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Gascoigne race hate case was no joke; LETTERS&NOSTALGIA.

CLAIMS of race hatred are going too far. I am no fan of Paul Gascoigne but when I saw he was charged with a race hate crime for a joke I've heard many times before, I was surprised to say the least. The first time I heard the joke it was made by a coloured couple themselves who laughed about it. I also gave a chuckle at the idea it was a hate crime.

Had the black man targeted by Mr Gascoigne laughed it off, the audience would have thought him a very good sport and while you are laughing along with someone you are not demonstrating ill feeling.

Some time ago I met a coloured acquaintance who greeted me by calling me 'Paleface'. In return I greeted her by calling her 'Coffee Bean'. There was no malice. We had a giggle and went for a cup of tea at my house.

As a child I was called 'Cross Eyes' or 'Four Eyes' because I wore glasses. Name calling is unpleasant but hardly a criminal offence. It's something we've all done.

Recently an 11-year-old boy was charged with race hatred. His headmistress called the police when the boy called another boy black. The irony of it was the little culprit himself is also black. Whatever was this headmistress trying to prove? Barbara Dunn, Moseley

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2016
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