Dr Brown Research – Disability Hate Crime

We have a request from Dr Alexander Brown re Hate Crime;
Dr Brown says :-
I am an academic at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and I have a specialism in hate speech law. I am particularly interested in the current debate about extending stirring up hatred offences to disability.
I’ve been lobbying the Ministry of Justice to extend. I recently came across the Disability Hate Crime Network’s submission to the Law Commission’s report on extending these and other offences. ‘We agree that there must be an extension of new offences in terms of stirring up offences so all groups are given a consistent and equal protection in law.’
Dr Brown’s questions are :-
1) Have you ever seen, read or observed (online or offline) someone using threatening words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up hatred against people with disabilities (physical or mental)?
NB. I am NOT referring to verbal abuse or threats directed at people with disabilities. And I am NOT referring to direct incitement to acts of violence or discrimination. Instead, I AM referring to deliberate attempts to use threatening words or behaviour to make others (usually non-disabled people) hate people with disabilities.
E.g. “This country is made worse by having people with disabilities around because people with disabilities are a waste of space and a drain on the rest of us, and when we all finally admit this to ourselves disabled people had better watch out.” “People with disabilities are being punished, and rightly so in my view, for sins in previous life and when judgement day comes they will burn in hell, I hope you can see that.”
2) Public order law in the UK currently bans people from using threatening words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up hatred on grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation? Do you think such laws are justified/a good idea even if they are rarely used?
3) Do you think such laws should be extended to cover disability?
Please respond to :-
Dr Alexander Brown, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Social and Political Theory.
School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia (UEA) ,
Email: alexander.c.brown@uea.ac.uk
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About mhealey

Founder of 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign
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