Anti-Goth Congressman Takes Over Chair of the Small Business Committee
“Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., has been elevated from ranking member to chairman of the Small Business Committee as part of the Republican takeover of the House, and will likely push a far more conservative political agenda on most issues compared with his Democratic predecessor.”
Why does this matter?
This is the same congressman who was behind the infamous “anti-goth grant.” Congressman Graves (a rather ironic name for someone anti-goth) drafted a bill in 2002 which included a $273,000 federal grant to study and combat goth culture in Blue Springs, Missouri. The anti-goth grant described goth behavior as ranging from “kids overplucking or penciling in their eyebrows to drinking blood from ‘themselves or any willing donors.'”
The grant application — titled “‘Identification of Youth Adversely Affected by the Gothic Movement” —  notes that most goths are white, artistic, introspective, nonviolent, moody and intelligent. Other goth characteristics named in the application, listed from serious to silly, include dyed hair; piercings; tattoos; black eyeliner; black lipstick; clove cigarettes; attachments to animals (“mainly to cats”); fascination with graveyards, spiders, candles and skulls; and a proclivity for hanging out at coffee shops.” (Source)
The anti-goth grant received national notoriety as being a waste of money. But Graves insisted that goth culture posed a “serious threat” to Blue Springs. Graves had hoped the funding would help “identify goth culture leaders that are preying on our kids.” Rep.Graves even threatened that kids identified with goth culture were “doing self-mutilation, animal sacrifices, the sort of violent behavior and drug use that possibly could lead up to what happened at Columbine in 1999 with Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.” [source]
The Graves funded anti-goth program didn’t really ever get off the ground. Half of the money was returned. The study couldn’t identify any problems that goths were causing and concluded that society should be more understanding and tolerant.
Perhaps, Congressman Graves learned something from the incident. The congressman apparently has not put forward any other measures directly targeting goths.
Siouxsie will be keeping her heavily lined eye on Congressman Graves.