Hate Crime 2019-09-27T10:33:09+00:00



Let people just be

By Amy King and Esther Do Okhiria

It can be subtle, something you perceive on a daily basis
difficult to show in an obvious way but it’s happening
gestures and whispers churned into slurs from moving cars,
words spat at strangers in the street, at its worst turned into punches
leaving loved ones in crutches

It’s called hate. It comes in all shapes and sizes
disguised sometimes as jokes or controversial social media posts
that we don’t always notice as being problematic
we’d rather keep our heads down and pretend it didn’t happen
banter based on prejudice, passed between lips
or scrawled on bar crawl t-shirts – that’s how it starts
Then its people bloodied on public transport
Til we’re called to identify friends for police reports in courts

And ye, it’s difficult cos sometimes you’re not sure who to tell
about the black eye you came home with from a night out
never talked about it,
didn’t wanna kick up a fuss, thought it wasn’t serious enough
worried it would all come back on me for speaking up
we shouldn’t be silenced by someone else’s violence

This harassment is happening to friends of friends between lectures
when they’re trying to gain an education like the rest of us
judged and punished simply for how they look or live or love.

Keep your tolerance – I tolerate a bad day but I’ll never welcome it
Aim for acceptance, create a society that embraces the spectrum that makes us

Reserve your hate for flavours of ice cream, walking home in the rain
and things that are ultimately inconsequential,
because at the end of the day people are all we’ve got
you’ll find there’s a lot more in common between us than not

It’s unacceptable to make anyone feel unsafe
no matter their religion, ability or race,
no matter who they love or what their pronouns might be
there is no space for prejudice in our University.
So, let’s choose to do better, to be brave in the face
of the hate that we see, practice empathy over cruelty
and let people just – be.