Offence VS Freedom Of Speech.

ramio1983

Australian Sports presenter/journalist Scott Mcintyre recently got sacked by his Television Network SBS for making some “offensive remarks” about ANZAC soldiers and general comments about World Wars 1 and 2. The Journalist took to his Twitter account to make a series of tweets that were Anti-War, Anti Anzac Day and Anti glorification- voicing an opinion that is controversially “different” to the general take on the Australian and New Zealand war Veterans and their roles not only in Gallipoli, Turkey but numerous other locations during International war campaigns.

The Australian Channel SBS is known for its “diverse” and “alternative” take on news and current affairs and it is a channel that prides itself from presenting –other than– mainstream views on a variety of topics. Some people saw his sacking as justified whilst others have pulled into question the supposed freedoms of “Freedom Of Speech”.

People that know me might notice…

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Feel free to speak about whatever I want you to

The Australian Independent Media Network

Freedom-of-Speech-megaphone

Part A

In an address to the IPA titled “Freedom Wars”, Tony Abbott declared that it is his intention to repeal s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, claiming that this section of the Act impacts upon Freedom of Speech. This ideal of freedom of speech is that which we should all aspire to, however, as a friend once stated: You mean the freedom to be an asshole. We will explore this later.

The text of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) can be found via Austlii.

Section C18 of the Act, that being which Tony Abbott so vehemently opposes concerns offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin. That’s correct, it’s offensive behaviour, with the specifics being:

For an act to be unlawful it must fulfill the following criteria:

  • that the action causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or…

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Senator George Brandis wants you offended and insulted

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.”

Brandis wants you insulted

Source

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:

Batty and the Muslim race

Anti-Indigenous

Adolf Nationalist

Peter Murphy hate speech

supremerat

Uplifting stuff for sure…

Freedom of speech

Calling Your Penis Freddy Krueger Because It Gives Children Nightmares

So where do we draw the line? Racists and sexists call for ‘freedom of speech’, but surely the line must be drawn somewhere?

Is it acceptable to post comments online calling for the drowning of asylum seekers? Is it acceptable to post comments online about wanting to rape kids? Is it acceptable to post comments online about wanting to exterminate all homosexuals? Is it acceptable to post comments online about a desire to kill/bomb all non-whites?

To the person who created THIS monstrosity of a page, HERE is your ‘freedom of speech’: your public comments re-published.