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Remembering Sophie Lancaster


By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read

I felt I needed to write something about this but the actual intro to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation site says it all.

People should not be bullied for being different. It may start off as a flippant insult, but in the last ten years, we have seen the acceptance and normalisation of prejudice based on race, sex, social class, anything.

This is wrong.

This is Sophie’s story.

“Sophie Lancaster was a young woman who was murdered for being different. She and her boyfriend were creative, artistic people who dressed in their own unique way. They were attacked by a gang of five boys in a park in Bacup, Lancashire on 11 August 2007. The gang attacked Sophie’s boyfriend first and then turned on her, carrying out a brutal and sustained attack. Sophie remained in hospital for 13 days, before following medical advice, the family agreed to life support being switched off. Sophie died on 24 August 2007; she was just 20 years old.

Sophie’s mother, Sylvia, had seen at first-hand the abuse and prejudice her daughter had previously been subjected to, because of how she dressed. During the long hours at hospital, Sylvia decided that when Sophie was better, they would go into schools and talk to young people about difference, and how it is ok to be who you are and express yourself in your own way. Sadly, Sylvia never got a chance to do this with Sophie.

Sylvia was determined that she would carry on this work and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was established as a lasting legacy to a beautiful life cut short by violence. The charity works to promote tolerance and acceptance for others – however, we are different and champion alternative people in our communities. The Foundation’s mission is to stamp out prejudice hatred and intolerance everywhere,”

I had seen newspaper articles when it happened and the band Bad Pollyanna released the wonderful single “Invincible Girl” in aid of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

Her legacy is to stop hate, prejudice, bullying and violence by educating people by going into schools and organisations.

The Mission statement is:

Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere

A contrived but very powerful statement and this can be used anywhere this happens.

The killing of George Floyd is in the same area. Someone killed because bullies who were more powerful could just attack someone with little fear of being held to account, just like the ones that killed Sophie.

It is too easy to target people if they are different. Sophie just happened to be a Goth, I love different cultures you can learn so much from them, but to some people, they become a threat, but that threat is just imagined and gives bullies an excuse to become aggressive towards people.

Our PM condoned such actions when people were booing football players for taking the knee to support Black Lives Matter, after the booing comes the aggression and it doesn't even stop when people are killed.

A few years ago I was walking down the West Road in Newcastle and thought “I am the only white person I can see here” and it brought me great joy to be in such a vibrant multicultural environment.

Being different is not, and should not be considered threatening, it is an opportunity to engage and learn. We don’t even think about curries, pizzas, noodles, or fried rice when we order food but these are all different from standard British fare.

We should embrace the difference and call out prejudice, hate and intolerance if ever we see it taking hold. It is very easy for people to play people's fears, stoke up hatred and then the result be the death of innocents because of their dress.

Be Tolerant and Embrace Difference.

The Sophie Lancaster Website Can Be Found ByVisiting Here

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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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  • Denise E Lindquistabout a year ago

    Listened to your great friend Lee Sei-Macfhearchair. Read your poem! Hearted❤️

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