Can It Ever Be OK to Beat Up a Racist?

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By Caroline Kent | 4:35 am, October 26, 2016

Vigilante McDonald’s workers took the law in to their own hands this week, violently attacking a customer who they say racially abused them.

Video emerged showing staff and management in Bow, East London, taking turns to beat a drunk customer on the pavement outside their branch.

Posted on The Sun‘s website, footage shows three employees kicking and punching the abusive customer as other diners look on.

A source close to the restaurant staff told The Sun that the workers tried to calm the man down (he appeared very drunk) but “he carried on being very abusive and shouted ‘fucking pakis’ at the workers. He was yelling ‘What are you doing in this country? Go back to your own country’.”

The person who filmed it said: “They lost their cool big time. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – especially when the manager started getting involved. It was shocking how they went at him.”

Aran, a young Brit, told Heat Street this told us this sort of thing is common on any weekend in London – and that it can be tempting to react.

He said: “The usual I hear is ‘go home paki, fuck off you paki bastard’, that sort of thing… They shouldn’t have all attacked him. But having been on the end of it, I know how difficult it can be to show restraint. If you react, even in a rational way, it’s going to escalate.”

McDonald’s have spoken to the staff but are not revealing whether they will be punished or if charges will be pressed against them. It is easy to wonder whether a different standard is being applied because of how awful the customer was.

Racism is awful and indefensible – but so is violence. It is hard to see why these guys shouldn’t be sacked, and punished by the law. No matter what someone is saying, you don’t reply with your fists.

Believe me, being a woman out in East London on a Saturday evening is no picnic: I get jeered and yelled at in the street, on the bus – indeed stopping off for a Maccy D’s on the way home.

Some drunk blokes even get physical – I’ve had it all, from drink spiking to bum pinching – because of my gender. But me and my mates don’t take that as carte blanche to kick the crap out of those who intimidate and insult us in public places.

Beating someone up is not self-defense against abusive words, it’s a violent escalation and they shouldn’t get away with it. If there’s one thing worse than vile words, it’s brazen violence. And there’s no excuse.