Racism isn't allowed, so why not discrimination because of dress sense/music?

March 28, 2008 3:31pm CST
Sophie Lancaster has been on the news a lot after she was killed for being a goth. Her boyfriend was also hurt for the same reason, and as she defended him she was beaten to death. Her boyfriend lives with the pain there fore life. Her killers wont be in prison long, they will probably be out after 5 years to do it again as they have had previous convictions. But some people, including her parents, apparently think a law should be made/changed. This is not just something that happens outside of schools. Inside UK schools, if a white teenager was to be mean to a black teen, they would most definitely get in a lot of trouble. Perhaps exclusion. But if a 'Chav' was to threaten or hurt an 'Emo' or basically someone who fits themself into another group, or no group at all, all it is classed as is an usual fight and the punishment wont be as bad. Not even just in schools. But why is this happening? Do you think that this should have punishments as bad as those placed on racism? Or do you think it is not as bad and should therefore stay the same? Any other opinions?
1 person likes this
5 responses
• United States
28 Mar 08
the motivation for a crime should never affect its punishment. it doesnt matter if a white person killed a black person, or if a prep killed a goth. what matters is that one person killed another. by enacting hate crime laws youre only supporting the idea that people are not created equal. people will always find reasons to hate other people, whether its their race, their personality, or where they live, there will always be hate. and when has any violent crime ever been committed that wasnt out of hate? it doesnt matter why you do/did it, it just matters that you did, and now need to be punished for it.
28 Mar 08
Very good point. In fact, I must say, racism can be classed stupidly. Sometimes people are punished wrongly. A persons personality to you can seem arrogant and probably built you to anger, whether their skin colour is White, Black or Green. I cannot believe children must sing 'Baa baa rainbow sheep' now days. But it is true that all cases should be fairly judged, whatever the motivation. Killing is killing after all.
@gemini_rose (16193)
28 Mar 08
I read this story today and I have to say it moved me to tears, what a terribly heartbreaking thing, and she was such a beautiful looking girl. The law should be changed you are right, what is 5 years to the lifetime of pain that the family and that girls boyfriend are going to go through. To me any crime of this nature should be dealt with more seriously, to me the length and strength of the punishments do not match the crimes committed in any crime.
28 Mar 08
Her boyfriend was talking on the news and that almost brought me to tears. They seemed really close. She will be very missed. Yeah, she was a very pretty girl.
29 Mar 08
I think it should class as a hate crime. I've been following this case on the bbc website recently. Absolutely sickening what happened. I hate to hear any stories like this, it's just so stragic and uncalled for. Those kids that did it should be kept away for a long time, I never actually saw if they gave a full verdict as in how long and where? any info?
@fizzytom (754)
• Maribor, Slovenia
29 Mar 08
First I should strees that this was a terrible crime - absolutely awful. But I agree with another contributor who said that killing is killing no matter what the motives. It doesn't make it worse because it was done by someone who didn't like the victim's clothes. Sometimes it's hard to say whether a crime was racially motivated anyway and I think it would also be difficult to prove that a crime occurred because someone was a goth (or any other type of person). Far from becoming more tolerant I think on the whole people are more narrow minded than ever. this is another sad example.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Just linking the story for reference http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3538222.ece Very sad story, it didn't have to happen at all. The reason why people allow discrimination of dress sense/music, or looks is because people revel in it. People are pathetic, put one thing thats different from them, one person that completely breaks their mental stereotypes/expectations and you'll most always get a negative response. Pragmatically though, putting more of a crime on emo or other groups can't really be done since there is no concrete unchangable factor in it (i.e. people are born black, brown, yellow, red, mixed, homosexual, but ways to dress are changible/controllable and 'ugly' is too amorphous to be grouped for the sake of law.) There shouldn't be any extra treatment due to differences. There should be awarness yes, but extra sentencing due to race or affiliation, can't work. Assault is assault, murder is murder. Charge everyone the same for the crime despite what affiliation the victim is. And while we are at it, eliminate any special treatment or excusing criminals based on affiliation/minority status. If Sophie's killers only get 5 years... that should be an exclamation mark of the failure that is justice (maybe the failure that is "humanity" too). If it was up to me we'd throw them in jail for 50 years (5 years...what a joke. Hmph, the dark in me has a "fix them" plan of a nice 5 year beatdown as a punishment... -_-).