You can hardly go a day on the internet without hearing about Katie Hopkins. For those who don’t recognise her, particularly those outside of the UK, she is described as a TV “personality” and columnist for The Sun and Daily Mail.
Hopkins gradually made her way to UK household name status through appearances on several television shows, most notably The Apprentice where she was offered, and rejected, an investment from famous businessman Sir Alan Sugar.
But her entrepreneurial work is not what she is famous for. Her outlandish media comments first became criticised when she spoke about her distaste for “Lower class names”, including place names, and was called out by the host of This Morning for having a child named India.
But Hopkins has made many more damaging comments since her appearance on This Morning. In 2015, Hopkins wrote an article comparing migrants to “cockroaches” and said they “spread like the norovirus”. Her comments were so threatening they were condemned by the United Nations Commission of Human Rights.
Since then, Katie Hopkins has praised Donald Trump for his stance against Muslim immigration, has condemned people celebrating National Pakistan Day and stated confidently that she is protecting white women from Muslim men. She has also written racist tweets about the Black Lives Matter movement alleging that black people are responsible for their own deaths and encouraging the London Mayor to use water cannons against BLM protesters.
Legal action has been threatened against Hopkins twice, once by chef Jake Monroe who she mistook for a pro-vandalism activist, and once by a Muslim family whose visas were cancelled on their way to the US. Hopkins wrote two articles wrongly proclaiming that the family of Mohammed Mahmood were extremists. The case was taken to court, she lost the case, and the family received £150,000 from the Daily Mail.
A Muslim man was beaten unconscious in his own home and one of Katie’s tweets was spray painted at the scene.
In a very unsurprising turn, Hopkins quotes have been co-opted by racists. Recently, a Muslim man in Yorkshire was attacked in his own home and the attackers left behind spray-paint of one of Hopkins’ Hitler-inspired tweets calling for a “final solution” against Muslims.
Katie Hopkins is not funny. She never has been. She is dangerous. She has been called out on comments, had them reported to the police, and literally been sued – but still cannot see that what she is saying is wrong. She isn’t learning, she isn’t changing. Katie Hopkins is a contributing factor in the climate of extreme Islamophobia and racism. It is about time people stopped listening, stopped retweeting and stopped engaging with her toxicity.