A shit storm is currently brewing over a controversial Facebook page entitled “Aboriginal Memes” the page is now offline but I collected the photos from it so you can see what the fuss is about. Photos Now offline. (I think I’ve made my point.)
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has weighed into the debate over a racially abusive Facebook page, saying he thinks it should be taken down.
SBS reported yesterday on the Facebook page, which allows posts with racially abusive “memes” about Indigenous people. The page was temporarily removed, before re-appearing on the site with a tag noting that the content contained “controversial humour”.
However the really horrific thing that I personally found about this page was not the content at all, but rather the fanatical Anti-freedom of Speech groups that setup for the sole purpose of suppressing another persons speech. Yes, that speech is distasteful but supporting free speech means that we must often defend distasteful things.
A page Called Make Facebook Shut Down Aboriginal Memes
Has sprung up in protest of the Aboriginal Memes page however this situation is nothing more than people seeking to suppress another person’s speech because they happen to find it distasteful. I find it disturbing how many people are radically opposed to freedom of speech in this country. Except of course when it’s their own speech then all of a sudden they are suddenly in favour of it.
But this only shows a gross lack of consideration for what free speech means for all of us. Because you cannot possibly claim to support freedom of speech while simultaneously seeking to suppress another. Free Speech is a right that must be given to everyone on equal ground regardless of its content.
When supporting the Freedom of Speech you don’t need to agree with the opinions of others but unless you are prepared to defend their right to say whatever they like 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.
I hate having to defend those whom I disagree with, but it seems I am required to do so more and more often in order to defend free speech these days. This is one of those times.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. –Evelyn Beatrice Hall