WGAR News: Repealing the race hate laws isn't 'freedom' to Indigenous people: Siv Parker, The Guardian

Newsletter date: 31 March 2014

Contents:

* Siv Parker, The Guardian: Repealing the race hate laws isn't 'freedom' to Indigenous people
* ABC News: Warren Mundine maintains criticism of Coalition's proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act
* Professor Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission: Proposed changes to the Race Discrimination Act: Bad cases make bad law
* Tim Soutphommasane, Canberra Times: Are we to favour bigotry over the right to live unaffected by it?
* Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission: Bolt case is no reason to change the law: Commissioner
* Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria: Minister vows to protect Victoria's multicultural and multifaith communities from discrimination
* Background: Opposition to proposed Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) changes

* SIV PARKER, THE GUARDIAN: REPEALING THE RACE HATE LAWS ISN'T 'FREEDOM' TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

- Analysis / Opinion

The Guardian: Repealing the race hate laws isn't 'freedom' to Indigenous people
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/27/rracial-discriminat...
27 Mar 14: "Now Brandis has said people have a 'right' to be bigots, expect fearful and beleaguered minorities to resist this ongoing attack on their identity ... Most of the public are concerned about racism whether due to experience or observation. A recent survey revealed that between 66% and 79% of respondents preferred to retain section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act - the so-called "Bolt laws" - for its protections against "offence, insults and humiliation". I have no idea how many Indigenous people were polled, ... " Siv Parker, an Aboriginal woman, an award-winning writer, a social commentator

* ABC NEWS: WARREN MUNDINE MAINTAINS CRITICISM OF COALITION'S PROPOSED CHANGES TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT

- Video

ABC News: Warren Mundine maintains criticism of Coalition's proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-29/mundine-criticises-racial-discrimi...
29 Mar 14: "The head of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council is continuing to pressure the Government over its proposed changes to racial discrimination laws, ... Speaking on ABC News 24, Mr Mundine says he considers Senator Brandis to be a good minister but believes his comments on bigotry have been damaging. "It's soaking up the energy of the Government," Mr Mundine said. "On any register you look at this week, it's been a very bad week for the Government." The proposed changes to the Act have caused unrest from religious and community groups, and also on the Coalition backbench."

* PROFESSOR GILLIAN TRIGGS, PRESIDENT, AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE RACE DISCRIMINATION ACT: BAD CASES MAKE BAD LAW

- Analysis / Opinion

Professor Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission: Proposed changes to the Race Discrimination Act: Bad cases make bad law
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/opinions/proposed-changes-race-discr...
28 Mar 14: " ... While public comment has focused on the removal of the words "offend, insult and humiliate" from the current section 18 C, debate has missed the less obvious but more significant and retrograde changes in the Exposure Draft. The most significant is the treatment of the exemptions in existing section 18D. Under existing law, it is not unlawful to insult or intimidate another person on the basis of race, colour, or national or ethnic origin if you have acted "reasonably and in good faith" in respect of an artistic work or if you make a statement for any genuine purpose in the public interest."

* TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE, CANBERRA TIMES: ARE WE TO FAVOUR BIGOTRY OVER THE RIGHT TO LIVE UNAFFECTED BY IT?

- Analysis / Opinion

Canberra Times: Are we to favour bigotry over the right to live unaffected by it?
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/are-we-to-favour-bigotry-over-th...
28 Mar 14: "When I commenced my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner last year, I never imagined I would be asked to comment on whether Australians enjoyed ''the right to be bigots''. It is a measure of how dangerous some of the debate about the Racial Discrimination Act has become. As we consider the Federal Government’s exposure draft of changes to racial vilification laws, there should be one question above all that should guide our deliberation. What kind of society do we want Australia to be?" Tim Soutphommasane, a political philosopher at Monash University, regular columnist

* TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE, RACE DISCRIMINATION COMMISSIONER, AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: BOLT CASE IS NO REASON TO CHANGE THE LAW: COMMISSIONER

- Analysis / Opinion

Australian Human Rights Commission: Bolt case is no reason to change the law: Commissioner
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/bolt-case-no-reason-change-l...
21 Mar 14: "For all the talk about a freedom to offend, insult and humiliate others, not everyone recognises that racial vilification can harm free speech by silencing its victims, writes Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane. "When we think of harmony, we think of components coming together to produce a pleasing whole. It is only apt that we use it to refer to our cultural diversity. We are a country where almost half the population was either born overseas or has a parent who was born overseas. Few places could boast such a mix and yet enjoy remarkable social cohesion. ... "" By Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

* DENIS NAPTHINE, PREMIER OF VICTORIA: MINISTER VOWS TO PROTECT VICTORIA'S MULTICULTURAL AND MULTIFAITH COMMUNITIES FROM DISCRIMINATION

- Media Release

Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria: Minister vows to protect Victoria's multicultural and multifaith communities from discrimination
http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/9492-minister-...
27 Mar 14: "Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Matthew Guy today confirmed the Victorian Coalition Government’s enduring support for the state’s multicultural diversity, in light of proposed Federal Government amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act. ...
Minister Guy said he shared the concerns expressed within many of Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities about the amendments proposed in the draft.
"Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our democratic society, and must be defended. However, we must also ensure that this does not come at the expense of protections against acts of discrimination, hatred and vilification. The right balance needs to be met to safeguard the rights of all members of our society," Mr Guy said.
Mr Guy said that successive Victorian Governments have demonstrated bipartisan support for the state’s cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and for promoting social cohesion and harmony across the community.
"We recognise that our cultural and religious diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and that all governments share an obligation to protect and encourage social cohesion," Mr Guy said. ... "

* BACKGROUND: OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT (RDA) CHANGES

Last updated: 30 March 2014

http://indymedia.org.au/2014/03/27/background-opposition-to-proposed-rac...

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