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Facebook page vilifying Aborigines ‘breaks Australian law’

A senior solicitor involved in the successful Andrew Bolt racial discrimination case says US social networking giant Facebook has broken Australian law by hosting a controversial page dedicated to vilifying Aboriginal people.

Joel Zyngier, a senior associate with Holding Redlich, told Crikey this morning the site appears to be breach of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that prohibits an act that “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people” on the grounds of race.

Much if not all of the content on the page would be reasonably likely to do one or more of offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate an Aboriginal person,” Zyngier said.

Facebook Inc and the moderator of the Facebook page Aboriginal Memes (and even those who post on the site) may have contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act by publishing certain images and words on that page. It is clearly an intentional public communication made on the grounds of race.”

On Monday, opposition leader Tony Abbott said he would wind back 18C of the act, partially — it would appear — to placate Bolt and deal with instances of hatred separately under common law.

Crikey can also reveal the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which is responsible for regulating online content, is investigating the page after receiving a complaint. ”The ACMA is currently investigating specific URLs that contain the online content you referred to after receiving a complaint yesterday,” an ACMA spokesperson said this morning.

ACMA, however, has little power to act because racially discriminatory material posted online, while unlawful, is not prohibited by the Broadcasting Services Act.

As Crikey’s deadline approached, 4128 people had “liked” the page, with hundreds more “liking” the individual “memes” that make crass allusions to the use of alcohol, social welfare and petrol sniffing within the Aboriginal population.

These include people who claim to work for Consumer Affairs Victoria, two navy personnel (a boatswains mate and a leading marine seaman technician at the Royal Australian navy), an authorised representative at Combined Insurance Company of Australia, a utility worker at Action Industrial Catering, an employee of Dowerin DHS, and a Centrelink employee. All provide their names, photos and workplaces.

A spokesperson for Consumer Affairs Victoria told Crikey: ”The Department of Justice is looking into allegations that a person identifying themselves as a Consumer Affairs Victoria employee ‘liked’ a racist Facebook page. The Department takes seriously any allegations that its staff have behaved inappropriately.

All employees are expected to abide by the terms of the Department’s social media policy, which sets clear expectations and standards for staff. Staff are advised how to use social media responsibly and that their obligations are defined under the Victorian Public Service Code of Conduct.”

The page’s tagline now carries a “controversial humour” precede following initial complaints launched yesterday. Three individuals are credited with posting the images — Hunter Green, Kurt Christidis and Mitchel Warmington. One of the images is a lifted still from Werner Herzog’s 1984 film Where the Green Ants Dream.

It is a “serious violation” of Facebook’s Community Standards, “to attack a person based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition”. However, a query directed to the site’s central media unit asking when the page would be pulled from the web was not returned. A standard response sent to Facebook users who “reported” the page as in breach of the standards claimed it did not breach the guidelines.

Former Northern Territory deputy chief minister Marion Scrymgour said she complained to Facebook about the page and was told it did not breach their standards.

I am Aboriginal and I know a number of my very good non-Aboriginal friends are just as appalled and offended by this,” she said (see comments below). “As Australians we should all be appalled at this sort of material that does nothing to continue the healing between black and white Australians.”

Australian legal precedents suggest Facebook could be in serious strife. In Creek v Cairns Post (2001) Justice Susan Kiefel found that two images accompanying a newspaper article — that juxtaposed a white couple at a house with a Aboriginal woman at a tribal gathering — were offensive to the plaintiff. The two parties were involved in a custody dispute and the pictures implied the indigenous woman was a less-able carer (the indigenous woman also lived in a house).

And in 2000 the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission found Frederick Toben’s Adelaide Institute guilty of publishing material that was “vilificatory, bullying, insulting and offensive” towards the Jewish population on its website.

Zyngier told Crikey that even though Facebook was based in Mountain View, California “based on relevant case law, the publication is therefore arguably unlawful, even though the publisher is a US-based entity”. And the site — and the defendants could not rely on the public interest provisions of the act that modify 18C.

I don’t think the defendants in such a case could rely on the defence under section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act, that the publication of the content on the ‘Aboriginal Memes’ page was done reasonably and in good faith, in the course of a genuine purpose in the public interest,” Zyngier said.

Despite the alleged breach, Australian authorities have their hands partially tied when it comes to cyber racism. According to professor Andrew Jakubowicz from the University of Technology Sydney, hate speech is “unlawful but not illegal”.

The reality is that ACMA won’t touch it and HREOC [now the Australian Human Rights Commission] is limited in what it can do,” Jakubowicz told Crikey. “In Australia we have essentially created a free fire zone on the internet.”

Calls for the page to be taken offline have escalated this morning. An online petition has been posted and a Make Facebook Shutdown Aboriginal Memes page has cropped up demanding it be junked.

UPDATE 3.50pm: An Australian PR contractor acting on behalf of Facebook has emailed to say it has “nothing to share at this time”.

43
  • 1
    Steven McKiernan
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I used the Facebook forms to ask that Facebook remove the Aboriginal Memes vilification page. Response follows:
    “Hi,

    Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

    Learn more about what we do and don’t allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.

    Thanks,
    Viki”
    Less than happy with this response.

  • 2
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Tony Abbott understands the hate he would unleash by winding back some laws just to satisfy the Bolts of the world.

    I would not wish upon my worst enemy the stress of being targeted by a nutter who thinks they can write anything about anyone on a website. For a whole race of people it woulds them all.

    And the worship of some of these entities like Facebook, Google,Blogger etc by many tech writers is beyond bizarre.

    They are huge profit making corporations that are leeching of the net, employ a miniscule staff as Twitter does and as Malcolm Turnbull has pointed out, have decidedly dodgy tax arrangements that sees Google pay a tiny tax on $50M profits in Australia alone.

    Yet so many journalists wring their hands as countries impose their law upon these net giants and proclaim the law must change to suit a private company. Even sensible legal writers like Fairfax’s Richard Akland has said as much.

  • 4
    Geordie
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Ok, so a US based company is conceivably breaking Australian law, law which is poorly or not reciprocated elsewhere around the world.

    I guess they’re happy they’re not subject to Australian law.

  • 5
    Marion Scrymgour
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I logged in and had a look at this page and was absolutely horrified that people are allowed to do this sort of sick and offensive pages in the name of “freedom of speech” and “humor”. I was even deeply sadden when I saw an image of a very respected Aboriginal lady being used as part of their sick little campaign. As Australians we should all be appalled at this sort of material that does nothing to continue the healing between black and white Australians. I am Aboriginal and I know a number of my very good non-Aboriginal friends are just as appalled and offended by this. As a matter of interest I did do a report to the Facebook site where you can lodge a complaint about the site, after careful reading to see if the site had breached the so-called “standards” that FB apply was then emailed by a person from FB that said and I quote “in their view the Aboriginal Memes site was not offensive and did not contravene their standards”. I obviously astounded at this response, wrote back to them and asked them to re-review their decision as I felt that it had contravened the standards that should apply to social media sites.

  • 6
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanx for this report, which will presumably cause interweb libertarians to reflect further.

  • 7
    delaney
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    If this page, its platform creators, its content creators and its contributors are not brought to some form of legal consequence then shame on the human race!!!

  • 8
    Sharkie
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Hello Tony Abbott, Blot, where do you stand on the freedom wars now? Are you going to get out and beat that freedom of speech drum for the people who set up this Face book page?

    In the bright light of day, defending this type of stuff isn’t that electorally appealing.

    How far do Tony and Blot want to travel down the free speech path. What about defending the guy who shot six sikhs in the USA? Is that the type of free speech you want here in Australia?

    Where exactly is their line you cannot cross?

  • 9
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/jewish-call-to-curb-compassion-20120808-23ss4.html

    And imagine the outrage by Bolt and Abbott is a muslim had said and written this particular filth.

    As it is a jew, we get silence.

    Utter, silence.

    Not a word of condemnation except by a few other jews.

  • 10
    Riley Calaby
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

    Learn more about what we do and don’t allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.

    Thanks,
    Facebook team’

  • 11
    floorer
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Huh facebook, racial vilification fine, pictures of breast feeding mothers (put up by them feeding their own babies) not fine. IIRC Ackland was talking about govt. wanting more control of the net in general not stuff like this.

  • 12
    Marion Scrymgour
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    In addition to my comments above the image they have on their site is the dearly departed and very much respected Dr Marika who spend most of her life in Education and Reconciliation of black and white Australia. This image has so enraged me and will be deeply offensive to all of Dr Marika’s family and friend (both black and white) in Australia and internationally.

  • 13
    Groucho
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting to see those that were so quick to throw away the freedoms of others following the terrorism of the past decade now squeal that their “rights” are being infringed.

    If we are to have free speech then so be it. Lets have the kind our politicians enjoy. No defamation lawsuits either. So that I can say anything I like about anyone without fear of being sued. Bet that won’t happen.

    I remember when THAT sheik of “uncovered meat fame” was attacked with calls for his citizenship to be revoked. Wonder if the same hypocrits that wanted him deported are the same ones crying foul now.

    Let’s be honest this is a pitch for the hearts and minds of talk back radio listeners through their hosts. They must have woken from their ignorant stupor and started to realise what Abbott PM might do to them.

  • 14
    WTF
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I am amazed that people believe that by banning a face book page somehow racial hatred will be eliminated in this country. At what point does it sink in that vilification is only the symptom of an underlying problem. I would have thought that by allowing this expression we would be highlighting the problem so we can ensure that we as a nation start to work to address it’s root causes not simply painting over the symptoms. The value of education and rational argument will always outweigh censorship and unworkable laws! Anyone who believes that legislation will achieve racial harmony need their head examined.

  • 15
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I too went on Facebook to have a look and was repulsed by what I read and saw. I’ve also used their ‘form’ to complain. Haven’t had any response as yet. I did notice that not one person had the guts to put their name to any of this filth - just “likes” etc. Fancy that, racist bastards being gutless!

    @MARILYN - I heard about that re jews not showing compassion and observed the silence also. Just goes to show how revolting Abbott & Co are - in fact, both sides of politics haven’t responded, although I stand to be corrected on this.

    @GROUCHO - The reason Bolt lost his case was because he printed LIES. Have you read the judgement? It’s online, or it was. Bolt agreed that his only research was Google - hardly a boast to be proud of if you want to be viewed as a journalist? researcher? What he printed was not correct - that’s why he lost, and what he printed was demeaning to those whose names he used. IF he’d got off his bottom and did some research he’d have found out the FACTS!

    I don’t agree with people having the right to say what they like about another person or persons, that is racist and judgemental, particularly if it’s UNTRUE!

    Do you think you have the right to publicly claim that I’m a mass murderer? Whether it’s true or not? (it so happens that I’m not a mass murderer) Do you think you have the right to destroy my reputation and anyone who shares my name? Just because you have the power and space in a newspaper or periodical to print such a claim? Don’t you think that there should be Laws to protect innocent people about such things? I certainly do!

    When the use of someone’s race is also used as the tool to defame and cause upset, then there should be laws to protect people. Bolt’s whining about his free speech being overlooked was bs and he knows it - by his own admission re what he printed was incorrect!
    I seem to recall that both Peter Costello and Abbott sued someone over statements made in a book - the details escape me at the moment, but they won the case as I remember it!

  • 16
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    There’s a Petition where people can add their signature to having this vile site removed. You can do it here
    http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/facebook-immediately-remove-the-racist-page-called-aboriginal-memes#

    I urge everyone to participate!

  • 17
    Gerry Hatrick, OAP
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s an American thing - use a word that sounds like Nigeria in most contexts and it’ll be gone.

  • 18
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I dont think there is a single race on Earth that hasn’t been persecuted either by words or actions. Historically legislation has never solved a thing in any country. You must educate from the early years to achieve tolerance and understanding.

    There will always be a small minoority of insecure people who target a particular section of society. This isnt society’s fault its just the human condition.

    I consider Australia has done a reasonable job suppressing the rat bags etc however this has only been achieved by a society that is well educated.

    Dont respond to ignorance and stupidity with the like.

  • 19
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    It is reasonable to suggest that a majority of Australains would find this US site unacceptable.
    Then again, The J — y Sprin-er show, from the same country, shamelessly put the trials and tribulations of “Poor, White Trailer Park Trash” on show to the world.
    So US standards on this sort of vilification of minorities may be very low.

  • 20
    Groucho
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of invoking Godwin’s law just look how vilification was used as a cynical power grab. We’ve seen it in Australia too with Liberal candidates stirring up the worst kind of hate so that they could profit from it politically.

    We’ve even had Scott Morrison urge his caucus to fan hate in the community for political gain.

    Problem is that allowing it legitimises it and rather ends up fuelling it.

    There never has unfettered free speech in any democracy at any time.

    The biggest threat to democracy is not curbs on hate speech but concentration on who can speak to the population.

    Media ownership is the real threat to democracy.

  • 21
    sherman herman
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    i don’t think it’s racist anymore than i think “sh*t white people say” is racist, or “sh*t girls say” is misogynist. it’s is however crass, in poor taste, not remotely funny, and the fact a a few middle class white boys are laughing at one of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people on the planet really gets my goat. the fact they’re doing it from behind the safety of their computers just shows how cowardly they are. also i very much doubt that removing the page is going to do anything to stop people like this holding these views, i would hazard a guess the people “liking” this are exactly the sort of people who think that anita heiss isn’t black enough to be aboriginal, i.e. extremely ignorant and probably below average intelligence. i’ve heard some say racism needs to be out in the open, however i think something like this would only serve to entrench racist views in people, because ultimately they don’t have to be responsible for their views to anyone in particular and don’t really have to defend them to anyone. however in saying all this i don’t think removing the facebook page will ultimately acheive anything, any more than blocking access to certain child p**n sites will stamp out pedophilia. and before you ask i am a staunch cyber libertarian. but however i think removing 18C i not on, simply because it can be the way in which people are forced to defend their beliefs, i.e. if you want to make a page like this fine, but be prepared to follow through a prosecute your right to do it. i think that would be the best way to stop people doing things like this, simply removing the page won’t achieve that i don’t think.

    btw i hope these idiots get the book thrown at them.

  • 22
    sherman herman
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    also it’ll be interesting to see if tony abbott gets asked to defend this under his “freedom wars”, my guess is he’ll get yet another free kick, he is the rightful heir in waiting after all.

  • 23
    Roberto Tedesco
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    More shameless pandering by Abbott to his mates at Noise Ltd - the same noses in the same trough.

  • 24
    Generic Person
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    You’re all a bunch of anti-free-speech nutters.

    Free speech means there is no right to not be offended. The entire Racial Discrimination Act should be repealed, along with relevant acts pertaining to defamation.

  • 25
    Kinkajou
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    site disappeared this evening. 3 named heroes hidden behind their privacy on FB…drop them a line congratulating them on their bravery/stupidity

  • 26
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    SHEPHERDMARALYN: The article you refer to is quite bizarre. Imagine if we had treated Frank Lowy as a suspect particularly as he was a member of Haganah which the British deemed a terrorist organisation and as he was also incarcerated on Cyprus by the British army before being set free.

    there are a heap of countries between the Med and Australia yet I see not a word about he and the many others who were lucky enough to make it to these shores and prosper.

  • 27
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    GENERIC PERSON : there is no concept of “free speech” in this country under law.

    But as you want all laws re defamation repealed why don’t you particpate in an experiment : post your real name and address , allow me to set up a website attacking you and we can se e what results.

    People are very brave hiding behind fake names.

  • 28
    Patriot
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Anybody watch the “I’m a real Aboriginal and you’re not because you’re too white” debate on SBS’s Insight the other night? Some would-be Aboriginal participants even admitted to being offended by it - that is to say it was unlawful. I despaired at the number of people who expressed their now unlawful opinions, and wondered how much it would cost for tax-payer funded lawyers and court hearings to prosecute everyone who offended someone else on the basis of their race.

    You loony lefties wanted laws against offending people, now you have them. Enjoy!

  • 29
    Karen
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    @ Oscar Jones - +1 - well said. I don’t think Generic Person would like being villified one little bit.

    Clearly, Generic Person/Republican ‘elephant’ supporter / ‘Patriot’ don’t want to understand the interrelationship between (in order or escalating seriousness): criticism based on race - leading to discrimination in all its forms - to persecution, disenfranchisement and ghettoism - to violence against the person/property - to pogroms - to genocide. These developments occur in societies where there are no laws and a majority of ‘good’ people who, out of fear or inertia, stand by and do nothing to stop it.

    @Generic Person/Patriot - I appreciate that racism and persecution are part of the human condition but, you know, if we put our thinking hats on (as opposed to tin foil hats), we can choose to live better lives than ones doomed to leave us in intellectually moribund/emotionally bank-rupt cess pits, scrabbling around with hearts full of hate and fear directed at people who we perceive to be somehow ‘different’ from ourselves.

    I really don’t know whether to despise or pity you. I think I’ll put my ‘saint hat’ on today, reach out across the ether, and gently touch you on the cheek and say, “There there, you didn’t mean to say that. You’re better than that…”

    And, whilst I’m at it, I’ll enjoin you to celebrate the anti-discrimination laws we have in this country.

  • 30
    Patriot
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    ”..hate and fear directed at people who we perceive to be somehow ‘different’ from ourselves”.

    That really does speak of a juvenile and foolish perspective on your part. Every person on this planet is ‘different’ from ourselves. The ultimate minority is the individual. If you’re really concerned about the rights of minorities and ‘different’ people, perhaps you should be demanding more individual rights, like, say, the the right to have an opinion on collective rights for certain races.

  • 31
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    With great freedom comes great responsibility.
    Disreputable behaviour exists and people will form opinions and prejudices.
    And they continue to break any law to do so.
    Open, general discussion might be the only way to defeat prejudice.
    Finally “White Anglo Saxon Protestants” WASP, seems to be quite racist.
    Discussion?

  • 32
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    PATRIOT : there is no law that stops you having an opinion on collective rights for certain races (but the statement sounds like you incorrectly believe some races have rights that others don’t).

    There are only laws that prevent people from spreading lies and disinformation as there should be. I would go further and suggest there needs to be a Libel Tribunal accessible by the “common man” and Justice Leveson in the UK mooted the same: to allow a sensible law to be accessed by everyone and not just the rich.

    Spreading these hateful messages has consequences : I have a friend who is convinced that Aboriginals get 2 pensions. She cannot be convinced otherwise and Pauline Hanson re-affirmed this tosh a few years ago.

    it’s got her into all sorts of troubles. Multiply that by tens of thousands who believe this rubbish and you end up with riots in Cronulla and what this Facebook site apparently is : a 15 year old kid who believes lies fed to him.

  • 33
    Bob the builder
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m quite uneasy about restricting freedom of speech, however, it’s interesting that facebook is so slack on this compared to other pages. Breastfeeding and pregnancy support groups have had pics and members banned for posting photos of pregnant tummies and breastfeeding mummies. So, they’re definitely not anti-censorship - just prude and tolerant of racism?

  • 34
    Karen
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    @Patriot - now, don’t be a pedant - you know exactly what I mean - I was referring to racial differences not individual differences.

    You are entitled to your opinion, however, if its an anti-social opinion which, if acted upon, hurts or affects the legitimate interests of others, than you are not entitled to act on it. Its why we have laws - to curb the excesses and worst of human behaviour.

    I’m still trying to be saintly here - if you practise a bit of generosity Patriot, you’ll start feeling it, and before before long, you’ll find your fears and prejudices will start to soften as well.

  • 35
    Karen
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    @ Hamis Hill - fair call, WASPS is not a pleasant term and would fall into the racist terminology basket.

  • 36
    Liz45
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    @PATRIOT - You are being deliberately obtuse. You know damned well what the difference is between a respectful discussion and the use of vilification, insulting and racist comments etc that Bolt engaged in, and what’s on or been on Facebook. You are being as narrow and stupid as you’re blaming others for. Most of us know why there’s outrage by some over the disgusting tripe on Facebook - and so do you!

    The Judge in the Bolt case made a point of saying, that if he was engaging in a discussion like on Insight the other night, that would be OK. BUT, what Bolt did was not research any assertions he made about aboriginal people he vilified, which was INCORRECT! That’s the main reason he lost. It was no slight on free speech, not a bit! I suggest you read what the Judge actually said, and why he ruled thus!

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to face racism on a daily basis - or have your kids coming home from school in tears, or bashed up etc due to racist attitudes. How it must grind you down! Instead of helping your kids with school work, you first have to deal with violence and revolting behaviour! I feel ashamed for them!

    @OSCAR JONES - I was on a YouTube page some time ago, and the absolute and total trash, nonsense, lies etc was amazing. I stopped participating as it was hateful, negative, and like your friend, they don’t allow facts to interfere with their total bs. One of the claims was that aboriginal families receive several thousand dollars from the Govt when their daughters marry? Nothing I said changed this view. I left, depressed and frustrated! I don’t engage on those sites any more - past a certain point. The absolute hatred is scary - always based on fear, lies and bs!

  • 37
    Patriot
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Karen. You wouldn’t know me from Adam yet you’re prepared to offer a commentary on my lack of generosity. Talk about offensive prejudice and stereotyping! Don’t worry but, I’ve no desire to see your opinion criminalised. I don’t see you as a saint, but as a delusional narcissist - and perhaps on some overly-strong pain killers.

  • 38
    Karen
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    @ Patriot - no, I don’t know you but I have very clear-eyed view of the fact that your odious r* c ist views expressed in this thread, not to mention others on this site, don’t reflect a generous spirit. On the contrary. I don’t have to lapse into prejudice and stereotyping, Patriot. You’re far too blatant.

    BTW, I never professed to be a saint. You can’t even get that right.

  • 39
    Patriot
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Ok, correction then. I don’t see you as saintly. What have I said that is racist? Hit me with some quotes.

  • 40
    Patriot
    Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Ok, correction then. I don’t see you as saintly. What have I said that is raaaacist? Hit me with some quotes.

  • 41
    Karen
    Posted Friday, 10 August 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    @ Patriot - As a preliminary point, you can start by not belittling the subject and sparing me the loud “raaacist” remark, (complete with “Kath and Kim” accent). Quite apart from which, it reveals a complete lack of subtlety and sensitivity on your part.

    Now, on to your statement: “Anybody watch the “I’m a real Aboriginal and you’re not because you’re too white” debate on SBS’s Insight the other night? Some would-be Aboriginal participants even admitted to being offended by it..”

    This is an offensive and, implicitly, r*cist comment, Patriot.

    Firstly, the “would be aboriginal participants” you refer to identify as aboriginal and would be offended by your comment because your comment implies that they are not. Its no different in its offensiveness to calling someone 1/2 caste, 1/4 caste, 1/8 caste, for the same reason. Gradations don’t come into it. Aboriginal people would see a comment like this, particularly coming from a non-aboriginal person as offensive and rac*st.
    Having worked at an aboriginal legal service for six months or so a few years back, I can tell you that.

    Secondly, by saying “even admitted to being offended by it”, suggests you are incredulous that people would be offended by it, which pretty well sums up your attitude.

    Thirdly, the fact that your post also suggests that you don’t understand let alone support anti-discrimination / anti-villification laws is particularly revelatory.

    Finally, I may be no saint but your views make mine, by comparison, look positively ‘saintly’ on this subject.

  • 42
    Patriot
    Posted Friday, 10 August 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Simply mentioning race doesn’t constitute raaacism. “I’m a real Aboriginal and you’re not because you’re too white” is simply a concise paraphrase of the debate topic. Some of the participants aspired to be recognised as Aboriginal by the state but had been rejected, and later made comments that indicated they were offended by the contributions of other Aboriginal participants in the debate. Any offensive hate speech that may have occurred was Aboriginal on Aboriginal.

    Those are just the facts. How does any of that convey raciaI prejudice on my part?

  • 43
    Karen
    Posted Friday, 10 August 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    @Patriot - and your post, effectively, criticises this same group of aboriginal people who took offence at what were, arguably, offensive, racist comments by others in the audience who refused to recognise their aboriginality on racial and cultural grounds by then saying they shouldn’t have a right to enforce the racial discrimination/vilification laws. This says a lot about your attitude about racial offence, what consitutes it, and what should be done about it.

    I refer to your comment:

    I despaired at the number of people who expressed their now unlawful opinions, and wondered how much it would cost for tax-payer funded lawyers and court hearings to prosecute everyone who offended someone else on the basis of their race.

    You loony lefties wanted laws against offending people, now you have them. Enjoy!”

    And, on the subject of culture, would you mind showing just a bit of refinement, and refrain from using the word: “raaacism”. I find it jarring, insensitive, and offensive. Just like your appalling personal abuse of me: “deluded narcissist” who takes dr*gs, for what, a completely misinterpreted comment by you. I’ve never been abused in that fashion by anyone before in my life, which I find, frankly, disgusting.

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