Sunday, October 2, 2011

Free speech isn't free if it costs someone something

In amongst my tears, crochet and feline companions I've been mulling over the fall-out of a certain court case involving a journalist and comments about certain Aboriginal people.
And the cry of outrage from some sections of the public, media and anyone living in a mushroom box that "free speech is under threat".


Let's take the same comments, inferences and implied facts and apply them to....
Catholic priests or nuns.
Can you imagine the hue and cry if someone dared suggest that as a person wasn't a practicing Catholic from birth that they didn't really subscibe to the belief system AND they only went into the role due to the funding from the state/govt/corporations/Rome, fundraising from the community, secure employment, a guaranteed roof over their head....
We'd be deafened!

How about we apply the same reasoning to, oh, say someone of Irish or Scottish descent?
That they shouldn't take pride in their heritage and culture?
They shouldn't join a highland pipe band/society as they weren't really of 100% Celtic/Gaelic born-origin and, therefore, they shouldn't expect to take positions/join in pipebands/societies which involve competition prizes and/or cultural grants as they might be depriving people of Scots/Irish birth of those same positions...?

Now apply it to someone marrying into, and converting to, the Jewish/Islamic religions.
Should they be barred from publically celebrating the history and observing cultural religious days in case they profit by gaining gifts or community/familial assistance as they weren't Jewish/Muslim by birth?
Should one half of their children be banned from taking pride in their family heritage as they're 'not full Jewish/Muslim' ?

Hey, what happens if someone gets a traineeship in a Greek/Turkish cafe.
But, horror of horrors, they're not actually Greek or Turkish!!!!
Or they were 3rd generation born Aussies of Greek/Turkish descent?
Should they be sacked immedately for fear that they join in cafe celebrations of that heritage to which they weren't born as they're "only a quarter or eighth Greek/Turkish"?
And also*gasp* they might profit from tips?!

Or what about making wild statements that people were claiming to be LGBT when they really weren't just to profit from training/paid employment/grants in the LGBT community?
Because, as the inference goes with 'fair-skinned Aboriginals', no one would claim to be such if they didn't have to... unless there was something in it for them.

Do any of these revolting scenarios stick in your throat?
Then you know how the nine claimants felt.

Edit -
For overseas readers the full story is HERE and HERE.


  1. you ought to have a link up so us Yanks can pick up on the story.

    Thank you.

    Your Yank friend.


  2. Sorry, Debby, I've added in a couple of links to the story :)

  3. I reckon free speech is only free speech when you don't hurt someone elses feelings :-).

  4. Free speech which is not based on ignorant/wilful misconceptions might make the grade too. I join you in shouting bollocks and moopoo. Loudly.

  5. Free speech is not carte blanche to tell lies and make up stuff that suits ones particularly narrow minded view of the cosmos. Did you happen to read any of the drivel that he passed off as an "apology"??? Goodness gracious me - poor petal didn't fit in when he was a youngster. I wonder if that means he was born a TOOL!

    (apologies to any other tools that are offended by my including that particular tool in your tool box)

  6. It was fairly prediction that Andrew Dolt was going to come out with claims that his right to 'free speech' was taken away from him.

    Love Chunks remarked that if the Herald Sun and Mr Dolt were truly of that belief, then they'd offer each and every one of the Aboriginals he slandered an opportunity to write a column stating *their* side of the story. Fat chance!

  7. Well, now, this was interesting. It seems to me that Mr. Bolt was trying to pass as a reporter so as to receive prominence or awards.


    The fact is, people have every right to choose their lifestyle. I will stop there.

  8. The thing that amazes me is that Mr. Bolt seems to believe that he is the only one who can choose who gets to call themselves what. That is to say that one may only claim their Aboriginal heritage if they fit the stereotypes in his head.

    Just the fact that even now he doesn't appear to understand why his article are offensive is a very bad sign. If I were the owner of publication, he would not be working for me. Furthermore, in thinking about it, my question is why would the editor approve something like that?

  9. Free speech?
    You mean I have the right to say whatever I want??
    Whenever I want??


    When did this happen?

    *removes tongue from cheek and shuts door quietly on her way out*