Australia doesn't actually have freedom of speech defined in our constitution so I don't think 18C is inhibiting anything. With regard to 18C, it prevents one from publicly aiming to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" on grounds of race and I think it's the last word that is particularly pertinent and the others are important too. I think it's fine to cause offense because you have a different view or belief on an issue- but not because of someone's race. I'm pretty appalled that people defend the "right" to be a bigot.
Merriam Webster defines a bigot as:
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
Why should we encourage bigotry or protect it with law? Is this really something we want to enshrine in our legislation? How will this benefit a multicultural society?
There is no logical or moral reason to give a person the right to be racist. Andrew Bolt was found to have not written his articles in good faith and to have not written factual information therefore they would be offensive to a reasonable member of the Aboriginal community. Why should he, or anyone, be allowed to publicly make non-factual statements that are offensive to certain racial groups?
I think it comes down to what kind of society we want to live in.
They were completely peaceful in their demonstrations - and you know, you are the one going on about how important free speech - even if it means tormenting people about their religion. You can't have it both ways Father - so which is it? Free speech - or no free speech?
PS- I found nothing uncivilised in any of that, I swear, so what? Ohhh no, a Linb thinks I'm not classy -how devastating. To be honest, if you had of said anything in the positive about the march at all - I would have been VERY worried.
For the record I don't approve of the above signs either, especially since I bought my children to the event as did many many others. It was heavily promoted as a family friendly event by the organisers who also distanced themselves from such signs. Fortunately my eldest took no notice of maybe the 1 'off' sign that we saw, he was too busy looking at the thousands of people and taking the rest of it in. Now I'm not a fan of taking children to protests but I felt strongly enough to take my children to this one as we don't have babysitters on hand. I explained to my eldest that Mum and Dad don't approve of some of the things our government is doing and that we are fortunate enough to live in a country where we can demonstrate and protest against the government, providing we do this peacefully and respectfully. Turns out it was a fantastic example of a peaceful demonstration for him! Despite the high temps, the crowds, etc the atmosphere and general mood was polite and upbeat. When people bumped into each other (which was inevitable given the crowds) exchanges were nothing less than polite and friendly. It was a very civilised event - I know, I was there.
This link has both the judge's summary of the case and the full judgement. Enjoy.
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