Published 04 April 2013 15:48
Are attacks on goths, heavy metal fans and other "subcultures" hate crimes?
"A legal and bureaucratic scheme that privileges some types of hate crime as special while ignoring others is dangerous in itself, says Nelson Jones.
Goths at the annual Wave-Gotik-Treffen music festival in Leipzig
Greater Manchester Police is to start recording violent assaults on goths as hate crimes.
For some people, the announcement that Greater Manchester Police is to start recording violent assaults on goths, heavy metal fans and members of other easily-identifiable subcultures as "hate crimes" is evidence that the concept of hate crime has Gone Too Far.
Ken Macdonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, said on Radio 4's Today this morning that the legally recognised categories of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity represented "lines in the sand", because these were "crimes that threaten social cohesion as a whole and therefore national life." He was worried that extending the notion to members of other groups represented a "watering down" of the concept."
Oh, that's OK then, Ken (idiot).
All, or no one - no middle ground, against hate ...
"Whatever characteristic provokes a hate crime, whether it is genetic like skin colour, innate like sexual identity, deeply felt like religious belief or more freely chosen such as membership of a subculture, the target of hate is the same: difference. Hate crimes are crimes against diversity. They are crimes of othering, of scapegoating and stereotyping, in which the perpetrator blames others for their own inadequacy, failure or frustration. It really doesn't matter, or should not, whether the criminal in question is offended by a person's race, their dress or their perceived sexuality. Or, for that matter, by their appearance, their assumed politics or their membership of a social class or occupational group." - Nelson Jones, 2013.