Whatever has been said by pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, now working out her notice at Mail Online, whether on social media or elsewhere, is invariably excused as “just telling it like it is”. All the warnings of incitement and hate speech have been routinely dismissed: those who hang on her every word, we are told, could not possibly take such sentiments literally. It’s only the exercise of free speech. We should therefore get over it.
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So when she took to Twitter in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, ranting “22 dead. Number Rising. Schofield. Don’t you even dare. Do not be part of the problem. We need a final solution #Machester”, this was, once more, only “telling it like it is”. That Ms Hopkins then felt the need to “correct” the clear incitement to genocide to “We need a true solution” did not improve matters. She was duly sacked by broadcaster LBC.
Moreover, Mail Online will not be renewing her contract when it comes up. But still the idea that hate speech has consequences was not allowed to enter. Until yesterday, when the Manchester Evening News reported “Muslim man attacked by thugs who then vandalised his home quoting a racist Katie Hopkins tweet”. And which Tweet might that have been? “The tweet had called for a 'final solution’”. Ah right. THAT Tweet.
So what exactly happened? “A horrified Muslim man has told of his shock after he was targeted by right-wing extremists who graffitied his home with a line from a Katie Hopkins tweet … The 42-year-old man says he was knocked unconscious by thugs and woke up to find his walls covered with the words of hate [the man] had been drilling a broken bathroom door handle and wearing earphones while home alone on Wednesday morning”.
Do go on. “Intruders entered his Heckmondwike home before striking him from behind with an unknown object … He said: ‘My back was turned and I didn’t hear a single thing … A couple of minutes later I woke up with a sore head and I felt a bump on the back of it. Then the adrenaline kicked in … I knew someone must have hit me so I dialled 999 … I made my way outside - that’s when I saw the graffiti on the walls above the staircase”.
“On one wall, the graffiti read: ‘P***s out. We need a final solution #Machester’”. As the MEN points out, “It quoted a Twitter post written by disgraced newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins following the Manchester terror attack - even misspelling the hashtag”. Also ominously pointed out in the report is that the man’s house is “less than two miles from where Jo Cox was murdered by Thomas Mair last year”.
So far, to no surprise at all, Hatey Katie has made no discernible comment. But the clear use of her words, right down to mis-spelling “Manchester”, are a dead giveaway. Meanwhile, she’s quoting rape statistics and doing her “nudge and wink guess who’s behind it” number. And keeping her fingers in her ears.
Will Mail Online even wait for Katie Hopkins to work her notice after this latest, er, unfortunate incident? Or will they conclude, as so many have already, that her little Wild West Show has run its course. This kind of casual hate speech is not good enough.