Racism Downunder: exploiting race for gains?

Unexpected:  The Age comes out in defense of free speech. How strange is that?

PC = the end of free speech

The right to freedom of speech is being threatened in the courtroom.

ANDREW Bolt is getting sued. Don’t applaud yet. There’s been a lot of outrage about the federal government’s proposed internet filter. But lawsuits like the one now faced by the prominent conservative Herald Sun columnist are as much a restriction on freedom of speech as anything Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has come up with. (Chris Berg has the story, here)

A columnist’s right to express offensive opinions

Silenced in court

The right to freedom of speech is being threatened in the courtroom.

HERALD-SUN journalist Andrew Bolt is facing court action over opinion pieces in which he argued that there was ”a whole new fashion in academia, the arts and professional activism to identify as Aboriginal”. This quote appeared in a piece entitled ”White is the new black” in which Bolt went on to describe artists, writers, academics and activists who identified as Aboriginal but who also had European heritage. ”The choice to be Aboriginal can seem almost arbitrary and intensely political, given how many of their ancestors are in fact Caucasian,” wrote Bolt, although later in the same piece he conceded: ”I’m not saying any of those I’ve named chose to be Aboriginal for anything but the most heartfelt and honest of reasons. I certainly don’t accuse them of opportunism.”

Up to nine people say Bolt has breached the Racial Discrimination Act and are suing him for causing hurt and humiliation in this piece and in others in which he put similar arguments. The claimants want an apology, legal costs and a gag on republishing the articles – or anything else with substantially similar content. (Read it all)

Manne blind to the “racists” of the Left

Hal Colebatch examines the latest questionable research of neo-Leftist and stolen generations propangandist Robert Manne, and is astonished.

His article is avalailable to subscribers only, but Andrew McIntyre sums it up:

According to Hal Colebatch in the latest Quadrant, Manne writes about the South Vietnamese refugee policy in Australia between 1976 and 1982, making the extraordinary claim that “With the boat arrivals, the Labor Opposition under Whitlam, and then Hayden, resisted the temptation to exploit underlying racist or anti-refugee sentiment for party political gain.”

Colebatch rightly wonders if Manne was on another planet. He quotes the infamous comment by Whitlam ,”I’m not having hundreds of fucking Vietnamese Balts coming into this country with their political and religious hatreds against us” … He then goes on to list the many examples of ALP bloodymindedness; Clyde Cameron himself advocating in the 1977 election campaign that “the only effective means of dealing with illegal immigrants would be to have them arrested and deported as soon as they land”, Hawke wanting the return of the bogus refugees, and Darwin waterside workers striking over the ship Entalina that rescued Vietnamese boat people, threatening any further shipping that was prepared to rescue boat people. The litany of racist and inhumane bigotry by the Left is documented in detail. The article thus reveals Manne’s strange delusional rewrite of history.

Colebatch concludes:

I could continue these quotes at considerable length (my PhD thesis on this subject occupies 489 pages exclusive of bibliography and appendices), but this is probably enough to make the point.Far from being the beneficiaries of a bipartisan approach, Vietnamese refugees were attacked by virtually every group on the Left. I find it baffling that someone occupying Mr Manne’s position is either unaware of the well-documented history of the ALP and the Left regarding Vietnamese refugees or, if he is aware of it, that he should apparently seek to radically rewrite these facts.

But surely Colebatch should understand that history today is what you would prefer to have happened, rather thanwhat actually did:

Believe it. When Professor Lyndall Ryan, head of Humanities at Newcastle University, was outed for writing about massacres that hadn’t happened. Citing death tolls from sources that didn’t exist, she had a perfect postmodernist excuse. Two, in fact.

Excuse one: ”Historians are always making up figures.” Excuse two: “Two truths are told. Is only one ‘truth’ correct?”