Subject: regarding "Gunmen as Outcasts" article of April 21,1999
To whom it may concern:
I was very displeased to see such a thing printed in a so-called "respectable" newspaper located at the seat of our national government. A baseless attack on the "Gothic" subculture, when the subject was obviously not researched, but rather gleaned from other poorly researched rumors circulating the news media.
The "Trenchcoat Mafia", as your article presented them, would appear to be Nazis, not Goths. Neo-Nazis (around since WWII) do have a tendency to wear all black. This is not to say that neo-nazis go around killing people, to my knowledge, they don't. But the racism indicated in your article has no connection to the subculture known as "Gothic." Nor does anything you reported indicate that the killers were gothic even in dress. Most media including yours, have described the kids as merely having a predisposition for wearing black trenchcoats and listening to industrial music. Many people, including businessmen, wear black trenchcoats that are not gothic. Many people (including athletes) listen to industrial music. That is not a signifier of the gothic subculture. Nor is even wearing all black. Some people, including some neo-nazis, choose to wear monochrome black outfits. If a person chooses to wear a red outfit, does that make them a "Blood" (LA gang that wears red)?
The Trenchcoat is *not* the penultimate symbol of gothic subculture. Most goths do not actually wear trenchcoats. I've seen goths wearing tailcoats and riding coats and fur coats and capes. I've seen goths wearing red, purple, green, blue, grey, white and other colors. I've seen asian goths, african american goths, caucasian american goths, and hispanic goths. I know vegetarian goths and no goths I have ever met go around killing people. The gothic culture is widely accepting of alternative sexualities, and if you recall, the homosexuals were one of the first groups to the gas chambers in nazi germany.
Goths do NOT celebrate hitler's birthday.
It's hard to tell with so little information (as opposed to opinion and speculation which were present in abundance) regarding this story , but nothing clearly indicates that your "Trenchcoat Mafia" members were goths, and why they need to be shoved into a label at all is beyond me. They were very disturbed young men, and our culture should take responsibility for producing them instead of casting them into the category of "other" or "outcast" as so many news media have done.
The vast and inaccurate generalizations presented by your paper are misrepresenting an entire subculture of America's youth. As a respected purveyor of information in our culture and our nation's capital, you should require that your reporters do more in-depth and accurate research (even 1 hour on the internet would've yielded enough information to disprove any imagined association between the trenchcoat mafia and goths), and that you cease printing opinionated editorial comments as "news" stories and try to stick to facts.
Here is an article from journalist that did a little more research into the
subject, perhaps you could follow their example:
http://www.bostonherald.com/bostonherald/nat/goth04221999.htm [link no longer active].
Lord God Queen Bitch