The Sunday Tribune (print edition only) has a harrowing report about the savagery of Dublin late at night (I’m sure it’s similar elsewhere) and how it is affecting the gay community in particular with groups of young men now regularly targetting gays on their way home.
“As Frank walked home on his last night in town, he was lured into an alleyway in Dublin city centre, beaten unconscious and left for dead… When a passerby found him the next morning on his way to work, he assumed Frank was dead. The Gardai couldn’t find a pulse and also thought he was murdered…The Gardai tracked Frank’s attacker down using the GPS satellite technology in his mobile phone. His attacker was 17, a serial gay basher, who left one man in a coma.”
Gay bashings are on the rise and, as a result, the Gardai have increased the number of gay liason officers but the question the article asks is why?
“Why? Why the penchant for violence? Why the pack mentality? Why the targetting of gay men? What are these gangs – some barely out of their teens, others in their early 20s trying to prove? Who do they hate? Do they hate men who are different to them, who threaten their sense of masculinity? Do they hate themselves? Do they need to feel powerful due to a lack of power – economic, personal or social – in their own lives? What values were they brought up? And what were they taught at school?
Dermod Moore, who has suffered two attacks in Dublin says he “is beginning to wonder what’s happening in Dublin street culture. On the island of Ireland, we’re a violent lot. There’s a level of gang mentality and savagery…
“Going through Dublin at 3am, it’s a wild savage place. It’s teeming with young bruisers, looking for trouble.”
Bert Archer, author of “The End of Gay, The death of Heterosexuality”, believes the motivation for gay bashing definitely has something to do with increased acceptance of gayness in Irish society.
“It creates frustration among people who think that being gay is disgusting and are lamenting the fagification of society. Alcohol doesn’t create the feeling behind the bash, it just gives it vent, especially in a culture which tends not to get too outraged.”
Another explanation for the violence is given by French philosophical anthropologist Rene Girard:
“As human beings we replace our innate need for aggression and rivalry between each other onto a victim; we can destroy each other, destroy the object we desire… or instead create ‘scapegoats’ who are believed to be on the margins of society…
“Ultimately, the persecutors always convince themselves that a small number of people, or even a single individual, despite his relative weakness, is extremely harmful to the whole of society.”