It's not racism to insist the same standards apply to all
There is no excuse for violence or intimidation of women and children, writes Carol Hunt, but it's all too easy to label people racist
So, I hear you're all racists now down in Waterford. All week I've been reading about the "cheap and cowardly", "violently intimidating" and even "fascist" behaviour witnessed last weekend. The "stupidity of the mob", the media dubbed it; "a deliberate incitement to hatred" and "effectively a lynch mob".
And, of course, there is no civil excuse for chanting phrases such as: "Roma, out, out, out'; for intimidating women and children; or for using criminal violence to make a point. All of that is disgusting, horribly, criminally wrong.
But do I really need to say that? Isn't it self-evident? It seems I do, because if I don't, I leave myself open to accusations of racism. If I don't insist, loudly and righteously, that the people who formed the Waterford Against Street Crime and Organised Begging group deserve to be hung, drawn and quartered and that any concerns they may legitimately have with the behaviour of certain members of the Roma community are anything less than racially motivated, then I may as well just sign up with the BNP and be done with it (There is no corresponding political party in Ireland).