Gypsies, Roma and Travellers share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust, faced with open prejudice and official indifference, and now subjected to a rise in hate speech and online abuse.
In 2017, 30% of reported anti-Muslim hate incidents and 18% of reported Anti-Semitic incidents occurred online. Three out of four of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have experienced hate speech or hate crime. One third of LGBT people have experienced online hate crime. Disability online hate crime was thirteen per cent of online hate crime recorded by police.
Research shows that racist or derogatory language by politicians against minority groups can lead to a spike in hate crimes, while racist and irresponsible reporting in the media can lead to a backlash against all community members. This is unacceptable.
While not all instances of hate speech or abuse are criminalised, such instances affect us all. Hate speech legitimises prejudice. Prejudice fuels hostility. Hostility can lead to violence. All too often that sequence begins with casual bigotry from those of influence at the expense of the powerless. This is a reality shared too often by minority groups.
What is the Cut it Out campaign?
#CutItOut is a campaign to bring people together in calling out abusive or inflammatory speech. By cutting out words that show who the hate is being directed at, we reveal that hate speech is unacceptable in all its forms.
As stated by the Board of Deputies of British Jews: “hate crime is merely the final act of a sequence of stages. It is the final, most extreme symptom of various ideologies which express intolerant and dogmatic views. In order to combat hate crime, we must effectively challenge hateful discourse and the circles in which it circulates.”
The Traveller Movement and René Cassin are launching this campaign on National Hate Crime Awareness Week to raise awareness of the harmful consequences of hateful rhetoric against minorities.
Intolerance and hostility towards any community is unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to our values.
That is why we have written this charter, which sets out positive principles that Parliamentarians should champion. As human rights defenders, we stand together against all forms of hate.
We must #CutItOut.
Why a campaign aimed at politicians?
Politicians have a duty to set an example, yet some continue to use hateful rhetoric that affects us all. We want to encourage politicians to call out prejudice and celebrate the diversity of their constituents.
But what about Free Speech?
Free speech is an essential human right and must comply with the values it stands for- of tolerance, social justice and non-discrimination.
What you can do?
Share the #CutItOut campaign on social media. Print of the sign here. Take a photo of yourself with our Cut It Out logo and show that you will not accept hateful language.
Contact your MP and ask them to print and sign our pledge, take a photo and endorse online. Ask them to challenge discriminatory rhetoric where they hear it, especially if it comes from other politicians.
Template letter to MP
Below is a template email to send to your MP – feel free to amend and include your own words. You can find out who your MP is by entering in your postcode here.
Do let us know if you get a response! firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear [your MP],
I am writing to urge you to stand up for minorities and call out prejudice.
Intolerance and hostility towards any community is unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to our values. We must #CutItOut.
Politicians have a duty to set an example yet many continue to use hateful rhetoric, which affects us all. As my representative I ask that you sign the Cut It Out charter, pledging to celebrate the diversity of your consituency and call out prejudie from others. As human rights defenders, we stand together against all forms of hate and promote equality for all.
Show your support by printing and signing the pledge here. You can tweet your support using #CutItOut @Rene_Cassin @GypsyTravellerM
Thank you for your support.
[name and postcode]