Are hate crimes a product of ignorance?

In 2007, a young woman called Sophie and her boyfriend Robert were walking through Stubbylee Park in Lancashire when they were brutally attacked by five teenagers. The attack caused Sophie severe head trauma, which lead her to fall into a coma that she would never regain consciousness from. On the 24th of August of that year, Sophie had died after that horrific attack that stemmed from the five teenagers being provoked by the couple’s gothic dress sense.

Similarly, this year, a 16-year-old boy was attacked, the alleged attackers (a 14-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man) assaulted the teenager from Manchester who was described as an “emo”. Young people such as Sophie Lancaster and the teenager from Manchester are being viciously attacked and bullied every day because of the music they listen to and the subculture in which they see their lives being involved in. Skaters, Goths, Emo’s and Punks of this generation and this century shouldn’t be fearing for their lives. Instead, they should be living them to the fullest enjoying the music that they love and embracing their images.

Nowadays young people venture out in the world in all different kinds of attire, in all different shades of eyeliner and lipstick, whilst listening to different kinds of music. Is it pure ignorance towards people of the rock and metal subculture? Perhaps. This kind of hate crime can only be pointed in the direction of ignorance because of other peoples lack of knowledge to why people enjoy being a Punk or a Goth.

I know I’ve spoken about my “rock and metal upbringing” in previous posts, but I was brought into a world where listening to rock music was just in my veins. My mother liked it, therefore I was that way inclined to liking it as well – it’s just a part of nature, or nurture. The “come as you are” tattoo which I can’t help but mention is in reference to this: I will come as I am, no matter how I look or particularly what music I listen to.

Growing up in the 21st century is not only the greatest thing that could ever happen to young people, but could actually be the worst as well. We’re surrounded by hate and fearing unpopularity because of what we love. When you go to school and you listen to rock music: you’re instantly an emo or a goth, or my favourite a “greebo”, which is something I got a LOT when I was a lot younger than I am now.

It’s hard because you can’t turn a blind eye to it. Hate crimes are spiralling out of control and are particularly aimed at those who look different to others. We are who we are and these hate crimes shouldn’t stop us from being ourselves! Instead, it should show simple minded people like the attackers that there are people who are a little different. Yeah, so that girl might have dreadlocks and he might have a few rings in his nose, but does that mean they should be attacked? No.

Some people are born different and interesting, get over it.

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