From the comfortable, well-paid and powerful position he holds in the Federal Parliament, Senator George Brandis, Coalition Shadow Attorney-General, Senior Counsel (SC) and long-serving Parliamentarian intoned:
“Offensive and insulting words are part of the robust democratic process which is essential to a free country.”
Now we know that Parliament is a tough and robust environment in Australia. We know that both sides attack each other with vigour in the Parliament and expect the other side to respond in kind. That’s why both Houses have presiding officers and Standing Orders to ensure that debate does not descend into defamation. We expect our Parliamentarians to both strongly represent us and to be thick-skinned enough to withstand a fair amount of invective, often confected.
However the situation enjoyed by the privileged men and women who sit in Parliament does not represent the situation faced by vilified minorities out in the community, who have neither the platform to speak out from nor the public reach of their vilifiers.
Hence, up until the Bolt case provided a (temporary) pause, shock jocks, trash media and tabloid TV have been able to create an environment where it seems any idiot can get into the comments section of newspapers, onto talkback radio and into social media and parade their hatred and freely defame Indigenous people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as GLBTI people and women.
Perhaps as George Brandis enjoys his comfortable office, his generous salary and working conditions, his ability to have his views readily heard and published and his community respect and prestige he may like to ponder the following – just a small sample from our files:
Uplifting stuff for sure…
it is about time people saw the Coaltion for what they are currently, and that is extremists…. I have always been a Labor voter, but until Abbott, I have never feared the Libs, and what they will do to this country…untile now, they have been right wing, but have stayed reasonably moderate….the direction they long to take us is terrifying….
Closeted cunt then.
I mean, we all KNOW, yeah?
I believe that Matty Petersen needs to be reported to the Australian Human Rights Commission and be subject to the full force of the law. It’s about time these cowards were made to justify their attacks to the Courts.
Is offensive language or personal attacks acceptable in any argument or discussion? I would like to know what is the difference between when a racist, bigot, sexist or mysoginist does it and when you do it. I understand the message is different and that you believe you are defending what is right but offensive language is offensive language. It doesn’t matter who uses it. MMU often uses very offensive language and name calling, not just with racists, bigots, sexists or mysoginists but with anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Could it not be said that the method is the same, only the message is different?
Actually, that can be broadened to many of the contributors to this blog use very offensive language, name calling and ridicule.
Racists and bigots deserve it since it is hard to get the law to act. They need to realise they do not vilify with impunity.
There is a significant difference between the use of “colourful” langauge in a heathly conversation and debate and the fear mongering that takes place in the media. Also, vilifying and mocking bigots on an anti-discrimination blog is hardly as offensive as the ugly stereotyping and generalised bigoted intolerance that is seen on other forms of social media available for the publics consumption.
I do agree with you Gama, to a point, that some of the abuse, trolling and flaming that goes on in this blog detracts from its over-all effect. But that is hardly uncommon in a forum on the interwebz, in fact out of the forums I do check on with some regularity this is far from the worst in terms of the offensive behavour of the users.
Although I’ve also been guilty of ridicule and the odd sarcastic remark (Scott makes it just too easy) in the past I feel inclined to agree with Gama in part. I’d like to float the question below regarding the effect/impact this site has on people with xenophobic views of multicultural Australia.
Do you believe that this site will cause people who harbour intolerant views to:
a. Look within, reassess their position and make meaningful changes; or
b. Maintain their position but be more careful about where and how they declare it publicly?
While I don’t believe MMU is abandoning the moral high ground by throwing in personal insults (as Gama has suggested) I do believe it muddies the message in the eyes of the perpetrator and diminishes the effectiveness of that message.
But I might have it all wrong.
In any case, this is MMU’s site to do as they please and Gama, as was suggested below, maybe it’s time to start your own blog. Let me know when you do and I’ll swing past.
I have referred the comments by Matty Petersen to the Australian Human Rights Commission. His comments border on hate speech!
Gama, I think swearing at specific people who have said the kinds of things expressed above is fair game. The verbal equivalent of tutting disapprovingly is meaningless to these types of people and also doesn’t align with what people feel when they read this kind of trash being spread around.
There is also a difference between telling someone who’s being a racist fuckwit that they are in fact being a racist fuckwit, and getting on the internet and saying, for example, alllll people of X race or X religion are fuckwits.
These people are specifically being called out on their own nutbaggery.
You’ve raised this point before and it’s been explained to you many a time. I haven’t really seen anyone else ever pick up that baton and run with it on this blog, so it wouldn’t seem to cause many people too much bother. I like a bit of snark, if warranted, and it is very warranted for these types. It makes me laugh. That’s why it’s so often used for comedic effect in 21st century media. It’s all about context. If you want comments without swears there are plenty of newspaper/magazine/TV show blogs out there with varying restrictions/moderation.
Yes, Cara I have bought it up before and at the time was called a “fucking whinger”, (which proves my point) but I thought it was particularly pertinent to this post. Using the argument, “we can do it because we’re right.”, is flawed because your opposition can do exactly the same thing. It’s just a matter of perspective. Also using a reference to a previous post, (ie, the one on paedophilia), according to MMU people should be judged on their actions but what if those actions mirror your opposition? Should you be judged to be better because again you think you’re right? You may think I’m bringing this up because you think I have a perceived grievance but to be honest I actually don’t care what you think of me. I am just pointing out the contradictions of your argument.
Again this post and subsequent responses show that, the post was made to make Senator Brandis look like he is against anti discrimination however the replies to my question show that you agree with him that a certain amount of colorful vernacular is acceptable in a robust, heartfelt discussion in Australia. I would also point out that at no stage has Senator Brandis said that hate speech, vilification or racism is acceptable.
So which is it, do you agree or disagree with Senator Brandis? Is responding to despicable behaviour with despicable behaviour acceptable because of a person’s belief that they are right? If so, by what measure are you better than those you oppose?
Gama, there is a difference between what we understand ‘hate speech’ to be, and using aggressive speech to express hatred for those who have discriminated.
You have been walked through this many times, but here we are again.
“…according to MMU people should be judged on their actions but what if those actions mirror your opposition?”
Two scenarios for you Gama – please identify the difference:
1. ‘Fucking Indians. They fucking stink like shit and they rape our Aussie women.’
2. ‘Fucking racists. They are unintelligent, bigoted fuckheads.’
Comment number one is an example of a racist comment – made with no justification, and ignorant of the fact that no character trait is 100% common amongst any race.
Comment number two is an example of expressing pure hatred for those who make racist comments – made with justification, as racism lacks intelligence and reason.
I do understand the difference and if you read above you will see “hate speech, vilification and discrimination is unacceptable.” The problem is that you don’t restrict your attacks to those groups, you do it to everyone who doesn’t agree with you exactly.
So, here we go again, answer the questions without reverting back to “we fight racists”.
This blog posts not only attacks on racists but serious political issues that are open for discussion. Why is it that you verbally attack those who don’t agree with you on those issues?
Hate speech is, outside the law, any communication that disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race, color, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or other characteristic.
Racial vilification is the term in the legislation of Australia that refers to a public act that encourages or incites others to hate people because of their race, nationality, country of origin, colour or ethnic origin.
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category.
What questions do you still have Gama? VILIFYING people for VILIFYING others on the BASIS of RACE, GENDER, SEXUALITY, DISABILITY and/or RELIGION is what this blog is all about.
Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. Do you fucking get it yet, fuck?
You still didn’t answer the questions.
1. Based on your replies do you agree or disagree with Senator Brandis’s assessment that a certain amount of colourful venicular us acceptable in robust discussion in Australia?
2. Is responding to despicable behaviour with despicable behaviour acceptable because you have the belief that you are right?
3. By what measure are you better than those that you oppose if you act in the same manner?
4. Why is it that you verbally attack those that don’t agree with you on every issue?
There you go I’ve tried to make it easy on you so you don’t blow valve?
1. Robust discussion doesn’t encapsulate comments that breach the Racial Discrimination Act 1970. For example – calling all Pakistanis terrorists isn’t ‘robust discussion’.
2. Opposing racism is right. End of fucking story. Don’t like the swearing that comes with defending one’s right to oppose racism? Go buy a children’s book.
3. By the measure that we don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability etc.
4. Because we can.
Any more questions, Sgt. Pain-in-the-arse?
They’d all be acceptable answers if all you did was fight racists, alas that is not the case. It’s fairly obvious you can’t handle someone questioning your thinly veiled attempt to push the Labour agenda. This post was a direct attempt to do just that.
Thanks for the nickname. 🙂
Lol what? An attack on a proposed Coalition policy is somehow support for the Labor Party?
What are your other issues darl?
“However the situation enjoyed by the privileged men and women who sit in Parliament does not represent the situation faced by vilified minorities out in the community, who have neither the platform to speak out from nor the public reach of their vilifiers.”
It’s all about platform and privilege, irrespective of what side of politics someone is on when he/she uses that privilege and platform to encourage intolerance. We would be equally scathing of a Labor MP making a similar declaration.
It is LABOR not LABOUR….Labour is work or a reference to Labour agenda, Labour is the Australian Labor party. Get it right.
Only your lack of consistency and blatant hypocrisy. Other than that I’m all good precious! Ha ha 🙂
Lack of consistency and blatant hypocrisy. Neither of which you’ve managed to successfully elude to. How many TAB commentators have agreed with you so far, Gama?
Supply us with some quotes and URLs of inconsistency and hypocrisy.
This should be good.
I am also having trouble distinguishing between a sweeping generalisation and a specific focussed comment?
On the one hand you are suggesting to me that calling ALL Libyans ruthless destructive monsters is not acceptable; but then suddenly you are saying that calling Gaddaffi a ruthless destructive monster IS acceptable?
How does that work?!?!?!
Isn’t Gaddaffi ALL Libyans?
I’m sure Foucault (or was it Sartre) made that pretty clear in 1492 when she discovered gravity.
I’ll give you a couple of examples from your own posts, as I am not a computer I can’t copy and paste but I will get to that when I have time tomorrow.
Inconsistency – Your post referring to Tony Abbott wanting the aboriginal tent embassy pulled down and the reaction of the aboriginal protestors.
Not once did Abbott say the embassy should be pulled down, he said that in his opinion ( and many other peoples ) the embassy had achieved it’s initial purpose and that it was time to move forward in other ways. You, like the main stream media that you despise, jumped all over these comments and twisted them to make Abbott look like a racist. At no stage did you condemn the two protangonists of the whole incident because one was a member of the Prime Minister’s staff and the other a union official. – That’s inconsistent!
Hypocrisy – You vehemently defend a woman’s right to wear a burqa in Australia, which she has every right to do. Yet you condemn and slander a woman’s decision to enter a contest where her looks will be judged, again which she has everyb right to do. – That’s hypocrisy!
You condemn those who make generalising comments against people from a country or area, we’ll use your example, all Pakastanis are terrorists. Yet you happily degrade the people of an entire state, Queensland, by saying that they have a tendancy to be racists because the sun has fried their brains! – Again that’s hypocrisy!
Actually GAMA (SPITA),
I was the main protagonist in the anti-grid girls commentary and my attitudes are often divergent from TABs. I am also not a fan of the burqa mind you and in both instances believe that they can be representative of an unhealthy attitude to women that needs to be addressed.
With relation to Abbott being a devisive, negative politician that plays the fear card like it’s going out of fashion. Well personally I find it a very distasteful political ploy, and him a rather unsavoury character. Based on his personality, attitude and previous dubious commentary, I’m not particularly surprised that there was an over-reaction to his statements by a bunch of people already incredibly pissed-off with their perception of inequaties in society. Now answer me this GAMA (SPITA): is Abbott the kind of crafty politician that would make such stupidly ambiguous comments towards an angry bunch of people to rile them further so as to appear the ‘victim’ in this? Or is he just plain fucking stupid to say such tactless things on Australia/Invasion Day? Either way – what a wanker!
Oh and yes – here you go – the Prime Minister and the union official were also idiots on this day too – emphatically so.
As for Queenslanders vs Pakistanis – apart from the fact that one has clearly got the better cricket team and it’s not in South Asia, at what point does making a somewhat nasty but tongue-in-cheek jibe about one’s OWN countrymen based on the area they inhabit equate with making a comment about an entire nation of people from a different cultural or racial background?
Are you actually offended by a comment on Queenslanders? Do you take this to heart?
If I were to line up four Australians – could you identify a Queenslander from a West Australian or a Victorian?
Now what if I added a Pakistani to the line-up?
You getting me here. See the difference?
Are you familiar with banter?
Whilst I’ll grant you that in this instance it is generalising; banter does actually occur in this country and is quite distinctly different from racism.
So until QLD finally secedes from Australia courtesy of Bob Katter, it looks like we’re the same country, so I’m going to tolerate the State of Origin crowd with a lot more good humour than the Australia Protectionist Party because I’m not equating their comments in any way shape or form. Get my drift?
Whether Abbott is stupid or crafty is irrelevant. What is relevant is that his comments were used shamelessly by members of the Labor Party for political gain, which backfired unbelievably, but there was no mention of either person on here whatsoever. I put it to you that if the situation was reversed then this blog would be all over it and that is what I refer to as lack of consistency.
As far as the comment made about Queenslanders, Yes, I understand banter but in a forum such as this generalising that Queenslanders are prone to racism because their brains are fried by the sun is offensive. You are not talking about football, cricket or any other sport, you are talking about generally labelling people as racist and I for one was offended. I expect that you would certainly understand the difference.
“Hypocrisy – You vehemently defend a woman’s right to wear a burqa in Australia, which she has every right to do. Yet you condemn and slander a woman’s decision to enter a contest where her looks will be judged, again which she has everyb right to do. – That’s hypocrisy!”
That’s really the crux of your issue, isn’t it Gama.
A woman wearing a burka isn’t doing it to then go in a competition based on how sexually appealing it makes her.
A woman dressing how she wishes walking down the street? No problem. But there is a difference between that and parading around, in a competition, for the gratification of males attending an event. The Grid Girls competition in question was (a) only open to females, (b) only used females that would look good in a bikini, (c) did not involve women wearing whatever they wanted, but in putting them in clothes that were deliberately designed to make them look sexualised, and (d) put them at a predominantly male-driven event, no doubt serving alcohol.
I’ve been to many a motorsport event, and I’ve seen guys getting their photo with grid girls and promotional girls generally. They’re not asking their name or what their interests are, they just want a photo of them with their arm around a hot chick who is being paid to smile whilst being touched by them. I’ve seen the comments guys put when they post these kinds of photos to Facebook, and how their mates all respond, and they are always ALWAYS sexual.
Your inability to reconcile that fact, coupled with your repeated criticisms of this blog, makes *you* the hypocrite, Gama.
You have also claimed that Senator Brandis never said anything about racist comments, but he wants to change the vilification laws in the Racial Discrimination Act. So what kind of offensive comments do you think he’s trying to justify?? Nasty comments made towards balloon animals?
Point one: Abbott.
He said the tent embassy had served its purpose. He said it was no longer relevant. He made these comments while standing 200m from the tent embassy and knew that his comments were insensitive. And while he didn’t say the words ‘rip it down’, he was intimating that that was what should happen. How can you say that a protest site is no longer relevant, and that it has achieved its purpose without suggesting that it should no longer be there?
The tent embassy’s purpose has not even remotely been achieved. Abbott was the protagonist of this situation, not the two Labor party workers who thought that it could be politically advantageous if the members of the tent embassy were told about his comments. That’s politics. The opposition makes an incredibly insensitive remark on the 40th anniversary of a site that represents so much hurt and history and you don’t think about acting on it? Had Abbott not said something so insensitive, Labor party minions would not have been able to pass the message on. Let’s not forget the kind of influence the opposition leader and likely next Prime Minister holds. Allowing tent embassy members the right of reply may have been nothing more than political chess, but I probably would have passed the message on too.
Point two: bikinis and burqas
“You vehemently defend a woman’s right to wear a burqa in Australia, which she has every right to do. Yet you condemn and slander a woman’s decision to enter a contest where her looks will be judged, again which she has everyb (sic) right to do.”
We would also vehemently defend a woman’s right to enter beauty contests, and we would also vehemently defend a woman’s right to wear a bikini. But choice is NOT the point being discussed here. What we are morally opposed to is the competition itself – a competition that would NEVER accept a woman wearing religious garments – or anything other than the bare minimal really – and the fact that that competition is nothing more than sexual fodder for drunken men. In the same way that we COMPLETELY oppose a man TELLING a woman to wear a burqa, or to cover up, we COMPLETELY oppose competitions that demean and objectify women just to appease the male appetite for flesh. As Cara said, “The Grid Girls competition in question was (a) only open to females, (b) only used females that would look good in a bikini, (c) did not involve women wearing whatever they wanted, but in putting them in clothes that were deliberately designed to make them look sexualised, and (d) put them at a predominantly male-driven event, no doubt serving alcohol.”
Point three: generalising
Not one single post at our website has suggested that all Queenslanders are racist. If a comment has been made ON a post there’s not much any of the other TAB authors can do about that.
Queensland was once mentioned in a post that suggested that if a neo-Nazi racist music festival were allowed to be held, it might be referred to as ‘the state of hate’. That makes no reference to the people living in Queensland, but reference to the powers that be who would allow such a travesty.
Queensland politicians from both parties targeted by our website:
Do you thinks it’s reasonable to have control over your own comments?
To use your own example,
“If a comment has been made ON a post there’s not much any of the other TAB authors can do about that.”
Zulu – “Is it just me or do a lot of the people shamed on this site come from Queensland? Is something wrong with the water up there or something?”
MMU – “It’s the weather. The heat boils their brains.”
Tell you what. If you want creative control over our comments then you will need to set up your own blog.
As far as targeting politicians from both parties, there is an extremely disproportionate attack on the Coalition compared to the Labor Party, whether at a State or Federal level. This was never more glaringly obvious than when the government proposed the Malaysian solution. There was not one attack on the policy by this website, even though it was deemed to be illegal in the High Court. When I asked about this, your lame answer was that, “we’ve covered it on the MMU blog”. I don’t understand how one of the most dispicable Asylum Seeker policies in recent times did not warrant comment by this blog.
The only post I’ve seen, since following your blog denouncing, the Labor Party or any member is the one about Peter Watson!
A quick scan through the pages show that you have an issue with MMU authors and appear as if you are grading the blog for an examination on consistency, balance & content etc.
Due to lack of time for a long Tennis rally style messaging process, let me cut to the chase.
What “REALLY” is your issue?? This post of yours is the closest I could find that identified a specific issue per se.
So are you upset that there is not enough attacks on Labor politicians? or too much on Libs? Is that your issue??? that MMU lack the political balance?
Sounds like you are not a fan of the Labor party personnel or their politics, neither am I on some occasions.
I don’t agree with some of the things MMU authors have to say about certain issues but I respect the fact that it is THEIR blog & they can do what ever f*#k they like as long as it is not violating any laws.
Have you ever read the Herald Sun or The Australian??? they are much rather commercial media, I’d like to see how you go grading them for consistency, hypocrisy & bias 🙂
To me; this is a forum for anyone to present evidence, for or against a post.
A common accusation of the blog is that there are no racist rants by black people or Asians or anyone who is not white, all you have to do is forward screen caps & there will be a post, because as I see it this is an “evidence” based blog. So if there is concrete evidence?? there can be a post.
I need to clarify here before I get accused, I’m merely a reader of this blog & I appreciate what the bloggers are doing & appreciate their time & efforts. Also I’m not a strict Labor voter. JH has been PM for as far back as I can remember. I must have been 10 when he got elected PM.
Two issues you’ve raised…. The Grid girls vs Burqa Girls. I’m not a big fan of either of them but I reckon I stand a chance with the Grid girls than I would with the burqa girls.
Are you seriously equating the two??? I have not seen any burqa girl getting paid for a commercial or any such promotion, even if they did? then who are we to block their bread & butter?
Second one: Tony Abbott vs Tent embassy.
My opinion: I did not like anything anyone involved did. I’m not a fan of burning stuff.
My knowledge : Not enough for an in depth analysis & to form an opinion supported with evidence.
So I have to let that pass 😦
GAMA, to me it sounds like you got a chip on your shoulder, I don’t know what MMU people have done to you?? Do you feature on the blog?
It is getting a bit boring reading the tennis rally style messages 😐
*/ my 2 cents
I don’t have a chip at all and have nothing against MMU as such. I actually think this site is fantastic and that what they are trying to achieve is also very worthwhile. As Greg asked though, is this site trying to change attitudes or just shout louder than the opposition? I recall not long ago you would occasionally see a person with racist views change them because of the clever use of intellect and argument, not because they were abused. That is an enormous thing, challenging even one racist and having them alter their perceptions is fantastic, however you don’t see that anymore.
I’m also simply pointing out that on many issues there are two sides to a story and that decent respectful dialogue is the best way to achieve understanding between people.
Blatant racism, bigotry, sexism and the people who are exposed on this site are excluded from that but I’m not referring to those posts. I refer to the posts that, I thought, are put up to challenge people to think about the world we live in. If it bothers people that I question things, fine, I won’t contribute because there would be no point. If you would prefer MMU to be more or less omnipotent then I will say nothing and leave the sheep to follow!
Poor Matty Petersen getting all upset about an email to his employer. Suck it up bogan!
57 minutes ago
Some silly BLACK CUNT sent work a E-mail about me! Because on a Australia Day page i ripped into a FUCKING BLACK CUNT because they were going on about how it should be called invasion day and hanging shit on us white ppl! fuck you ya silly black piece of shit! And i stand by everything i said on there too!!!
To those that think it is allright to villify indigenous australians and claim this is their country and their culture when they have existed in this country for barely a heartbeat would have to be really the lowest form of life this country has to offer. I deny you as part of white culture in this country, you are pond scum. It is only from a complete lack of any sort of morality, any sense of decency or any kind of empathy with anyone that exists outside your narrow little minds that allows you to think and speak the way you do. I am second generation white australian and you repel me, you disgust me and you shame me to be a part of what you recognise australian culture to be. For those that villify refugee’s and say we should sink their ships and send them back where they came from I only hope that you and yours do not find yourself in their situation one day, that the veneer of privilege that spares you from this kind of life trauma does not find it’s way into your homes, because the lives that these people have led should not be inflicted on anyone in this universe ever. Even for you the lowest form of life should not have to live in mortal fear and constant danger and worry for your loved ones. The privilege of free speech that you piss on with your stupidity and vulgarity is a luxury that few in the world enjoy and yet you choose to use that not for the common good but to prove that you are uneducated, unsophisticated feral animals with not a whit of decency or taste. The bogan is a feral animal, a danger to a peaceful society and they should be the one sitting in a tin shack on manus island with no hope of relocation to australia not those that bravely risk life and limb and understand the real world or those that occupied this country for 40000 years. I would trade every bogan in australia for a refugee any day of the week.
I’m a third generation white Australian and I’m proud of the contribution made by immigrants to our Aussie way of life, and also respectful of our Indigenous peoples. I’d like to believe it’s possible to be a proud Aussie without being a racist shithead.
George Brandis. A name that shall forever be dogshite. What an A-grade moron.
IMO, whilst George Brandis is definitely a huge cunt, he actually has it right in this instance – society needs to stop pandering to the “whingiest” few who get all butt-hurt about anything.
So you think vilification of minorities from unequal platforms is OK? Fine, so don’t ever complain when the racist and bigoted rabble get the rounds of the kitchen from us.
After all it is the racists and bigots along with the homophobes and misogynists, who whinge and whine the most. They don’t want equal free speech, they want hate speech only to be heard. And they cannot debate their way out of a paper bag.