Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

What We Have to Lose Are Rights No One Should Have

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

What We Have to Lose Are Rights No One Should Have

Article excerpt

THE SOLID PRINCIPLE

CHRIS SARRA

FOR those from positions of privilege and power, the pursuit of fairness can seem unjust, especially when it seems they have to lose or give up something.

This might explain the behaviour and ranting of people like Pauline Hanson and Corey Bernardi and many of their well-intentioned but naive followers who believe there is some truth in what they say.

Much of the frustration and anger about the pursuit of equality stems from a narrow view of why it is important. It also involves a sense that people are losing something, or giving up something, so that others can have something. Sometimes this is true, but most times it is not.

Let's consider a circumstance in which it is true that one loses something. George Brandis, in conversations about repealing section C of the Racial Discrimination Act suggests one should have the right to bigotry. In the pursuit of what is equal and fair it is true that a person would actually lose their right to express filthy racist trash with little or no means to address this in a civil manner.

In the old days the only means to address racial abuse was to do something like punch them in the mouth and physically hurt the perpetrator. If I was completely honest though, this usually made things worse not better, as we would end up in more trouble than the ones who started it all. As for the perpetrator with a busted mouth, it usually had the negative effect of reinforcing the negative and hateful view that caused them to spit such bile in the first place.

As my mum would say to us as we were confronted by racism and bigotry: "You're more of a man if you can walk away from a fight". This was often easier said than done. It can be hard and frustrating for those of us trying desperately to walk away from bigotry and racism and not conform to some type of aggressive and negative stereotype.

We might ignore or walk away from racist abuse on 99 occasions, but on the 100th time, after much frustration and anger of our own, when we punch someone in the mouth, others watching on say or think "Well, that's what they're like! …

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