After the 2020 UEFA Euro finals there was a wave of online racial attacks towards three footballers, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, after they missed penalties in the shoot-out. As a result of these online comments, perpetrators were tracked, and some arrests were made, and rightly so!
There has been a proven link between online hate speech and a rise in hate crime on the street. So yes, it is vitally important to control all forms of hate crime, including online.
“If we see more hate speech online, we’ll likely see hate speech on the ground. And we’ve conducted a few experiments to identify if that’s actually the case. We found a rise in hateful posts on social media did indeed correspond to a rise in hate crimes on the streets. And we’re not the only ones to identify this relationship.”
BBC News at 10
Yet can you imagine living in a society where these views of hatred are not only legal to express, but they’re coming from your very own government? When the government says such things, it gives permission for society to also hold such views, and to act on them. In fact it actively encourages it.
Well that’s exactly what happened in the 1980’s towards the gay community.
Margaret Thatcher demonised the gay community, in what I can only assume was an attempt to attract votes. Not only was this a shocking tactic, appealing to the immoral values of homophobia, but it also demonstrated just how many people in the UK also held these homophobic beliefs. A large proportion of people appeared to agree with Margaret Thatcher, that being gay was wrong, and was something that needed to be stopped or corrected.
“Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught they have an inalienable right to be gay.”
Margaret Thatcher – tory conference 1987
Obviously we’ve moved on since then. Yes of course, sadly, homophobia still exists, but things have changed. There are laws against displaying homophobic views, and actually large amounts of people really don’t care if a person is gay or not, and if they do care many know to keep their views to themselves. If today’s government said what Margaret Thatcher said in the 80’s now, they would most likely be breaking the law.
It seems that history really does repeat itself. This time the exact same scenario is being played out with the UK government, but this time towards the transgender community.
“And it also shouldn’t be controversial for parents to know what their children are being taught in school about relationships. Patients should know when hospitals are talking about men or women. And we shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be whatever sex they want to be, they can’t. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. That’s just common sense.”
Rishi Sunak – 2023
As before this appears to be an attempt to appeal to voters who hold transphobic views. And again, it’s scary just how much support they have!
Despite there currently being a slight decrease in hate crime overall in the UK, there has been an 11% increase in hate crime aimed towards the LGBT+ community. This increase is widely believed to be due to the government’s stance, and growing lack of support towards the transgender community.
Coming up on 20th November is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). A day where the world stops to reflect on the number of transgender individuals who have lost their lives, simply because they are trans. The hatred being displayed by the current government can only fuel these deaths further and in my opinion their actions and words are an illegal display of transphobic hate crime.
257 of this years 315 deaths were through violence
Please don’t let history repeat itself and fall for the propaganda by supporting a transphobic government. I can assure you that the hatred and arguments that are being bandied about with regard to women’s spaces, women’s sport etc, all come from a place of ignorance about the topic. Don’t let yourself be bullied or fooled into joining them without knowing the facts. Educate yourself, do some research and then make your own mind up. Or, if you’d like to hear the transgender side of the story direct from the horses mouth, and to educate your company or organisation, then get in touch about organising a talk by a speaker such as myself.
With Transgender Day of Remembrance just around the corner, on 20th Nov, there’s no better time to book.