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“The ethnic threat to free speech”

March 31, 2017

That’s the heading put on today’s article in the AFR by David Leyonhjelm – the Libertarian [!] member of the Senate. Me, I won’t say a thing about any of this, but here is how he starts:

When Labor, the Greens and certain Liberals in western Sydney seats seek to explain their reasons for opposing changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, they mostly refer to the concerns of ethnic, religious and racial minority groups.

Representatives of Armenian, Hellenic, Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese groups have joined Jewish, Lebanese Muslim and Arab groups to oppose any changes apart from procedural, arguing that amending section 18C will unleash a torrent of “hate speech”.

While we occasionally hear half-hearted claims that minorities require special protection from hurt feelings, the main driver of opposition is the political clout of these groups. A dozen or so federal seats are held on margins smaller than the populations of these groups. And in the recent WA state election, certain Muslim leaders openly endorsed the Greens.

And then let me give you the last para as well:

Opposition to changes to 18C is a wake-up call. Australia’s traditional liberal values are under siege like never before. With one side of politics already in full retreat, it is vital the other side steps up to protect those values before it is too late.

Next thing you know, he will start to agitate for us to build a wall across Australia’s north.

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