Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Creating tensions within society

by patrick yu

Published 21/04/2014

Over the last decade, Northern Ireland has become more diverse in terms of language, culture and religion.

At the same time, hate crime has been rising. Politicians, academics, statutory, voluntary, community sector organisations and the media are all keen to look at the causes and impacts of hate crime.

But most of the time there is a failure to look at the experiences of victims, and particularly the special needs of victims of racist hate crime.

Hate crime is often a process rather than an event, and it can escalate in frequency and seriousness.

A crime that might normally have a minor impact becomes, with the hate element, an intimate and hurtful attack that can undermine the victims' quality of life and self-esteem.

By its nature, hate crime is committed not merely against the immediate victim or their property, but against the entire community or group he or she belongs to.

This raises feelings of insecurity within the group.

As a consequence, hate crimes revive old – or serve to create new – bias, prejudice and negative stereotyping of others. It also creates cycles of mistrust and tension within society.

Patrick Yu is executive director of NI Council for Ethnic Minorities

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph