I get that you’re extremely stressed, to the point where you seem to be considering leaving society (unclear what you mean by retiring, or how you could possibly be so extremely wealthy that its even an option to bring it forward by ten years), but this seems a but unkind and even a little nasty, frankly. I’m not the one suggesting people are “turning evil” because of fear. Specifically what I’m saying is that nasty people are nasty people, and I don’t think there’s any increase in nasty people because of the virus. I don’t know where you live, but if anything, in London, a lot of people seem rather better behaved than usual, and more conscious that they have neighbours and exist in a shared social construct and so on. I’m not saying there aren’t nasty people out there, even a lot of them, but I’m saying there’s no increase.
Re: 21%, what I’m saying is that is a small increase relative to other spikes of racism. Also, it’s a percentage. Its also unclear where it comes from. As the minister responding said, the police do not routinely record the race of victims of hate crimes (they probably should but they don’t), nor the race the perpetrator perceived them to be (again, they probably should). They did eventually start collecting that data, quite recently, for religious hate incidents, but even that is “experimental”.
My understanding, again based on limited data because the police don’t actually collect this (so this comes more from charities which deal with it), is that East Asian people (as opposed to South Asian, and it’s East Asians we’re discussing here) see a few hundred racist incidents per year in the UK, out of a total of around 75,000 racist incidents. This is despite the fact that the East Asian population in the UK is not much less than the Black population (2.1% vs 3%). The Black population sees tens of thousands of incidents, and the South Asian (i.e. Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, etc.) sees even more incidents (again tens of thousands), and also gets to eat a lot of religious hate too (for being “Muslims”, regardless of whether they actually are).
As such, if the figures from charities and the like (and the odd comments from the police, which reflect a similar pattern, they say they don’t collect this stuff but I suspect they actually do and don’t feel its consistent enough to present), are correct, then we might be seeing, say, a typical 1000 anti-East Asian incidents turn into 1210. It doesn’t take much to do that.
Whereas, with anti-Black incidents, which are probably more like a base of 20,000 a year, it would take a lot to spike things by 21%.
I’m not trying to be a twat here, but this is maths - when you have a very low initial figure, its very easy for it to spike up. And serious racism against East Asians in the UK has historically been extremely low, so any increase at all is going to produce a significant percentage increase. I was expecting something like a 200% increase, like we see with anti-Muslim and anti-South Asian incidents after a terrorist at attack, but the figure is far lower than that, which indicates the vast majority of people, even the dumb bigots, aren’t actually blaming Asian people.
For me the big question is, is there a sort of “static” level of bigotry in society, or even a rising one, or is it one that’s actually declining as people die of old age and so on? Everything I’ve seen, and not just my assumptions, but studies, suggests the latter. That people under about 40-50 are drastically less likely to be bigots in any way, than those over 40-50, and that people don’t necessarily become bigots as they age.
Having lived in London my entire life (with a few years in the US and so on), I’ve seen a sharp decline in the acceptability of racism and homophobia, and I can’t help think thats related directly to the fact that most of the people I saw engage in it when I was a kid, were like 50 or 60, and are now probably, because its 30 years later, dead or in a home or whatever.
I think the other issue is that without human contact, without talking to people, the world can feel vastly more hostile and cold and nasty, and it can be easy to see everything as getting worse, or everyone as evil, especially if you’re already predisposed to feel that way (as some people are, often due to very real experiences). Twitter replies and newpaper comments sections are and always have been cesspools, as others have said. The worst kind of people spam that stuff, because it combines exhibitionism and internet-point-scoring with the opportunity to engage in anonymous public nastiness, and is super-accessible to a generation for whom, say, reddit, is a bit scary and very confusing. It was horrifying long before this.
TLDR: There are plenty of bigots out there but I don’t see much evidence bigotry is significantly increasing (though the subjects may have changed).
There were 75,000 racial hate incidents recorded 2018-2019 (and about 25,000 other hate incidents). The police “do not routinely record” the race/perceived race of the victim (idiotically, despite having their IC number system). So we have to rely on racism charities and so on to try and get figures. If the charities and the like (and the occasional comments from the police) are correct, we’re talking about East Asians (IC5, differentiated from South Asians, who are IC4) normally getting hundreds to maybe something like a couple of thousand incidents a year, wheres IC3 and IC4 (Black and South Asian) get certainly tens of thousands of incidents. So we’re likely looking at a few hundred incidents, at most. Which is horrible for everyone who experiences it, but isn’t some kind of shocking rise.
There’s a similar issue with anti-Semitic hate-crimes. They’re extremely rare here. The police record religious affiliations (unlike race), and in 2018-2019, there were 1326 (out of 100,000-odd total hate crimes). So when you see “Anti-Semitism up 13% in the last two months” or whatever, it doesn’t exactly mean the streets are overrun with Nazis, despite the newspapers reporting it that way and the inevitable pearl-clutching comment column from some upper-middle-class Jewish guy (who is in no way identifiable as such, and not one of the Hassidic community who are the victims of virtually all these attacks) that he “doesn’t feel safe here any more”. It’s like, bro, the only place in the world with lower anti-Semitism (according to the ADL, of all people) is Finland. That’s it. So… Its still just as horrible for the victims, but the low total number of incidents means the percentage increases can be very high.
This is actually true of anti-Muslim incidents as well - they had 3530 2018-2019, so whilst they are by far the most common kind of religious hate incidents, it only takes a few dozen incidents to get a 100% increase in a given month. But it is the most common kind and anti-South Asian incidents increase there too.
Yes. Its outrageous that it exists. I’ve literally never seen a worthwhile comment on it, and when the BBC occasionally tries to dig through to find one, it will still always be one dripping with bigotry or barely-suppressed nastiness.
I mean, we say stuff like League of Legends or DotA2 have “toxic communities”? Fucking try out the BBC comments section mate. I think you’re more likely to see outright racism or incredible bigotry in there than any game.
And the toxicity is something nurtured and reinforced by the BBC, who have consistently failed to remove utterly vile comments (as noted, I had to invoke the BBC Trust once to get it done, I should have just gone straight on to them really), and allow vile comments and bigotry and a general sense of extreme unpleasantness to dominate their comments, which drives away any normal human who wants to comment before long. Even The Sun’s comment section is less despicable than the BBC’s one.
I’m pretty sure I know why they leave it there. It acts as a buffer for them. If these vile people get to spew hate in public on the BBC’s money, and spew hate at articles and so on, they don’t write nonsense-complaints to the BBC about the same articles, because they got it out of their system. Whereas if the BBC were more responsible, and didn’t have comments, they’d have to slog through half the same people just writing nonsensical complaints about the articles.
But I don’t think that’s okay when we’re being taxed by the BBC (as its a crime not to pay, it is a tax, not a charge of any kind). They’re acting like a private broadcaster, when they aren’t. They’re using our money to support bigots to basically advertise bigotry in public, because otherwise it would cause them a minor inconvenience.