This is certainly impolite

A photographer shouted at Caitlyn Jenner ‘Oi Bruce, get your d*** out’ as she left the British LGBT Awards in London.
Police have launched a hate crime investigation after the incident on Friday night.
Jenner was a guest at the ceremony, where she received a Loud And Proud trophy following her transition from Bruce Jenner in 2015, which she has spoken about publicly.
As she left the event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London an onlooker hurled transphobic abuse at her until she got into a car.

We can even call it abuse if we wish. Being shouted at in public can be said to be that most certainly.

But a hate crime? Isn’t verbal abuse something that a public figure just has to put up with? Along with the awards and the cash of course?

For example, in libel we do make the distinction between mere vulgar abuse and defamation.

I could even imagine it being sensible to charge with behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace – and wouldn’t it have been great if Bruce had decked him?

But hate crime?

18 comments on “This is certainly impolite

  1. I’m not one of m’learned firends, but if Bruce Jenner doesn’t exist any more, having transferred to Caitlin, how can you prove a hate crime against someone who doesn’t exist?

  2. According to a recent interview, “Bruce” isn’t the only part of what was shouted that doesn’t exist any more.

  3. According to a recent interview, “Bruce” isn’t the only part of what was shouted that doesn’t exist any more.

    -they incinerated it did they? – could be worth a lot of money that particular appendage.

  4. See section 7.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1997/40/pdfs/ukpga_19970040_en.pdf

    I don’t agree with it, either. But purely on free speech grounds – irrespective of the subject of the abuse.

    If you only object to restrictions of free speech when they’re stopping the things *you* would want to say (and this post continues your obsession with anything to do with TGs), and don’t mention it otherwise, you weaken your case. It’s not the *principle* of free speech that would appear to matter to you, it’s only your self-interest.

  5. I’ve just come in from pricking out aubretia in the greenhouse – is this a hate crime?

  6. NiV – “It’s not the *principle* of free speech that would appear to matter to you, it’s only your self-interest.”

    The principle is long since dead. It is only a matter of who and whom. I would prefer I did it to them rather than they did it to us.

    Besides, no one is calling for people promoting transsexuality to be jailed. But your side is certainly demanding that people who oppose your agenda in any way, no matter how small, should be imprisoned.

  7. If you only object to restrictions of free speech when they’re stopping the things *you* would want to say (and this post continues your obsession with anything to do with TGs), and don’t mention it otherwise, you weaken your case. It’s not the *principle* of free speech that would appear to matter to you, it’s only your self-interest.

    NiV, I’m (easily) confused. If that’s aimed at Tim, or people on this blog (?), then surely you’re aiming in the wrong direction?

    I think most people here support free speech, and regard the so called hate nonsense as bollocks, who or whatever the target might be?

    I don’t agree with it, either. But purely on free speech grounds – irrespective of the subject of the abuse.

    Which is surely the default position of most here?

  8. It is a hate crime if it involves a member of the official Grudge, Grievance & Perpetual Victim Association.

    For anyone else it’s open season.

  9. The photographer should self-identify as Muslim. The police would suddenly lose interest.

  10. ‘which she has spoken about incessantly’

    There, I fixed it.

    “It was a joke” is an adequate defense for libel.

    Okay, it used to be. Who knows now?

  11. Tel
    “It’s all getting a bit Soviet now, isn’t it?”

    Yes, that exactly what it’s getting to.

  12. “NiV, I’m (easily) confused. If that’s aimed at Tim, or people on this blog (?), then surely you’re aiming in the wrong direction?”

    Well, for an example of the sort of attitude I was talking about, see the previous comment to yours: “The principle is long since dead. It is only a matter of who and whom. I would prefer I did it to them rather than they did it to us.”

    However, my point was not to say you *don’t* believe in free speech. (I assume most of you, with a couple of notable exceptions, do.) It was to say you give the *appearance* of being selectively in favour of free speech for yourselves, but not necessarily for anyone you oppose, by only highlighting cases where the free speech being restricted is saying things you support.

    To outsiders, it just looks like bullies standing up for their fellow bullies’ right to bully, so long as it’s only verbal (although Tim might have noted that something was reportedly also thrown at Jenner in this case). And yes, the principle of free speech does imply that, but it’s something you have to argue carefully so as not to give the impression that supporting free speech means supporting the abuses of it. Because for most people, who are maybe a bit ambivalent about grand idealist principles, that looks like a strong argument *against* allowing free speech.

    Personally, I’d argue that some photographer shouting transphobic abuse at Jenner is indeed free speech, and should be legal. And publishing his name and address, and the names of his wife and kids, their school, and his employer on social media would also be free speech, and legal. And for all his neighbours to hurl verbal abuse in the streets every day at him, his wife, kids, and work colleagues as ‘transphobic scum’ would also be free speech. On exactly the same basis.

    I don’t support such behaviour. It just escalates the cycle of unpleasantness and hardens the hatreds and vendettas. It reduces everyone else to their level. It offers a justification to every hater with a cause to use the same tactics – including some rather unpleasant ones. And there is a serious risk that encouraging the public to mob outsiders with verbal violence can arouse tempers and quickly escalate to real violence or worse.

    But this is how the free speech principle would propose that verbal bullying should be responded to in principle, and then we can propose to the bullies the usual reciprocal arrangement of civilised behaviour and international disarmament treaties: that while legally speaking all us us *can*, the rest of us voluntarily won’t use such tactics if they don’t.

    Most people understand this implicitly. The tiny minority of subnormal intellects who don’t are then a small enough problem for the authorities to deal with in other ways. And the authorities of law and order do then have to make an effort to stop it (although preferably by other means than prosecution), so that the mob won’t take the law into its own hands.

    It’s a jolly good idea, when facing the mob, to let them know that you do understand how the arrangement works.

    “I think most people here support free speech, and regard the so called hate nonsense as bollocks, who or whatever the target might be?”

    Then why is the target so often the TGs?

    Tim writes a noticeably disproportionate number of posts about TGs. I suspect it’s because it’s effective ‘clickbait’ to get a discussion going, but when I see more posts about TGs than I do about free speech issues in general, I’m not the only one to wonder.

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