Thursday, April 04, 2013

Hate Crimes

A quick blip from the news this morning that Greater Manchester Police will now include attacks on goths, emos etc. as "hate crimes". Cue the a Torygraph blog entry "Isn't 'hate crime' against goths and punks just old-fashioned yobbery?" Playing the card hand of the "where do we stop?" and "how will [those it was originally] designed to protect, feel".

Should beating up a random person be treated as the same as beating someone up because they appear to be a member of a particular subculture? Oh and no I'm not using his term of "youth subculture" as this has the implications that the adherents will 'grow out of it'.

If someone targets goths in particular how is that any different from targeting Asians? The argument he presents is that goths etc. can change whereas you can't change your skin colour. Is that how hate crime should be defined - targeting a person due to a trait intrinsic to that person?

If that's the case how is telling goths to change their appearance so they won't be beaten up any different from telling homosexuals not to 'act gay' in public to avoid the same repercussions? Should we be instructing Polish immigrants that they should stop speaking Polish in public otherwise it's their own fault for being attacked?

What Mr Freeman seems to not understand is that those who hate a group are more likely to look for and try to beat up members of that group rather than get involved in the type of random dust-up he provides as an example. Of course beating someone up just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time shouldn't be treated as somehow 'better' than attacking someone due to their clothing, but it does send a strong message that actions towards the 'different-to-me' won't be tolerated.