Ben Moores, a 16-year old, was the victim of a brutal, disgusting, senseless attack. Fifteen youths set upon him, knocking him to the ground, kicking and beating him. His wrists and head were stomped on. Patches of his hair were yanked out. Blood poured from his ears. All this violence for a very simple reason: Ben is a heavy metal fan.
According to the Manchester Evening News
, Ben was attacked behind a local supermarket, one which was only two miles away from the site where Sophie Lancaster
was brutally attacked for “looking goth” in 2007. Lancaster later died from her injuries.
Read on for more details.
Ben stated, “When they got me on the floor I thought I was going to die. There was no stopping them – they wouldn’t let me up. I had blood all over my face by the end. When I was getting kicked and stamped in my head and on my wrists and my hair was being pulled out, there was nothing I could do. Thinking about it now makes me shiver in shock. They were only doing it because of the way I look and because I’ve got long hair and like heavy metal music. It’s all because I dress a bit different and have different interests.”
Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie’s mother, who is campaigning for attacks based on visual appearance to be classified as hate crimes, said, “It’s disgraceful what has happened. The fact that young people gang together like that and think of it as fun is just wrong. People have no rights to do this – it is beyond me why they think it is okay. It is very sad that there have been no lessons learned.
Seven of the 15 kids were arrested. They are currently on bail until May 17th.
Personal reflections: The death of Sophie Lancaster should have been a wake up call that a wealth of communities all over the world are being discriminated, hated, and killed for the way they look. It’s not just one or two cultures that have to deal with this.
The violent beating of Ben Moores is yet another example of this senseless discrimination, one that has no place in the 21st century.
The media sensationalism surrounding the death of Travyon Martin has brought the spotlight onto one death when there are countless other atrocities being committed that people are quite happy to ignore. People feel like they show their care and their support to one injustice and that proves that they care. Nope, not in my book.
Do I feel a personal need to defend Ben Moores and his attack? Of course. I’m part of the metal community and I will support my brothers and sisters. That being said, I try to not turn my back on other news stories or situations that call for the same outrage, the same indignation.
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