Not now and not ever.

I am appalled.

Today, whilst having my usual browse through the many social media posts in the groups I follow, I came across a post and all of the subsequent replies, that horrified me.

I suppose, in some respects, it’s my own fault for following some of the groups that I follow. I should know better. Many of them are groups where people argue a lot or make potentially controversial postings after all. You would think I should have learnt by now, but obviously, not yet.

The latest thing to upset me was in one of these groups that is supposed to be where people can discuss political issues and matters of public interest. As often happens, one of the threads in this group was a post where the original poster was asking for group members’ responses to a newspaper report. The report was about how a woman who had called for children with Down Syndrome to be allowed to die at birth was facing prison. The question that was being asked was whether a custodial sentence was over the top for what she had said or not. Horrified as I was by this, what really got to me was what some of the replies that had been posted. What was really upsetting to me was the number of posts made by people saying that imprisonment was too severe a sentence and that maybe what this woman had said would ultimately be a kindness to both the children and their families. Some of these posters were even saying that not striving to save the lives of disabled children would save money from the NHS bill in the long run, as if that was suitable justification for their views.

I’m sorry, but no. Not now and not ever.

As far as I am concerned this is an extreme example of something that is becoming more and more widespread in this country, something more pernicious and something I which I despise completely.  

Hate crime.

Why are there so many people who think that it is fine to criticise or deride or attack someone else just because an individual does not conform to their blinkered idea of the cultural norm. Someone they consider to be imperfect in some way either due to their physical appearance, their beliefs, their lifestyle or for whatever other reason it may be. Something that may or may not be within that individual’s control but which is part of what makes them who they are and which should not be seen as threatening to anyone else. Not only that, why do these people think it’s also alright to incite others to join with them in this dislike or hatred. How could that ever be said to be right?

Day after day our newspapers, TV programs and social media feeds are full of reports and stories about disabled people, older people, black people, Asian people, gay, lesbian and transgender people, people who are Muslim or Jewish or whatever being attacked for being themselves. Stories that are essentially saying these groups of people are groups everyone else should be scared of for some reason so attacking them is fine. Why? Because they are ‘different’?

I’m sorry, but no. Not now and not ever.

Having been subject to abuse and name calling, in public, myself, just because of my disability. Having seen the effect on my own children of name calling and mocking by their peers just because they have a disabled parent. Having seen how some of my LGBT friends have been abused just because of their sexuality, hate crime is not OK and should be always be properly punished so people come to understand how it is not OK. In addition, inciting others to take part in hate crime should also be punished. Noone should ever be allowed to think that any form of hate crime is acceptable.

I’m sorry, but no. Not now and not ever.

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6 comments
  1. Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    I think unfortunately there has always been
    and will always be people who criticise and attack others who are vulnerable, even our own government do it, it is just more prevalent now with social media.

    • I just remember how awful it was when my kids were little and were told by their ‘friends’ that “Your Mum is in a wheelchair, your Mum is going to die. My Mum won’t.” from the age of 7 or 8. Those kids were getting it from somewhere and that’s horrible…. Once the other kids got used to seeing me and I got to know some of them things improved dramatically. I’ve been shouted at by people on the bus and told I should be ‘grateful for what you get’ and ‘I should stay away from buses, normal people don’t want to catch anything nasty’.

  2. jaypot2012 said:

    Absolutely disgusting! This is why, in part, that I was against the bill where a person could decide to end their lives as this is what eventually would happen, and I mean WOULD.
    I have had lots of abuse for parking in a disabled bay as I cannot walk far due to wearing a prosthetic, which hurts like mad requiring short walks or wheelchair. I also have other disabilities but because they can’t see them I get foul mouth abuse, so, in the summer months I wear skirts or dresses to show off my prosthetic, which you couldn’t miss due to it being a purple sparkly one 🙂 Funnily enough, I don’t get abuse then!

    • It’s horrible isn’t it – the way you get nothing but abuse unless its something visible. I hate all forms of hate speech and hate crime – why is there so much irrational fear of others who are different in any way. Why can’t people just accept each other for who we are.

  3. Thanks Poppy, I’ve shared it on Suffolk Hate Crime Service facebook page.

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