Sunday, 7 August 2016

David Leyonhjelm wants to gut race hate laws - *pfffft*

*Update: Free-speech fundamentalists break free of good conscience. The Age 

I don't know why he's wasting his time with something that has got a snowball's chance in hell of getting through the new senate. Leyonhjelm on his second senate term, well known using the word "cunt" and for siding with the US NRA and calling Australians "targets" over our gun control laws, has now come up with yet another wacko idea. Gutting race hate laws.

He backs this up with the most bizarre of assertions. Apparently it's all your fault if you get offended, not the person doing the offending. I kid you not:
"If you want to take offence that's your choice, you have a choice of choosing another feeling," Senator Leyonhjelm said.

"Offence is always taken, not given. So if you don't want to be offended, its up to you, don't be offended, that's it.

"We're not responsible for the feelings of other people, none of us are." ABC
Talk about bullshit. What demented person thought up that? It absolves bullies of all responsibility if, for example, someone kills themselves over hate speech directed at them? In his world it would be fine to have, for another example, a young person in school bullied online and at school to the point of suicide, and it would be the person who killed themselves fault for taking offence. What an absurd proposition.

The simple fact is that if we're to live in a society of peers then free speech comes with responsibility. Words can cut very very deeply, and a mature society knows that.

Otherwise what's next then if you gut race hate laws? Suspending anti-discrimination laws during a plebiscite as the Australian Christian Lobby wants? Because people are "afraid to speak up" about how terrible and dastardly us gays are? Young LGBT people can be called all manner of names by anyone and that's OK? *pfffft* What a nut.
New One Nation senator-elect Malcolm Roberts also reiterated his similar stance on the race discrimination laws. 

"It is very important to the country because at the moment a lot of people are afraid to speak up," he told Insiders. 

Mr Roberts had told reporters on Friday that Section 18C "needs to be addressed because [it is] curbing free speech". 

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it illegal to carry out an act if: "(a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group". 

Section 18D of the Act outlines some exceptions — for example, an offence isn't illegal if it is a fair and accurate report or comment. ABC  

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