Debate and Discussion

Rest in Peace
Little Swan at 6:52AM, Aug. 24, 2009
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2 years ago today, a young girl at the prime of her life passed away. This girl was beautiful, and peaceful, and caring, and someone who would always help people in need. This girl was brutally attacked whilst cradling the head of her beaten boyfriend and begging the attackers to stop. They had been kicked and stamped in the head so much that paramedics could not tell which was male and which was female, and both were left in comas; unfortunately this girl's injuries were so severe that she later died.
THEIR CRIME?
These two young people, Robert Maltby, 21 and Sophie Lancaster, 20, were Goths. They belonged to a subculture of people who are mostly about pride in oneself, about beauty, and about peace. The attacks took place due to ignorance, intolerance and an unexcusable lack of humanity.
The death of Sophie and the trauma these two peaceful people went through has sent shockwaves through the Gothic community, a community that I myself am proud to be a member of. What happened to these people is an extreme case of something that happens to many of us who are proud to be ourselves.
Just because people don't understand what it means to be a Goth (or a part of any subculture), is not a reason to attack such people, who have done nothing to cause harm. Why is it that the good people suffer? Many people are of the mind “don't understand it, destroy it”. Humans should instead try to understand their fellow man (woman, and child), rather than viciously attack them.
Sophie and Robert's ordeal has sparked the massive S.O.P.H.I.E (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere) campaign not only in their memory but also in honour of anyone else who has suffered some form of prejudice- due to race, sexuality, subculture or indeed anything else.
I ask of you, dear readers, to take a moment and think of a pair of beautiful young people who never meant any harm, and who instead will never be together again–one died through protecting her love, and the other torn into pieces and feeling as if he lost his everything.
Sophie and her boyfriend sound so much like my boyfriend and I, which is what really hit me hardest.
In honour of these two people, particularly Sophie, and also in honour of yourselves and any prejudice you may have suffered in your lifetimes, remember Sophie, and S.O.P.H.I.E, and use it for good. Spread the message and help create a fairer, less prejudiced, nicer society. Thank You.

I know that my drawing will never be enough to replace her life, but I hope the thought and my words will be a good enough memorial. Rest in Peace, Sophie, and my fondest wishes to her friends, family and especially Robert.

If you click on either of my comics, you will see this message and the drawing I did for Sophie. (Pages titled “Rest in Peace” )

Her death was tragic, and yet has encouraged many to be better people and to create a nicer, more tolerant, less ignorant society.
Please help me, and many others, in making the world a better place, by being more tolerant and less prejudiced yourself, and by spreading the message.

Please make this world a better place.

Thank You.

Amber.

The banner will take you to the official Sophie Lancaster Foundation website

(Feel free to PQ me any questions or feedback).
S.O.P.H.I.E
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:35PM
Hawk at 9:02AM, Aug. 24, 2009
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It's a touching tribute, but is there a debate here multiple opposing viewpoints that you would like us to debate? That's kind of what this part of the forum is about.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Little Swan at 9:35AM, Aug. 24, 2009
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My apologies.

My question to debate is;

Why does much of our society feel the need to turn upon ourselves for our differences? What causes the level of intolerance that everyone can see, and why can people not just accept differences or try to learn about each other?

As a bonus- What more can be done to bridge the gap and stop things like this happening again?
S.O.P.H.I.E
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:35PM
da_kasha at 10:22AM, Aug. 24, 2009
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I wouldn't say it's our society itself but certain members of our society. In my experience our society is pretty tolerant of everyone but sadly there are those people among us who greatly lack in heart and mind.

I get the feeling that it wasn't because they were goth that these people were attacked but that they were simply in the wrong place and the wrong time. I suspect if they were normal (and I use that word loosely) then the same thing would have happened anyway.


What can be done to stop things like this happening again?
I'm guessing very little. These people were most likely born into those types of families and will go on themselves to raise children the same. It's a never-ending circle.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:09PM
Little Swan at 12:18PM, Aug. 24, 2009
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I wouldn't say our society itself, no, but unfortunately there are a lot of people, particularly in my own age group, I'm ashamed to say (I'm 17) who are serverly prejudiced and lacking in respect. Many adults I talk to have noticed it, and a lot say that a lot of the youth of today have barely any respect for anyone else-in fact, old people tend to be shocked that I let them on the bus before me, or pick up their shopping when they drop it.
However, this is not the issue.
The point is, is that the youth of our society in particular are mostly ignorant and intolerant.

Sophie and Robert probably were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but believe me when I say they were set upon due to them being goths, considering the verbal abuse that was hurled during the attack, and comments made by the perpetrators afterwards. To quote;
“Witnesses revealed that afterwards: ”The killers celebrated their attack on the goths — or “moshers” - by telling friends afterwards that they had, "done summat good,“ and claiming: ”There's two moshers nearly dead up Bacup park — you wanna see them — they're a right mess."

This is not a solitary event either… many Goths and members of other alternative cultures are set upon for the simple reason of being a part of those circles. I myself have been stalked, had to suffer some form of abuse almost every day at school, been beaten up and spat at, also has my boyfriend… why is it right that we should suffer this from people that don't even know us? Most people don't even understand what Goth means or actually is, which is even less reason to attack people for being so-how can you hate something if you don't know what it is?

In my personal opinion, this is no better than homophobia or racism.

da_kasha
What can be done to stop things like this happening again?
I'm guessing very little. These people were most likely born into those types of families and will go on themselves to raise children the same. It's a never-ending circle.

While I agree with you that nurture has a lot to do with it (the nature/nurture debate is a never-ending one), and that a lot of these people probably will grow up to pass the prejudices down to their children, are you saying that we should all stand by and do nothing? If people don't at least try to stop then more and more attacks of this nature are going to occur.
If we just let people get away with this, then we are no better than they are for allowing it to happen.
Okay, so we won't be able to make every single person less prejudiced and more tolerant, but surely it's our duty to try?
S.O.P.H.I.E
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:35PM
Aurora Moon at 12:52PM, Aug. 24, 2009
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As an goth myself, I can fully identify with this.

I've faced a lot of intolerant people myself. A few picked on me simply because I was deaf, but for the most part the reason why they kept on harassing me were because I loved Gothic fashion and wore it a lot.

I've seen those same people pick on other people who weren't goths too–simply on the basis that those other non-goths weren't conforming to their idea of what was “normal”.

Quite frankly, I think those people are just looking for plenty of excuses to pick on others, in order to feel better about their pathetic lives. They probably love to hate others for no good reason, and then feel that they have to justify it. It's sorta like akin to an anti-social person… Anti-socials are the ones who will go out of their way to make friends with everyone… but not for the purpose of being social, but so that they can make their so-called friends' lives an living hell and then bask in their suffering.

Unfortunately, sometimes they go too far when they do it.

I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
da_kasha at 6:56PM, Aug. 28, 2009
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Little Swan
I wouldn't say our society itself, no, but unfortunately there are a lot of people, particularly in my own age group, I'm ashamed to say (I'm 17) who are serverly prejudiced and lacking in respect…

I'm not sure I can relate very well to that. I have experiences of Neds and Chavs bullying me especially as I moved schools a lot. My opinion of a lot of people in my age group is that they're jerks. However what moving schools around has taught me is that the amount of jerks varies from place to place. In a small town there were more nice people than nasty and in my last school there were completely opposite polars. It was right next to a university so about half the people were smart but recently it had been merged with a school from a ned area so the other half could die for the good of mankind.

The interesting thing is, and I'm glad you mention homophobia, that when they bullied me that's exactly what they used. I'm not a lesbian but because they couldn't easily put me in a group they made one up for me as the subject of their taunts for the first few months. When I got friends they were too scared to continue :) So my opinion stands as is.

Little Swan
Okay, so we won't be able to make every single person less prejudiced and more tolerant, but surely it's our duty to try?

Ah, another case of easier said than done. How exactly do you suggest we try? They already try in schools but you know they won't listen. Most of their parents are unfit but if you take the children away you'd have so many on your hands that you can't reasonably look after them. The best way would be to neuter the whole lot of them but we know there's no way in hell that would happen.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:09PM
Orin J Master at 7:48AM, Aug. 29, 2009
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i call bullshite. okay someone got beaten. you've provided zero explanation as to who and why however. this could just as easily have been someone was an arrogant jerkoff and started mouthing off to people he really shouldn't have, and some dumb girl made the mistake of trying to run in on a curbstomp instead of, y'know, getting a cop or something.

two years ago, someone got beat to death. maybe they should have no been stupid. for some dumb reason a bunch of kids in a scene had made a martyr of them and decided to embarrass themselves. no part of that inspires any empathy from me, and neither should it from anyone else.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Aurora Moon at 9:58AM, Aug. 29, 2009
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really? then how do you explain the police reports listing the witnesses (and there was a lot of them), describing how the couple were together, just walking along minding their own business? according to everyone there, they made no moves that would had caused those jerks to kill them. this was an completely unprovoked attack.

And what's with you, orin? lately I see your posts in here, and they've been nothing but negative. It almost feels like you're trying to troll, but failing miserably.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Orin J Master at 12:04PM, Aug. 29, 2009
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Aurora Moon
really? then how do you explain the police reports listing the witnesses (and there was a lot of them), describing how the couple were together, just walking along minding their own business?

SHOW ME THESE REPORTS YOU SPEAK OF. there was nothing mentioned of any of this in the opening post or on that website.

also, to me this was a troll thread.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
ifelldownthestairs at 12:05PM, Aug. 29, 2009
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Oh thank god, ORIN J MASTER HAS SOMETHING TO SAY.

The average person does indeed need to be neutered, da_kasha.

One can't help but wonder if it's just something that's too difficult to get rid of. Sure, what with equal rights movements social conditions have improved vastly for women and blacks, but then when gays feel comfortable coming out, they get discrimination just as bad as it once was for the aforementioned!

…er… minus slavery, suffrage, being property and all that stuff. But getting randomly cornered and beaten to death just because you prefer your own gender to another is no picnic either.

Now people are getting harrassed because of the way they dress too? To the point of violence? I know this has been around since probably the late sixties, with hippies, but how many incidents were there with some guy getting killed by a seemingly normal person just because he had long hair? How common was this kind of thing back in 1945, when the women who took over our work force were sent back home just because men were back from the war?

It just seems that there's always going to be something.
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Mr Lostman at 12:44PM, Aug. 29, 2009
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Someone
And what's with you, orin? lately I see your posts in here, and they've been nothing but negative. It almost feels like you're trying to troll, but failing miserably.
Do you equate everyone with a different opinion or thought on a matter to be negative or trolling? That is a terrible mindset to have.
Blood Martian Flowers. Occasionally updates.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Aurora Moon at 11:10AM, Aug. 30, 2009
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Mr Lostman
Someone
And what's with you, orin? lately I see your posts in here, and they've been nothing but negative. It almost feels like you're trying to troll, but failing miserably.
Do you equate everyone with a different opinion or thought on a matter to be negative or trolling? That is a terrible mindset to have.

no, it's not like that at all. I couldn't give a flying fig if everyone else on this board disagreed with me or not on certain matters.

however if you look at his/her posts in this debate forum, you can't help but notice how he/she has to take an position that is contrary to everyone else… even if it's to the point of irrationality. Not only that, but she seems to like putting down people that are the subject of discussion such as Blacks, gays, etc in a rather subtle way. Doesn't that sound like trolling to you?

And orin, a simple Google search could had easily given you the evidence that it was real. or better yet, watch the videos of the newscast at the time:
http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/media/media1.html
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Mr Lostman at 1:12PM, Aug. 30, 2009
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Your first part is what I just said. (“Contrary thought? YOU ARE A TROLL!!” )

Secondly, why couldn't the OP give us the links? Why make everybody else look for this?
Blood Martian Flowers. Occasionally updates.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
ifelldownthestairs at 3:51PM, Aug. 30, 2009
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Yeah, how dare she overlook something.

What a BITCH
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
jaex at 4:16PM, Aug. 30, 2009
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Little Swan
Most people don't even understand what Goth means or actually is, which is even less reason to attack people for being so-how can you hate something if you don't know what it is?

In my personal opinion, this is no better than homophobia or racism.

The fact that they don't understand it is one of the many reasons why someone might hate something, though. It's very easy to hate something when you're ignorant about it.

I don't understand a lot of things, and because of that even I carry bits of dislike for certain types of people. Part of it is because of my history with those types, but most of it is because I just don't understand. I can't really help it; the only thing that will help it is if I educate myself about them and spend time around them… which I don't think I'd ever personally go out of my way to do.

It's not too hard for me to understand why someone who's violent and hateful would be acting out against something they don't understand. Hell, it's easy for me to understand homophobes– and I experience and accept an attraction to the same gender. I might have been homophobic if I hadn't known what going through that felt like… who knows?

Ignorance leaves a huge gap in the mind, and that gap is often filled with nonsense of all sorts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Orin J Master at 9:08PM, Aug. 30, 2009
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Aurora Moon
a simple Google search could had easily given you the evidence that it was real. or better yet, watch the videos of the newscast at the time:
http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/media/media1.html

none of those are police reports, which are what i was inquiring about (sorry, on reflection i was a bit vague there) the videos on the site have an understandable bias, which means they can't answer my question of why they were beating that guy in the first place. it's possible he'd pissed them off before, or owed them money, or simply started shit not thinking it would escalate. and the girl was, simply put, acting stupid. she couldn't do anything to fight them off, and she should have gone for a cop.

someone died, and i'm sure it's sad for the people that knew her, but i don't see where “OMG GOTH HATE” factors into it, and therefore why i should bother with some group based around protecting kids because of their particular silly outfits choices and corporatized counterculture.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Hawk at 10:32PM, Aug. 30, 2009
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Well, there's not really a debate going on here. The post didn't fit here in the first place. We tried to make it work, but it didn't.

And I'll just say it… I have a hard time caring that two years ago a few people got killed for being goths. Why? Because other than their names, all we're presented with is the stereotype they fit into. And if they want to be mourned, they'll have to get in line behind the people we personally knew and were friends with.

So I think that's about it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM

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