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March 22, 2023

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Freedom of Hate Speech

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Freedom of Hate Speech

Freedom of  Hate Speech

Every time I hear people bang on about ‘Freedom of Speech’ I feel nauseous. Freedom of Speech never seems to me to have anything to do with freedom at all. When you hear people bleating on about it, it’s never freedom to say something good. It’s generally the freedom to say vile things and go unchecked.

In a world being asked to be more politically correct, to be more compassionate, to be inclusive, to open its arms to the planet’s dissposessed, this overused tenet of democracy called ‘Freedom of Speech’ has become a dangerous platform used to serve the interests of bigots who’ve got the shits because they are losing the upper hand. They’ll even shoot you for it. Because their freedom is about you not having yours. Theirs is the freedom to hate.

We are at war. This time it’s not about Queen or country, or even religion, it’s about belief. This war is played out in chat groups and Twitter accounts across the world, where online tribalism allows faceless bigots an audience. A tribe. An army. Where, from the anonymous comfort of their computer screens, hate mongering extremists radicalise other angry white (usually male) people towards violence. But we have a tribe too. It’s a tribe of inclusion, and love, and non-violence, and equality. We need to mobilise our tribe with the same ferocity as they have mobilised theirs.

We need to shut them down. The bigots are imploding. They no longer can use their privilege to be unashamedly racist. The privilege to be disgustingly sexist. The privilege to be entitled and white. But they’re not going to go quietly. The stinking toxic privilege-bus full of hateful violent white supremacists needs to be driven over a cliff. Metaphorically of course. I don’t condone violence. I certainly don’t condone violence in the name of freedom. I do however condone locking them out of their social media accounts.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have to become accountable for the kind of material disseminated. I get banned for a picture of a breastfeeding mother due to ‘morality’ yet some of these turkeys get thousands of shares. Their psychotic view of freedom is a risk to everyone else’s freedom. The Grafton born terrorist who killed 49 people last week was a published voice of hate and violence way before he orchestrated the deaths of innocent people. He proved himself an extremist deadlier than any other seen in our country or in New Zealand, so why did they have no record of him? He’d been active online for a long time.

Why haven’t the agencies that are so quick to lock up suspected Muslim terrorists locking up all the online ultra-right supremacists that live amongst us? They’re not hard to find. They have massive followings. I could name five right now. We could start with Senator Anning! It’s no coincidence that some of the followers of Senator Anning are neo-Nazis. You can find them in the back of videos or photos doing the classic one armed Heil Hitler salute! We can’t truly apologise for the Australian born monster we’ve unleashed when we have an elected politician making a statement on government letterhead which defends the actions of a terrorist mass murderer by laying the blame on immigration and on the Muslim community itself. It’s not enough to come out and distance yourself from Anning. He needs to be removed.

If a 17 year old can throw an egg, then why can’t the whole country? Otherwise we endorse fascism. We are seeing a rise in fascist thinking. Fascist thinking that wraps itself in our flag and says, ‘This isn’t hate. This is Freedom of Speech.’ Australia is a better country for becoming multicultural. You can’t have your kebab and eat it too. To be a patriot today is to embrace multiculturalism because those faces – Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian, Italian, Greek – well they ARE Australian faces too, just as much as the puffy white English ones are.

I no longer believe in Freedom of Speech. I do believe however in the freedom to practise your religion without being murdered. The freedom to live without fear of persecution. The freedom to be safe. The Freedom to Love. So let’s mobilise with the same moral ferocity against violence as right-wing extremists assemble to enact it.

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  1. What can I say Mandy, took the words straight from my typing fingers, though you have said it far more eloquently.

  2. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 1906.

    I find it odd that the author of a column that’s a bit “out there” would call free speech “dangerous”. Hate speech is repugnant, but censorship is dangerous. Better to let these idiots have their say and argue against them, than to censor them and set a precedent which ultimately may end in the loss of a free press and eventually democracy.

    • 100% agree Blue. Shutting down idiots and racist talk on facebook is counterproductive. Let people say whatever they want, they only out themselves as idiots. Trust in the general population that they do not agree!!

      On a tangent but the Greens should be tracking at 20% of the national vote at least, but they arent because of a huge focus on social justice fights that turns off big sections of society because most of the time it is totally inconsequential to peoples everyday lives. The social justice fight detracts from the existential crisis that is climate change which should be the 1st second and third top priorities of the Greens.

      Social justice will progress by itself, forcing it through censorship will backfire

  3. I agree, Mandy. Blue, it’s okay to disapprove yet say ‘I’ll defend to the death’ etc.
    Whose death, Blue? Could be your child’s. Your Mum. Wife. Lover. A free press!
    The Echonet may be free but where are the other free presses? Who & what
    controls the rest? The media is in the hands of one man’s family. The ABC hangs
    on a thread. The Sydney Morning Herald’s been ‘done’. Enough said??? SBS?
    Still trying to make a go of it. Hell… ‘censorship’ is already here.’ Reporters have
    given up the ghost. I don’t have a site. There’s nothing social about ‘Social
    Media’ anymore. A mongrel is just that. And there’s too many of them.

  4. There’s stuff about the Echo I reluctantly like, some digging beyond the other rags, surprising objectivity on occasions, MacCallum for all his rhetoric a great grasp of political history, and then the sense of all civil debate abandoned, an us and them mentality, where the us is the compassionate, multicultural, inclusive, koala-loving, good guys basically, and the them the white, male, racist, fascist, homophobic, god-believing, heterosexua, koala-hating bad guys basically. It’s hardly surprising that some react to such a generalised version of humanity with a little hubris. My hubris is stopping me from sleeping. Civil debate would allow for differences with at least some politeness. Here the differences are loaded with venom and meant to differentiate. Choose sides you’re saying Nolen. And don’t care where the cards fall. You’re the Piers Ackerman of the left, except that Piers could be entertaining

  5. One more of a seemingly endless string of emotional reactions that contributes to divisiveness more than it makes effective change.

    And you have freedom to keep on moaning.


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