Racial hate speech law again under attack
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is fanning the flames around Australia’s protections against racial hate speech.
Last time this important law was threatened, we all spoke up, and successfully stopped Tony Abbott from weakening section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Don’t be fooled, this isn’t about improving 18C, it’s about weakening and eventually destroying it.
We had every reason to think that was the end of the matter. But, for reasons no one has explained, Malcolm Turnbull is threatening the law again.
We need your support to defeat this a second time around, and to put this dangerous suggestion to bed forever.
In this needless debate surrounding 18C it seems as though the law is entirely misunderstood.
Section 18C, together with the exemptions of Section 18D, creates a law that protects both freedom of speech, and the freedom of all Australians to be protected from racial hate speech. You can read the law for yourself:
(1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, 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 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:
(a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or
(b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or
(c) in making or publishing:
(i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or
(ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.
Undermining racial hate laws opens the door to the kind of hate speech that can only do harm.
Together, we can save the law that protects all Australians from hurtful and divisive speech.
THE PLEDGE AGAINST RACIAL HATE SPEECH:
I pledge to support:
- Our multicultural community
- Community harmony, and
- Cultural respect
- Hate speech
- Racism and bigotry, and
- Changing Section 18C