Hokey Pokey Racist? Will Hate Crime Legislation Criminalize Our Kids?

| by Katharine DeBrecht

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama heralded his signing of controversial hate crime legislation. While I believe any crime is one of hate, the slippery slope of “hate crimes” has led to a dramatic infringement on the liberties of the people of Great Britain, Canada and Scotland. Worse, such anti-liberty legislation in these countries has criminalized and traumatized children.

According to the 2009 report The Myth of Racist Kids, published by the Manifesto Club (a British civil liberties group), 40,000 children each year are being falsely labeled as racists after a 2002 rule requiring schools to document and report all instances of perceived racism to local governments.

Adrian Hart, an author of the study, wrote in the Daily Mail last year “In some cases the consequences are the stuff of nightmares – children face official police reprimands, even court cases. Friendships fracture; animosities spring up where none existed before – and the whole issue of race is magnified. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if someone says there is racism, it must exist.”

After a ten year old child called another child a “Paki” and “bin Laden,” he was arrested and forced to appear before a judge (the other child had called him a skunk and Teletubby). A nine year old boy, excited about his World War II history lesson, was punished for aiming his finger like a gun at another student saying “Let’s shoot Germans.” The other child happened to be Polish.  The student was branded a racist and required to appear before a deputy head and apologize in front of the class.

The attack on children’s psyches goes further. The British government-funded National Children’s Bureau published a 2008 report suggesting children as young as three years old be reported for claims of racism.  According to the report “no racist incident should be ignored. When there is clear racist intent, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action.”  This, according to the report, should also include when children might “react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying ‘yuk’.”

Even the song The Hokey Cokey (also known as The Hokey Pokey) is now considered a hate crime against Catholics.  According to the Telegraph “Politicians have urged police to arrest anyone using the song to ‘taunt’ Catholics under legislation designed to prevent incitement to religious hatred.”

In Great Britain hate crime laws have expanded to include religious aggravation, homophobia and something called “transphobic” offenses.  In The Australian last year, Hal G. P. Colebatch wrote in his piece Thought Police Muscle Up in Britain, “There are no concentration camps or gulags, but there are thought police with unprecendented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent.” Colebatch cites several instances where a citizen’s mere speaking of his/her mind has resulted in serious consequences. New government legislation is also on deck to punish someone who cracks a politically incorrect joke with up to seven years in prison, according Colebatch.

Ministers in Great Britain are now being accused of encouraging their citizens to turn in each other for hate crimes.  According to the Telegraph, ”Police officers are also privately complaining that they are now being required to investigate ‘trivial’ spats between people as hate crimes, when they would prefer to deal with more serious offences.”

Is this the direction we are headed?  Newsweek recently published an article claiming white babies are racist.  A nine year old Arizona boy was suspended for a hate crime when a school employee claimed he used the phrase “brown people.”  A seven year old boy was sent to the principal’s office for using the word “gay” when explaining the marriage of two women.

Will Americans follow the lead of its allies in tolerating the exploitation, manipulation and destruction of our children’s minds under the guise of political correctness? Perhaps we should ponder what British author and researcher on family life, Patricia Morgan, told the Daily Mail regarding the current policing of children’s minds in Great Britain: “It smacks of totalitarianism…Who would have ever thought that the anti-racism crusade would go so far?”