The term "hate crime", which might once have had some semblance of meaning, has now become so twisted out of shape that it can be applied to virtually any form of conduct, so long as (i) it is carried out by a designated oppressor group (white, heterosexual males), and (ii) it can in some tenuous way be seen as derogatory, either towards an individual from a designated victim group, or towards such a group as a whole. I particularly recall the ten year old boy who was interrogated by two policemen after calling his schoolfriend "gay" in an e-mail.
Now, however, Maria Woodward, headmistress of St John Bosco RC Primary School, in Brackley, Greater Manchester, has surpassed even Inspector Nick Bailey of Cheshire Police (who felt that sending two PCs round to intimidate one not entirely PC ten year old was "a reasonable course of action") in complete and utter stupidity. Following an incident between two eleven year olds, she threatened one of them with the prospect of arrest. His crime: he called the other one "Popeye". Oh yes, and the other one was black, and therefore by definition a victim. Still not exactly Kristallnacht, is it?
Mrs Woodward apparently feels that for young Gary Corcoran to call his classmate "Popeye" was racist, although she has failed to specify why. And, it does seem pretty odd. After all, Popeye was definitely white. Presumably, therefore, Mrs Woodward's reasoning is, that if a white child says anything even remotely derogatory to a black child, there must be a wicked racist subtext. After all, all white people are incurably racist, aren't they?