Hate Speech

The Human Impulse to Dehumanize

January 05, 2015

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The Human Impulse to Dehumanize

British TV personality Katie Hopkins was born with a very unfortunate nose. Her proboscis is roughly the size of a toucan’s beak. Blonde-haired and with sparkling blue eyes, the poor maiden would actually be visually fetching if it weren’t for her giant, crooked, sloping honker.

What’s more important is that I doubt Katie Hopkins would feel compelled to call the police on me for saying any of that.

The same cannot be said of her many detractors. In recent days thousands of those who hate her—in the name of love and tolerance, but of course—have encouraged the police to arrest her for maligning fat people and Scottish people.

Hopkins has spent years antagonizing the world’s tubbies. She once claimed that she “wouldn’t employ someone who was obese.” In her recently aired TV documentary My Fat Diary, she purposely put on fifty pounds and then lost most of it over the course of six months in an attempt to prove her contention that fat people are not an oppressed group who face persecution for innate qualities, but are rather a gaggle of lazy blobs with zero self-control who only get exercise while jamming their maws with powdered jelly donuts.

During a televised panel discussion with a group of outraged female ham-planets, an extremely obese, severely balding, and horrifyingly unattractive “size acceptance campaigner” named Kathryn Szrodecki told Hopkins that her comments constituted a “hate crime,” at which point Hopkins urged her to call the police. “There’s a telephone right there—feel free,” Hopkins told her, mordantly adding, “Would you like it to be brought to you? Because you’re probably going to find it hard to walk there.”

“The modern world, especially online, is peopled with millions of spiteful little nobodies who seem absolutely out of touch with their own malice and hatefulness.”

Szrodecki waddled over to a telephone and indeed dropped a dime on Hopkins, although as of this writing police have yet to arrest Hopkins for the sinful crime of fat-shaming.

This new generation of insta-snitches—and there are endlessly dreary armies of them—who appear to feel justified in having human beings caged merely for hurting their feelings all seem afflicted with a self-absorbed notion that the only possible reason someone could have said something they found offensive was for the singular purpose of offending them…rather than, say, because it’s what they really believed.

But in the case of Hopkins, her allegedly “offensive” comments appear to be rooted in an ethical conviction that being fat is not only unhealthy, it unfairly burdens those who have to pay the fatties’ medical bills. “[Obesity’s] cost to the NHS is more than six billion a year,” she explained during the same televised segment where Szrodecki called the police, “and the Chief Surgeon at Guy’s Hospital said, ‘It’s killing millions, costing billions, and the cure is in our hands,’ and as a taxpayer that’s why I feel I do have a say, it’s because I’m paying for your health.” On Twitter, Hopkins has written, “My hate for fat people has grown from the fact I have to pay to make them better.”

Forgive me for suspecting that her real crime here is criticizing the bloated size of the British welfare state.

Hopkins’s other recent thoughtcrime—and one that is still apparently being investigated by police—was to criticize the fact that a Scottish Ebola patient had been moved to a hospital in London. “Little sweaty jocks,” she tweeted, “sending us Ebola bombs in the form of Glaswegians just isn’t cricket. Scottish NHS sucks.” In another tweet she wrote, “Glaswegian ebola [sic] patient moved to London’s Royal Free Hospital. Not so independent when it matters most are we jocksville?”

A change.org petition demanding that Hopkins be arrested for her “racist tweets” has already gathered more than 9,000 signatures. According to Scottish Detective Inspector Glyn Roberts:

We have received a number of complaints regarding remarks made on Twitter. Inquiries are ongoing into the nature of these tweets and to establish any potential criminality. Police Scotland will thoroughly investigate any reports of offensive or criminal behaviour online and anyone found to be responsible will be robustly dealt with.

What a sweaty little jock. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were fat, too.

What fascinates me both ethically and psychologically is the hate that’s been flung at Hopkins because she’s supposedly hateful. Some effeminate-looking alleged comedian named Des Clarke urged that Hopkins should receive a boot in her ass for her comments. Writer Richard Curtis once “jokingly” threatened to kill Hopkins. In 2013, a 30-foot Katie Hopkins was burned in effigy.

That’s all rather…violent and hateful, no?

Then again, we’re only talking about words and effigies. It’s merely symbolic hatred.


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