Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Daily Mail

Today's article from the Daily Mail (here) focuses on what drove 17-year old Ruby Thomas to kill a 62-year old man in a homophobic attack. The details of the crime are, of course, shocking - Thomas mercilessly attacked the man on the street, shouting homophobic abuse and smiling. After the death of her victim, and in her trial, she showed no remorse. So fair enough, giving her a hard time and all.
  So, what drove her to this violent act? Surely an article on this subject could be very useful, to prevent future crime and so on? Well, the mail has a theory:
"The story of Ruby Thomas, though ... is also the story of a type of girl for whom violence and thuggery has become the default setting, just like many of their male gangland counterparts."
"She began emulating the language and mannerisms — or, at least, what she and others ­mistakenly perceived as the ­language and mannerisms — of black urban youth culture.""But the ‘ghetto culture’ she had become obsessed with is also intrinsically associated with violence and sex."
So, gangster rap is to blame? Black people are, of course, the cause of all problems. One other possible reason for Thomas's violent tendencies is touched on by the mail.  This possible influencing factor in her life is, by my reading of the article, to be considered as to have influenced her less than 'black culture' - When Thomas was 10, her father, described as a "violent alcoholic", stabbed a neighbour 28 times. Now, credit to the Mail  for mentioning this topic, but surely, in an article exploring someone's mental state, this incident deserves a little bit of analysis, rather that simply being stated as part of her "family background". But no - the fact that her father murdered a man when she was a child seems, apparently, to have had less of an effect on Ruby Thomas than the harmful influence of black people.
  Of course, it is possible to argue that the "violent" music and culture she perceived influenced her somewhat, but surely more emphasis should have been placed on her severely troubled childhood than on rap?

Also, as a side note, the Mail quotes some of her Facebook statuses and the like. Fair enough, they illustrate their point about the victim's lack of remorse and so on. But then they explain "the dreadful grammar and spelling alone tells the story of a wasted education".
 Really? These are the signs of a wasted education? Bad spelling on the Internet? Not the fact she beat a man to death for no reason...
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