George Brandis’ 2014 Section 18C Racial Discrimination Act speech

These parliamentary comments by Senator George Brandis, Federal Attorney-General, caused vigorous political, media and community debate. His statements relating to racial vilification and freedom of speech  engendered both support and criticism.

Watch this video with a transcript.

What did you think of George Brandis’ comments? Did you agree or disagree with the issues raised regarding people’s ‘right to be bigots’ in a democratic society?

If you think that legislating against a person saying what they think is going to change their thinking, then you are total fool...It needs education to change peoples thinking, not a big stick. - old man, 2014

Democracy gives you the right to tell certain things which others don't like to hear and forces you also to listen lot of stuff you don't like to hear. Whichever way, preaching racism, hatred, and violence should be out of bounds. - ordinary person, 2014

To share your response use the Comments Box at the bottom of this page. Selected written responses will be shown on our website and may be chosen to be shown in the exhibition interactive.

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Jen 24 June, 2014 13:01
Who is actually empowered in this reform? Is anyone, other than the people who would want to impose it upon the rest of us? The changes to s18C are divisive and regressive. They pander to the insecurities of some people in middle Australia, rather than build on our inclusive and broad-minded strengths. It damages our democracy because it ensures that certain kinds of abusive, untruthful and bad faith language is protected. The reform is pointless.
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Nicholas Jones, Student 16 November, 2014 13:29
"Worried" As a young Australian it is deeply concerning to me to hear a senior politician of a major political party defend bigotry. The legacy of bigotry throughout history is damaging. If our leaders today are promoting it, then it is likely that the current issues of classism, racism, violence and sexism in Australia will not be solved in the near future. To me, a white male, Australian-born, Anglo, English-speaking, middle-class heterosexual, this is a frightening prospect. What does it mean for people with a less privileged status in Australia?
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