[Editor’s Note: A Sydney Uni professor, Jake Lynch, who supports the Boycott Divestment and Sanction Campaign against Israeli settlements is being prosecuted under section 18C (and other sections) of the Racial Discrimination Act by a pro-israel group, Shurat HaDin. So in this case, the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) is being used to defend racism and genocide i.e. that of settler state of Israel over the Palestinian people.]
So, ironically, if the Attorney General, George Brandis, succeeds in repealing s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) there may be no legal basis for the prosecution against Jake Lynch’s support of the BDS campaign. Herein lies the contradiction, many laws that are passed ostensibly for one purpose can be used to perpetuate its opposite. This is the conceit of the language of the law and its political purpose.
What I am saying is that it is not just the words of the legislation that are important; it is how the legislation is used.
For example, sometimes laws that claim to protect against racism are actually used to defend it i.e. Zionist expansion in Palestine. So readers, be careful what you wish for when small ‘l’ liberals are up-in-arms about what big ‘L’ Liberals are doing. — Ian Curr, 23 April 2014.]
Racial Discrimination Act
There is one week left to have your say in the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act
‘The Federal Government is proposing changes that will make vilification harder to prove and we fear it will create a culture where bigotry becomes more acceptable’, said the NEMBC Executive Officer Russell Anderson.
‘The new law might allow people to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate you on the basis of your race, colour or ethnic origin so long as it doesn’t incite a third party to hatred or cause fear of physical harm’, he said.
‘A letter from you or your radio station can make a difference. We appeal to you to write a letter, or make a submission to the Attorney General’s office’, he said.
There is no required format and a letter expressing your view or your personal experience can be enough. Please send a letter to the Government before 30 April 2014 in response to the proposed changes.
To see a short sample letter with some talking points and more information go to the NEMBC website:www.nembc.org.au
What people are saying about the changes:
“the Abbott government’s proposed legislation really would allow for almost any racist speech you can imagine” Waleed Aly, Sydney Morning Herald.
“[The changes] risk dragging us back to an ugly time when racism was tolerated in our institutions, practices, in workplaces and on the streets”Giri Sivaraman (Maurice Blackburn Lawyers) and Jessica McLean (Macquarie University), Crikey.
For more information contact the NEMBC Secretariat
Executive Officer Russell Anderson on: 03 9486 9549
National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council
PO Box 1144, Collingwood VIC 3066
Tel: (03) 9486 9549 | Fax: (03) 9486 9547
Email: execRacial Discrimination Act 2014.pdf