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


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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22 thoughts on “Would Sam Dastyari have been justified punching the racists who abused him?

  1. Shakira Hussein

    Is it really ok to punch nazis? pic.twitter.com/8w4YYmA81h— Aamer Rahman (@aamer_rahman) November 6, 2017

  2. Western Red

    Sam should use 18C , please, please do, the culture warriors on the Right will have nothing to do after the SSM vote is done!
    Bethany, if more Germans had punched Nazis then, you know,..

    1. Bethany Challen

      Its not really comparable Western Red is it? Nazi Germany arose from a rather more complex series of events than we are facing in Australia right now (not that I claim to be an expert on either!) We should indeed denounce this behaviour and prosecute if there is a case but violence of itself is moronic, we need to aim higher!

  3. klewso

    This sort of miasmic behaviour has always festered, under a minority crust – it’s taken the likes of those various professional right supremacist shock-jocks to legitimise and justify it’s existence, allowing it to rise into the open to infect civilised society.

    1. klewso

      “…. those various professional right supremacist shock-jocks, and the likes of Hanson, ….”

  4. JQ

    It’s comforting to note that instead of looking to the Crimes Act, Charlie is taking legal/ethical cues from a militant, authoritarian protest group.

    Dastyari did a fine job avoiding the further fuelling of polarisation, a certain outcome had he resorted to violence. Best the views he was subjected to are kept well and truly in the open so that they can be subjected to public correction/condemnation. A society forces the proponents of unsavoury views underground at its peril. The alternatives to open discussion/negotiation are tyranny, slavery, or violence.
    Is Crikey saying violence is acceptable now?

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