, very visually set apart from the crowd. All any predator needs is someone separated from the herd. Also, I think goths can be perceived as lower-risk targets because other people may be less likely to defend someone who looks "evil" or "scary" than to defend a more obviously innocent victim.

It's also possible that the attackers and the general public may feel goths are asking for it by deviating so heavily from the aesthetic norm. Barbaric thinking, yes, but society is only recently removed from those same sentiments against women being raped or gay men being beaten.


Batty: I have to agree with Alethea. Being goth is just a trigger for these people and they are looking for one. It could have just as easily been a punk, a hippie, a drag queen, anything that stands out. These people are just ticking bombs waiting for something to set them off. Living in Texas sure seems to cure a lot of this behavior, because we can easily carry guns and no one seems to really mess with anyone half as much out of fear of getting shot.


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3 comments
Dyin Isis
Dyin Isis

Shameless plug but I was sad to see this crop up in my newsfeed  Want to do something to help put a stop to it? Head on over to my Just giving page and give me some monies towards the The Sophie Lancaster Foundation for my Marathon attempt at The South Coast Roll in August! http://www.justgiving.com/skatingforsophie

Jettdadswell
Jettdadswell

I have had trouble in the past, its time to toughen up and fight back, carry pepper spray, or a walking cane, the time has come , lets stand and fight, I am sick of hearing about Goths being the victims, lets do something about it , learn a martial art or other self defense, fuck it lets start a class for Goths and help them take care of themselfs, i for one would attend.

P.Cosette
P.Cosette

It happened to me in France, ten years and 5 months ago. I was 21, living in the second biggest city in france, it was 4.30pm, so rush hour for people to leave work and go to the comfort of their home. You see, even with my looks, I had already 2 jobs and also going to uni at the time. The freak was more productive than most people her age! Anyway, here I was, waiting for the subway, it was packed on the quay, and when it finally arrived I managed to squash myself in there because otherwise I would have been late to my second job. I had been up since 4 am in the morning, got to the first job and then to my classes at uni. I did not expect to be home before 11.30pm on that day, so I was really tired already, and did not want to think of that other shift to work. On the train, two guys came to me, and started to tease me, taunt me -sorry, my english is not that good to describe it!. I was annoyed but was not respomding to any of their insulting comments, which annoyed them more than anything else. I thoought that respponding was all they were waiting for so they coulf kick off, I was wrong, whatever I would have done would not have prevented what happened next....In a train packed with people. Then when the train arrived at my stop, i tried to leave, it was horrible to feel everyones look on me, they were hearing everything, no one did anything to sop the insult. No one stopped them when they followed me out, no one on the quay stop them when they jumped on me, literally, no one stopped them when they beat me up. I try to fight back and it led me against a wall where i could not move anymore. I was trapped. I was left on the floor, with people walking around me not stopping, I was unconscious for a while. It is only when the police arrived that i started to understand what happened, They saw me on the CCTV and they tried to come as fast as they could. Then for me it went from bad to worse. Only because of how I look, only because I have a certain style some people think they have the right to do this, and the rest just close their eyes on it. I sunk into depression, agoraphobia and other disorders, only because society has turned blind on what happens in front of their eyes. The biggest harm that i think was done to me was not the attack itself, not the beating, but the indefference of people around. No one cares. It was ten years ago, and got much better, only I cannot look at people in the eyes in the street, because these eyes are just judgmental eyes, or worse indifferent. I have left the country 7 years ago and tried since then to built myself a new life. I still have the same style, and nothing, no one will stop me. We do not have to feel victimised, society just needs to change, and open its eyes. And I am not talking about goths only!

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