Well what a year it has been in Western politics!
Following the Brexit vote in the UK to begin the process of leaving the European economic community the levels of hate crimes in the UK sharply increased in a rapid and worrying trend. To this point, these figures have not yet returned to the levels of the pre-Brexit era. Therefore, there is a possibility that they will remain at this higher rate – or potentially even increase again.
The election of president-elect Trump in the US might trigger a similar trend. Here there is another potential for some people to take the ‘lead’ that Mr Trump is offering to Americanise America, deport up to three million illegal immigrants and bar entry to Muslims. Some of this might be political posturing, some might be spectacularized in the press to insight emotional responses among the public – and, of course, sell more newspapers and air-time in doing so. Many years ago I might have taken some of this news at face value. However, the advantage of studying any social science topic and especially Criminology, is that you being to de-construct the meanings behind the headlines. To question to validity of the journalism. Indeed, you begin to understand the reasoning behind the political rhetoric and how history has taught us that nothing really is new. Studying undergraduate Criminology and postgraduate Masters’ level Criminology at the University of Leicester has enabled a different perspective of understanding to evolve, a more rounded cynicism of the press and its utterings.
What I hope for is a reduction in hate crime. What I don’t know is how this will all pan-out. My approach to understanding the news will however be one of a cynical and critical doubt toward political and press motivations.