01 October 2011

The Racial Discrimination Act is racist

In a clear cut violation of the right to freedom of speech, The Federal Court of Australia found journalist Andrew Bolt guilty of breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. Bolt’s crime was comments he made that “offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated” people, the said comments being made “because of the race, colour or ethnic origin of [those] fair-skinned Aboriginal people”.

The offending comments were made in Bolt’s column in the Herald Sun on April 15th and August 21st 2009. In those columns Bolt questioned why some fair skinned people identify themselves as Aborigines and implied it was because "it's so hip to be black" and because there were material advantages in being black.

Contrary to the attempts of some left-wing commentators to obfuscate the crucial issue of freedom of speech, the judgment against Bolt was not made because of some inconsequential inaccuracies in his columns. Reference to these errors was made in relation to a peripheral (section 18D) issue, the judgment itself was based on the (section 18C) prohibition of acts that are “reasonably likely” to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” people in a manner related to their race.

A right to freedom of speech that doesn’t offend anybody is not a right to anything meaningful at all. No one anywhere ever needs to defend his right to say what everyone likes to hear. It is precisely comments that offend, insult or humiliate someone that must be defended by the right to freedom of speech. Offended people have every right to avoid listening to or reading offending comments, but they have no legitimate right to use the force of law to stop such comments being said or written, or to stop other people listening to or reading them.

Read more here  

Ironically, it is the cultural apartheid enshrined in this Racial Discrimination Act that has injected racism back into Australia's legal system. It divides Australians into racial groups and hands each the means of censoring what anyone from any other group may say about them – by warning that they may be “reasonably likely” to be offended by speech they want to censor. Under this law feelings trump reality; multiculturalism trumps liberty, and race trumps individual rights….
Offended feelings are a small price to pay for freedom of speech, because without it no other freedom can be protected. In the name of equality before the law, justice, and liberty, the deceptively named Racial Discrimination Act must be repealed.