Newsletter date: 29 March 2014
* Dr Tom Calma AO & Melinda Cilento, Co-Chairs of Reconciliation Australia: Now is not the time to open the door to bigotry
* ABC Lateline: Proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act need to be redrafted [Featuring Gillian Triggs, President of the Human Rights Commission]
* Robert Crawford, South Coast Register: Local leader condemns race hate law change [Featuring Aboriginal leader Gerry Moore]
* Heath Aston, The Wimmera Mail-Times: Adam Goodes speaks out against Racial Discrimination Act changes
* News Ltd: Explained: The changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, and how it will affect you [Featuring Adam Goodes]
* News Ltd: Indigenous Advisory Council head Warren Mundine fears proposed laws would allow public displays of bigotry
* Dr Andre Oboler, Online Hate Prevention Institute: Racial discrimination: they just don't get it
* ABC News: 'Serious concerns' prompt Victoria to lobby against Discrimination Act changes
* ABC News: Racial Discrimination Act: 'Bigotry should never be sanctioned', says NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell
* Maria Galinovic, The Leader: Have your say on proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act
* Lisa Cox, The Age: Holocaust denial: Tony Abbott, George Brandis unable to say how race-hate law changes would work
* Pro Bono News: Brandis Backs Down on Bigotry
* Annie Hastwell, The Wire: When does humiliation become discrimination?
* Background: Opposition to proposed Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) changes
* DR TOM CALMA AO & MELINDA CILENTO, RECONCILIATION AUSTRALIA: NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO OPEN THE DOOR TO BIGOTRY
Reconciliation Australia: Now is not the time to open the door to bigotry
Statement from the Co-Chairs of Reconciliation Australia, Dr Tom Calma AO and Melinda Cilento
Reconciliation Australia: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/news/now-is-not-the-time-to-open-the-do...
27 Mar 14: "Today we join our fellow Australians from the Greek, Jewish, Chinese, Arab, Armenian and Korean communities in expressing our strong view that all Australians have the right to be protected against racial discrimination and vilification. For this reason Reconciliation Australia is opposed to any changes to the RDA which weaken protections against racial discrimination.
Reconciliation Australia condemns all forms of racism. Racism is harmful. It destroys the confidence, self-esteem and health of individuals, undermines efforts to create fair and inclusive communities, breaks down relationships and erodes trust. ...
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) currently ensures all Australians are protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, descent or ethnic origin.
Any changes to the RDA that weaken protections from racial vilification would pave the way to a less reconciled, just and equitable Australia. We therefore strongly oppose the current proposed changes to the RDA which repeal Section 18C. ... "
* ABC LATELINE: PROPOSED CHANGES TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT NEED TO BE REDRAFTED [FEATURING GILLIAN TRIGGS, PRESIDENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION]
ABC Lateline: Proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act need to be redrafted
26 Mar 14: "Gillian Triggs the President of the Human Rights Commission which receives complaints about racial discrimination discusses the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act and says the draft does not meet appropriate legal standards and will have to be redrafted. ...
TONY JONES: Now, George Brandis says people do have the right to be bigots. ...
GILLIAN TRIGGS: Well it's a rather unfortunate remark to have made immediately before you've introduced legislation that dramatically alters our current law, but I think the point that's being missed by a broad statement that we've a right to be a bigot is that the key point about the racial vilification legislation is that it must be in public and it must be made because of race. Now, the Attorney may be right; we can be bigots at home or in a private context, but the key point about the current legislation is that you cannot be a bigot on racial matters in the public arena."
* ROBERT CRAWFORD, SOUTH COAST REGISTER: LOCAL LEADER CONDEMNS RACE HATE LAW CHANGE [FEATURING ABORIGINAL LEADER GERRY MOORE]
South Coast Register: Local leader condemns race hate law change
28 Mar 14: "A PROMINENT local Aboriginal leader has condemned proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Managing director of Habitat Personnel, Gerry Moore has described the federal government’s proposal as a retrograde step. Mr Moore, who is also a board member of the National Congress of Australia’s First People, has appealed to the Shoalhaven community and its elected leaders to speak out against the changes and tell the government it is wrong." By Robert Crawford
* HEATH ASTON, THE WIMMERA MAIL-TIMES: ADAM GOODES SPEAKS OUT AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT CHANGES
The Wimmera Mail-Times: Adam Goodes speaks out against Racial Discrimination Act changes
28 Mar 14: "AUSTRALIAN of the Year Adam Goodes has gone public with his concerns about the Abbott government’s plan to loosen race-hate protections. The Sydney star, formerly of Horsham, who has experienced racial vilification on the football field, posted a copy of changes to the Racial Discrimination Act on social media on Wednesday, asking what other people made of the so-called freedom-of-speech amendments. "It means it’s open season for bigots. Even the ‘good faith’ provision is going," replied Liz Burke, a follower of Goodes on Twitter. Goodes responded: "Yes it’s something you have to keep reading to fully believe isn’t it. Hmmm."" By Heath Aston, The Age
* NEWS LTD: EXPLAINED: THE CHANGES TO THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT, AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT YOU [FEATURING ADAM GOODES]
News Ltd: Explained: The changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, and how it will affect you
27 Mar 14: "AUSTRALIAN of the Year Adam Goodes would have had no cause to point out the fan who called him an ape under the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. According to Amnesty International Australia’s legal spokeswoman Katie Wood, the Sydney Swans star "wouldn’t be able to make a complaint under the new proposal" if he was racially vilified like he was during the AFL’s Indigenous round last year. "It would be a bit tricky," Ms Wood told news.com.au."
* NEWS LTD: INDIGENOUS ADVISORY COUNCIL HEAD WARREN MUNDINE FEARS PROPOSED LAWS WOULD ALLOW PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF BIGOTRY
News Ltd: Indigenous Advisory Council head Warren Mundine fears proposed laws would allow public displays of bigotry
26 Mar 14: "TONY Abbott’s top Aboriginal policy adviser today condemned the Prime Minister’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act as allowing public displays of bigotry. Warren Mundine clearly had considered resigning from his job as head of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council over the changes, ... "I just find it interesting ... you know, funny, that we are quite accepting that no one should swear in public but it’s okay for people to be bigots, and I find that a bizarre situation," Mr Mundine told ABC radio. "I can assure people that more people die from bigotry than people die from swearing.""
* DR ANDRE OBOLER, ONLINE HATE PREVENTION INSTITUTE: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION: THEY JUST DON'T GET IT
- Analysis / Opinion
Online Hate Prevention Institute: Racial discrimination: they just don't get it
27 Mar 14: "The underlying problem the Government is facing over changes to the Racial Discrimination Act is that it still doesn’t understand the point the Judge was making in the Bolt case. It still doesn’t understand what Bolt did wrong. They don’t understand the danger to the social cohesion of Australia that comes from actions like Bolt’s. They don’t understand why past Parliaments in their wisdom, acting in responding to the internation concensus that led to the creation of the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, passed the Racial Discirmination Act in the first place." Dr Andre Oboler, CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute
* ABC NEWS: 'SERIOUS CONCERNS' PROMPT VICTORIA TO LOBBY AGAINST DISCRIMINATION ACT CHANGES
ABC News: 'Serious concerns' prompt Victoria to lobby against Discrimination Act changes
28 Mar 14: "The Victorian Government says it will lobby against the Commonwealth's plan to change parts of the Racial Discrimination Act. The Federal Government wants to remove part of the act which makes it illegal to offend someone based on their race. It argues the laws are an impediment to free speech. But Victoria's Multicultural Affairs Minister Matthew Guy says the Napthine Government has "serious concerns" about the move. He has told Parliament he will make a submission to the Commonwealth, urging it not to scrap the laws."
* ABC NEWS: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT: 'BIGOTRY SHOULD NEVER BE SANCTIONED', SAYS NSW PREMIER BARRY O'FARRELL
ABC News: Racial Discrimination Act: 'Bigotry should never be sanctioned', says NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell
27 Mar 14: "New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell has taken a swipe at the Federal Government's planned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. ... Speaking in Sydney, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said his Coalition colleagues in the Federal Government should not lower defences against racial and religious intolerance. "Bigotry should never be sanctioned, whether intentionally or unintentionally," Mr O'Farrell said ... "Vilification on the grounds of race or religion is always wrong. There is no place for inciting hatreds within our Australian society.""
* MARIA GALINOVIC, THE LEADER: HAVE YOUR SAY ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT
- Analysis / Opinion
The Leader: Have your say on proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act
27 Mar 14: "Banks MP David Coleman is urging the community to have its say on the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. ... "The federal government has released an exposure draft of legislation which attempts to strike the balance between free speech and protection from racial discrimination. "In my view, the exposure draft does not achieve this balance and needs to be amended to provide greater protection against racial discrimination. I will be conveying this view to my colleagues." Interested readers should send a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org " By Maria Galinovic
* LISA COX, THE AGE: HOLOCAUST DENIAL: TONY ABBOTT, GEORGE BRANDIS UNABLE TO SAY HOW RACE-HATE LAW CHANGES WOULD WORK
- Analysis / Opinion
The Age: Holocaust denial: Tony Abbott, George Brandis unable to say how race-hate law changes would work
26 Mar 14: "The Abbott government has been unable to answer questions about how its changes to race hate laws will work, including whether the laws will apply to Holocaust deniers. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis could not say whether a case involving Holocaust denier Gerald Toben, who was forced by a judge to remove material from his website in 2002, would reach the same conclusion under the new laws." Lisa Cox, a national political reporter covering breaking news and the environment
* PRO BONO NEWS: BRANDIS BACKS DOWN ON BIGOTRY
Pro Bono News: Brandis Backs Down on Bigotry
27 Mar 14: "Federal Attorney General George Brandis has watered down his controversial changes to the racial discrimination laws, however community organisations remain steadfast that no changes should be made to the current law. ... Co-Chairs of Reconciliation Australia, Dr Tom Calma and Melinda Cilento released a joint statement saying they are opposed to any changes to the RDA which weaken the protections against racial discrimination."
* ANNIE HASTWELL, THE WIRE: WHEN DOES HUMILIATION BECOME DISCRIMINATION?
The Wire: When does humiliation become discrimination?
Produced by Annie Hastwell
26 Mar 14: "Proposed amendments to the race Discrimination Act's clause 18C would remove the words insult and humiliate, leaving intimidation as the trigger to be able to legally claim discrimination. Yet much subtler forms of harassment are recognised as damaging and are thus illegal under bullying legislation. Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs says legal recourse should only be a last resort, and the current arrangement kills public debate and encourages racism. Psychologist Evelyn Field says supporting the right to hold bigoted views will only make bigotry more widespread.
Featured in story:
* Chris Berg, Research fellow, Institute of Public Affairs
* Evelyn Field, psychologist and author"
* BACKGROUND: OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT (RDA) CHANGES
Last updated: 28 March 2014
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