Marcia Langton’s objections to the repeal of 18c in today’s Oz where she said:
“As a victim of frequent racism, I have tried to think of racist behaviour that would not be exempted by the proposed repeal bill and cannot think of one,’’ Professor Langton says.
“None of the requirements of good faith, accuracy, genuine, reasonable, public interest are provided for in the exemptions, and I have concluded that the repeal bill, if it were passed, would provide me — and other victims of racism — with no protection at all from low-level racist abuse, or abuse that a ‘reasonable, ordinary Australian’ would not deem to be intimidatory, in the media, in public, on social media, in the workplace, in educational institutions, or other public institutions.”
Professor Langton says the repeal bill would encourage racists to be more emboldened in public and to use subtle forms of intimidation and aggression, “which I know from personal experience can be just as dangerous and distressing as overt forms”.
She says that, amid increasing racial attacks on public transport, the passage of the bill would expose victims to further attacks.
“The reluctance of most victims to make formal complaints or to contact police compounds this problem of their vulnerability to increased attacks by those emboldened to behave in even more offensive and aggressive ways on public transport and in public places,” she says.
Professor Langton goes further, arguing that the bill would undermine the success of multiculturalism and reconciliation in the community and lead to more events such as the race riots in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla in 2005.
And she warns: “The youth suicides that result from cyber bullying may well increase, and so too would internet bullying among school students.’’
Thinking back to her last appearance on QandA where she (and the ABC) had to apologise for her outburst against Andrew Bolt made me wonder just how a woman so blighted with racism managed to get herself into a safe and secure academic position and how she came to be consulted so often by governments on matters indigenous. I also can’t help wondering if she might be mistaking reactions to her antagonistic, confrontational and abrasive personal style of public discourse as racism when its her total lack of respect and generosity to all of her interlocutors that generates and equally terse response to her whenever she discusses the issues with others. Strangely enough in this country where we have manged to do tolerance and “multiculturalism” pretty well its antagonistic people like Langton who try so hard to grandstand about “racism” that are a problem, at least as significant as those very few individuals who are actually racist, because their whole ego and self image are totally tied up with the notion of ” being oppressed” that they want to magnify and exaggerate the whole issue of ” race” enough to justify their own bigotry .
We have a country that does diversity, equality and tolerance pretty well and long may that be so but we won’t do it any better if people go out of their way to find offense when and where no offense was intended, we can and I hope will, continue to do better to promote inclusion and acceptance of diversity as a nation but the strictures of blame and well nurtured resentment over long past events will not help anyone.
People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.
Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles. My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly. With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.
From my appearance with a (now greying) red beard, blond hair and blue eyes its pretty obvious that I have some measure of Anglo Saxon blood in my veins, thanks to the period of English history when the Saxons were ascendant . What would people think if I were to begin to insist that I am a Saxon? Or if my children were to do the same and therefore ignoring the fact that their Opa was a Dutchman from Rotterdam? Or that their Grandmother’s family were all good Irish Catholics? Under the way of thinking of those who sued Andrew Bolt I or my children should forever be unquestioned were we to insist that we are Saxons (even though my daughter has dark hair and hazel eyes ) if my family insisting that we are Saxons is a shallow a conceit, and one that I could insist upon would it make someone a bigot if they were to question that conceit? I might certainly dislike my conceits being questioned, I might even feel offended , insulted even a bit intimidated because I have had something as fundamental as they way that I ethically self identify but would it mean that those who ask those uncomfortable questions are “bigots” ?
Yesterday in the senate our Attorney General said in answer to a question that “every Australian has the right to be a bigot” it was a nicely put argument that has got the latte sippers choking on their milky brews because I gather that many on the left are rather certain that being a bigot is about the worst thing that its possible to be unless you are an adult with an unhealthy interest in the contents of a child’s underpants which is of course just a (little) bit worse. Strangely enough Pat Condell published a vid yesterday in which bigotry is quite cleverly considered, its only a short rant so please consider this:
What Condell’s rant tells us with some clever wit is that the politically correct want to control the way that people speak , often for rather noble reasons, but noble reasons or not the result is more toxic than the intemperate speech that the PC police would have silenced. Which brings us back to the clause in the racial vilification act that the government proposes to seriously amend.
The problem that our friends from the left far too often use a claim of bigotry as a sort of universal shut up when there is a truth that they find uncomfortable, a certain learned gentleman of this blogs acquaintance was very fond of insisting that anyone who thinks that marriage should only be between one man and one woman is a bigot. Our learned friend is obviously wishing to see the standing of homosexuals in our society raised and more respected. Likewise our own Ray Dixon is extremely sensitive about the way that Muslims and Aboriginals are perceived in our society he has the most noble motives in his desire to see multiculturalism work and to ensure that those from outside the majority are do not have to endure any kind of prejudicial treatment. The problem with wanting to enforce any sort of superficial niceness is that the result is a sort of bullying that Pat Condell so eloquently rails against in his video it ends up protecting that which, in a civil society, should be free to explore ventilate and maybe reconsider. Thus when 18c was used to shut Andrew Bolt up so that the notion of self selected ethnic identity by those who sued him under 18c would remain unconsidered, our society lost a good opportunity to take a long hard look at ourselves and just what it means to have any sort of ethnic identity. Some who harshly ventilate their own feelings or beliefs of such issues may certainly meet the definition of bigotry but the way to counter such views is not with the blunt instrument of a widely cast law but by their fellows convincing them that the prejudice is both wrong and more importantly unproductive and unlikely to “win friends or influence people”.
What George Brandis was saying is an iteration of the famous Voltaire aphorism , namely “I utterly disagree with what you are saying but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it” its not a principle that we should disavow at all if we want to enjoy a truly free and pluralistic society but its a sad reflection of of friends from the left who are both very keen to be the champions of free speech and to enforce”niceness” is it any wonder that they are being called hypocrite?
So lets defend free speech and encourage niceness in social discourse because, to cite another aphorism you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink.
It may irk a lot of latte sippers but there is no denying that the pertinent truth noted in this piece about the Zimmerman case in the Florida is entirely true for the disproportionate number of our own indigenous people who end up enjoying the hospitality of her majesty’s prisons.
As long as crimes are committed there will have to be punishments handed down by the courts in response to those crimes and if the good hearted want to see fewer aboriginal men imprisoned then aboriginal men have to commit fewer crimes. Its as simple as that and until that is so lets not be surprised at the disproportionate number of indigenous prisoners or pretend that its the fault of racial prejudice .
I’m not a gambling man by any stretch of the imagination, heck I don’t even buy lottery tickets but I am no wowser either I don’t care if other people want to have a flutter on the ponies or any other competition. On top of that I am lightning fast on the channel change button if I find sport on the TV. None the less I do have an opinion about the current issue of advertising by bookies during sports broadcasts. I just think that the infusion of gambling to be utterly pernicious and that makes me in agreement with Julia Gillard (oh the humanity!) but I am inclined to think that a total ban on the broadcast advertising of bookmaking would be the most socially beneficial regulation.
(by Ray Dixon – no, it’s not a footy post per se, it’s about racism … or not)
Noun: A large primate (families Pongidae and Hylobatidae) that lacks a tail, including the gorilla, chimpanzees, orangutan, and gibbons.
Verb: Imitate the behavior or manner of (someone or something), esp. in an absurd or unthinking way.
I have to say it: I really think Sydney’s Adam Goodes went over-the-top with his very public confrontation and finger-pointing of a thirteen-year-old girl for calling him an “ape” in the dying minutes of last night’s Collingwood v Sydney game.
The amount of news coverage this fairly innocuous incident has generated has been extraordinary … and I have to wonder if Adam Goodes knew it would do that.
Goodes pointed out the girl to ground security who then escorted her from the venue. He then left the field immediately after the siren “shattered and distraught” with the girl’s behaviour, thereby adding to the drama. And he kept it up in interviews:
‘‘I am pretty gutted to be honest. To win, the first of its kind in 13 years, to win by 47 points against Collingwood, to play such a pivotal role, it sort of means nothing,’’
‘‘To come to the boundary line, to hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape – and it’s not the first time on a footy field that I have been referred to as a monkey or an ape – it was shattering.”
‘‘I turned around, and when I saw it was a young girl, and I thought she was 14, that was my initial thought, I was just like: ‘Really, how could that happen?’’
A little girl.
Wouldn’t you think a man of his stature – over 300 games, two Brownlows, two Premierships, a superstar of the game – would just shrug it off once he realised his vilifier was a little kid? It hardly seems worth all the fuss.
It just so happened that this was Indigenous Round and, not only that, the 20th anniversary of Nicky Winmar’s famous stance against racial abuse (also involving Collingwood supporters).
Nicky Winmar was clearly justified in his stance but the differences here are many, including that Winmar was indeed subject to a tirade of racist abuse from a wide section of the crowd, whereas Adam was called an “ape” by just one little girl.
In the dying moments of a game that was already won. On Friday night TV.
I think Goodes over-reacted here and may have milked this incident to create his own ‘Nicky Winmar moment’ in history. You know, the day he stood up to racism too.
Maybe he should have lifted his jumper and pointed to his skin, if he wanted so badly to replicate Winmar’s brave stance. He failed.
And maybe the 13-year-old should have chosen her taunt more carefully.
I’d suggest next time she calls him one (or more) of the following:
- “Attention whore”
- “Kiddy abuser”
- “Weak bastard”
- “Drama queen”
- “Ugly bearded yobbo”
I reckon he’d cry about those too.
With Australia day coming up and the usual suspects from the left suggesting that we should take up sackcloth and ashes rather than to celebrate the country and its achievements I was rather struck by this little rave from “John the other”.
Although we are not a perfect society we do come pretty close in my humble opinion and personally I think that we are all privileged to be living here and that those who want to divide and deride by the citation of “privilege” are nothing but miserable fools who are welcome to get on the next plane outta here.