Monday, March 24, 2014

Defining 'bigotry'

from w
Friends of Fiji might be interested in something that has happened in Australia about bigotry.

The Australian talkback and website and blog comments are really flying after the Oz Attorney-General George Brandis let fly with the following: People do have a right to be bigots. In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.

Of course we have the right to private thoughts and views but it gets sticky when these thoughts lead to bullying and insulting people. We also should have the right to be given respect. And there is a huge stretch from saying something crude about a person on a ‘cold call’ line to a passionate tirade against a person or group based on a generalization – whether it’s red hair colour, left-handedness, ancestry, language, religion, dress code or gender and so on. The Attorney-General is foolish to raise this topic in this way. It goes against all the hard work done in schools about bullying and in society about respect and acceptance of other persons.

Some of the comments on the ABC website -
7:21 PM on 24/03/2014
This is really a no brainer. My freedom to say what I want stops where your freedom to say what you want begins. As no one can agree as to where this point actually is - we have laws to define that point. Remove the law and, I suggest, there will be a possibility of chaos.
7:17 PM on 24/03/2014
'to be bigoted: having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one's own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others'
In my mind, if we want to deal with it in this way, the liberty that you gain from spouting your prejudiced intolerance is not greater than the detriments and offense caused by actions which are able to be judged under this clause. Even if it is, the vast majority of cases which are dealt with under this clause, of racial discrimination towards ethnic minorities etc, are catered to by the Ethnic Discrimination Act.
This isn't even addressing the moral and ethical implications, and that this has been done with very little consultation.
bide and fecht
7:16 PM on 24/03/2014
Sorry....I still struggling with Andrew Bolt and respect being mentioned in the same sentence, let alone it being a statement that Andrew Bolt would be the one offering it.
I get nostalgic every now and then and think about the good old days, but unlike the LNP I've never had the power to go back in time. This statement alone will encourage every biggotted voice in Australia to let fly.....We have become a bogan nation, and the worse we could ever want instead of aspiring to be the best we could become.
guust flater
7:14 PM on 24/03/2014
Why is the government so hell-bent on changing these laws to please Bolt?
Did they have an agreement with him before the election in return for his support?
6:56 PM on 24/03/2014
The country is really going back 50 years and is dumming down with great speed
6:56 PM on 24/03/2014
Brandis, Abbott, Bolt and Morrison should be made to live for twelve months together on Manus Island. That might give them a smidgeon of humanity.
old man
6:55 PM on 24/03/2014
Well if you think that legislating against a person saying what they think is going to change their thinking, then you are total fool.
You can put as many rules forward as you want to but it won't stop me from thinking.
It needs education to change peoples thinking, not a big stick.
1 reply
6:53 PM on 24/03/2014
Most of the people who dont want the law to change are supportive of those people who carried some of the worst placards ever seen recently at march marches.
Go figure?
Score: 3
6:51 PM on 24/03/2014
If we are going to water down hate speech law then we need to strengthen the libel and slander law. If people can tell untruths about others in the guise of "free speech", people should have some legal right of reply.
con sider
6:49 PM on 24/03/2014
I would suggest that this mob in government be very careful what they wish for.
What they are proposing can come back and bite them very severely at a later time, and when it does,(and it will), who will they blame?
I wonder?
6:49 PM on 24/03/2014
Is it consistent with the concept of free speech that free speech can be used to diminish the free speech of others?
6:23 PM on 24/03/2014
Given the following definition of a bigot: "a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion" (,
Brandis' comment "People do have a right to be bigots you know," simply contradicts his stated view that Government is acting in the interests of free speech.
It seems to me that he is acting in the interests of people such as Andrew Bolt who make a living by selling advertising on the back of provocation and controversy.
mentat render
6:19 PM on 24/03/2014
Agreed, you should have the right to be a bigot as long as you wear a badge or tattoo identifying you as such.
ordinary person
6:18 PM on 24/03/2014
Question is where you draw the line. If it is used to insult or discriminate a particular ethnic group it is wrong. Sometimes, there is a confused view that you have to respect other people's views. Not necessarily. That means everyone has to shut up not to offend the others. You respect their right to hold a different view from yours and express it freely. And they should understand that you have the same right. Democracy gives you the right to tell certain things which others don't like to hear and forces you also to listen lot of stuff you don't like to hear. Whichever way, preaching racism, hatred, and violence should be out of bounds.

By political correspondent Emma Griffiths

RELATED STORY: Coalition MP prepared to cross floor over Racial Discrimination Act
Attorney-General George Brandis has defended the Government's plan to amend a key part of the nation's racial discrimination laws, saying people have "a right to be bigots".
The Abbott Government has promised to amend the Racial Discrimination Act by repealing section 18C, which makes it unlawful for someone to publicly "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person or a group of people… (section deleted)
Bigot definition, a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion. See more.

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