Leftist Speech Gestapo vs Free Speech

Apologies for an earlier blog entry that misinterpreted prof James Allen’s article in the SMH.

James Allan is Garrick Professor of Law, University of Queensland

These elitist hate-speech laws erode democracy

Australians need section 18C to be repealed in its entirety. That’s what Abbott implicitly promised. So let’s have it done now.

shpmucciwidemar3-20140302162357535077-620x3493-penny “philosopher”  and “Race Discrimination Commissioner” Tim Soutphommasane warns about “any move to license racial hatred”


….there is alarming confusion about the concept of freedom, a concept at risk of being debased by ideological polemic and uninformed sloganeering.

The Sydney Moonbat Herald normally backs the Speech Gestapo. In fairness it must be said that the other side gets a fair shake here.

Tony Abbott faces challenge over dilution of racial discrimination laws

Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner will challenge Tony Abbott for the first time on Monday over the Prime Minister’s push to water down racial vilification laws.

Tim Soutphommasane’s intervention in the debate will come in a speech he will deliver at the Australian National University, where he will warn the proposed change may ”licence racial hatred”.

”It may encourage people to think there is no harm in dealing out racial vilification,” he will say, according to a copy of the speech obtained by Fairfax Media.

He will contest the notion there is a compelling case for change and criticise those he labels the ”thick skin brigade”.

”[They say] let good speech override bad speech, let there be an open contest and put our faith in the goodness of our fellow citizens … There is in such arguments a certain naive optimism,” he says. ”We cannot realistically expect that the speech of the strong can be countered by the speech of the weak.”

Victims of racial abuse may absorb the message of hate and inferiority. ”Those who are unfamiliar with the wounding power of racism may dismiss this as superficial complaints about words,” he says.

”There remains what I call the ‘thick-skin brigade’ – those who would declare, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’.

”This is the brigade that believes the only racism that warrants our public attention is the kind that involves physical violence, that believes racial vilification is at best an ersatz racism that troubles only effeminate citizens concerned with inconsequential feelings.

”Members of the ‘thick-skin brigade’ belong to the middle ages, to a time when the law was indeed confined to offering remedies only for physical interference with life and property, when the law only recognised that liberty only meant a protection from battery, when property would still be referred to as land and chattels.”

Dr Soutphommasane will use the speech to put ”a human face” on racial vilification. He says a person who witnesses an ugly incident of racism may gain a new appreciation of the harm it causes.

”It is not clear to me, at least, how someone who has been called a ‘coon’ or ‘boong’ or ‘gook’ or ‘chink’ or ‘curry muncher’ or ‘sandnigger’ should be grateful to a bigot for giving them the opportunity to improve their soul.

”It seems perverse to say that we must all tolerate hate, when not everyone has to bear the burden of tolerance in the same way.”

Dr Soutphommasane says the proposition that any restriction of speech is demeaning, even to those it aims to protect, does not stand up to scrutiny.

”In the current debate about the Racial Discrimination Act, numerous communities have spoken out against any change to existing legislation,” he says.

”To the views put forward by those who believe any restrictions on speech can demean and offend the dignity of those whom we desire to protect from harm, we may question what is more likely to amount to infantilising our fellow citizens. Is it to have protections against hate speech? Or is it to tell some communities that in spite of what they say, that we may know better what is in their interests?”

Dr Soutphommasane was appointed by the Labor government in July to oversee the Racial Discrimination Act.

The controversial section is 18C which makes it unlawful to do something reasonably likely ”to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone on racial grounds.

Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt fell foul of this section in 2011 after accusing several fair-skinned Aborigines of identifying as indigenous to claim benefits only open to Aboriginal people.

In 2012 Mr Abbott said if the Coalition won the election he would repeal section 18C ”in its current form”. Attorney-General George Brandis has pledged to amend this section.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-faces-challenge-over-dilution-of-racial-discrimination-laws-20140302-33u29.html#ixzz2vJau3EjJ

3 thoughts on “Leftist Speech Gestapo vs Free Speech”

  1. Because I was surprised by the idea that James Allan might be supporting restrictions on free speech, I have just read the article. Happily, he was not.

    The headline was actually a summary of the rot espoused by the self-confessed ‘elites’, and Allan was thorough in his rebuttal of the idiocy. My guess is that the headline was designed to attract those who agreed with it, and give them an unexpected dose of reality.

    Otherwise, I agree with you completely.

  2. I like how some migrant deigns to lecture Australians on what our traditional freedoms are and how we can use them. Was Tim around when Lockett ruled the goal square and Adelaide got the formula one?

  3. Our most basic human right is to SELF-defense, and that obviously includes the right to complain about extortion to rally others to help us defend our selves.

    That’s called Free Speech, and it’s only limited to not knowingly spreading lies (aka the crimes of fraud and slander).

    Government, (best conceived by Einstein as the largest collectively-owned insurance company) is a great idea if and when it doesn’t compete with (much less pre-empt) private enterprise; it’s OK for the government to buy food to feed the poor, but not to demand that only it is qualified to regulate food growing everywhere, much less to restrict and deny private individuals from growing or stockpiling their own food. Same goes for defending every other need: government can defend the country, but not restrict the citizens’ rights to also own and bear their own arms to defend them selves; government can and should enhance private defense, but never replace it!

    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”

    -Thomas Jefferson-

    The ONLY limit to Free Speech, should be the Truth!

    There is no false “right” to not be offended by the often-painful truth!

    That only pretends valid objective educational warnings are subjective threats! It pretends all objective facts are really only subjective opinions, and that people are such fallible victims that they can never really tell the difference between them!

    It pretends people have the false right to remain irresponsibly wrong! That there’s no wrong answers! It deprives people of their real right to learn from their mistakes, and to become right by learning to solve problems!

    As even Aristotle noted long ago, slander is only pre-judice, and vice-versa; presenting accusatory opinions as if they were facts (making accusations against someone else, BEFORE having the facts straight)! And that breaks the Golden Rule of Law (to not attack first)!

    Of course, aggressively chanting or yelling a truth at someone in a threatening manner ALSO breaks the Golden Rule, because all threats are psychological attacks (aka: bullying, intimidation, coercion, duress, extortion, “terrorism”) and all non-defensive attacks are crimes.

    But ‘threatening’ a criminal with his just punishments, after he’s already committed his crimes, isn’t a theat so much as a promise!

    The only other way speech should be limited, is if it incites un-just violence against innocent others (as opposed to legislators and police chiefs calling for violence against those who have already attacked innocent others, as in: if they call for the death-penalty, for instance).

    The Defense of Truth should always apply.

    And, as for “Hate-Speech” itself:

    It’s insane to try to criminalize an emotion such as “hate!” Hate is only the perfectly natural human response of perpetual anger towards ongoing crimes (like islam) without hate, no one would ever bother to accuse any criminals of their crimes, and by doing so, hope to end those crimes!

    Trying to make hate into a crime only makes it impossible to hate crimes! It’s victim-blaming nannystate extortion at its worst: “I don’t care who started it – *I* only want it all to stop!”

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