Politics

Nov 9, 2017

Would Sam Dastyari have been justified punching the racists who abused him?

A question that returns to us with dispiriting regularity flared up again over night, with Sam Dastyari's run-in with the far right -- when, if ever, is it OK to punch a Nazi?

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis

Journalist

Screen capture from the Patriot Blue facebook page

The shaking mobile phone footage, posted to the Patriot Blue Facebook page, is shot by someone who clearly towers over their subject. Waiting at a bar in Melbourne, Senator Sam Dastyari is laughingly and pointedly asked by a group of men about his religious beliefs and the halal certification of the drinks he is ordering. He is called a terrorist and a monkey, told to return to Iran. The silence of the bar staff and most of Dastyari's companions, as well as the angle of the footage, speaks to a lingering, unstated threat. 

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