Katie Hopkins, your hate has gone too far

by Roanna Carleton-Taylor (2017)

Image Copyright: Fotyma via Getty Images

Accustomed as I am to reading the attention-seeking articles and tweets from Katie Hopkins with a sharp intake of breath, her online antics this week have taken me even closer to an apoplectic asthma attack than usual.

Few of you will need reminding of the tweet I am referring to:

“Explosion in France, shooting at a German hospital, knife attack in London. And Ramadan has not yet begun. Without food these sods get nasty.”

It is important to put some context into this. This isn’t an isolated example of a journalist having a strong opinion and expressing it unwisely, this is the latest in a garrulous and spiteful sequence of online hate tweets, abusive newspaper articles and bigoted radio appearances displaying mockery and cruelty to people from different community groups to Ms Hopkins herself. It is, in my opinion, hate speech.

Ms Hopkins rejects the idea of online hate speech. She claims: “There is no such thing as online hate crime. Just cowardice and illiteracy from intolerants.” Ms Hopkins is wrong. Hate speech is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “Abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.”