When it comes to Freedom of Speech Attorney General; Robert McClelland simply doesn’t get it.
FREEDOM of speech only goes so far and it does not stretch to racism, Attorney-General Robert McClelland says.
In a speech to a cyber-racism summit in Sydney, Mr McClelland said the Government was tackling the difficult world of cyber bullying and online protection of children.
“It may well be appropriate to set some limitation to public expression of hateful material,” Mr McClelland said.
He said cyber-racism was a growing area of concern for the Human Rights Commission. Eighteen per cent of racism complaints handed to the Commission in 2008-09 were about racist internet material, up from nine per cent in the previous year. –News.com.au
When it comes to Freedom of Speech you cannot simply pick and choose what speech is acceptable and what speech is not, because that is the complete reverse of Free-Speech. You don’t need to agree with the opinions of others but unless you are prepared to defend their right to say it you cannot call yourself a supporter of Free-Speech and nor can you reasonably expect others to respect your rights when you do not extend that courtesy yourself.
Most people don’t understand what it actually means to “Support” Freedom of Speech. When you support Free Speech you often find yourself defending many unpleasant things that you disagree with because all the other so called “supporters” have turned out to be fakes just trying to get some positive credit for a value they do not really hold.
A Jewish person defending Free-Speech needs to support the rights of holocaust deniers just as an African American person defending Free-Speech needs to support the rights of the Ku Klux Klan despite the content of that speech. Given in this context it is easy to see why there are so few real supporters of Free-Speech around.
When supporting the Freedom of Speech content is irrellivent and if you want your rights to be respected you must extend that respect to the freedom of others no matter who they are.