It’s a struggle to write anything about the trial of Andrew Bolt that rises above the bleeding obvious, or that anyone else has yet to write. The findings of this trial threaten free speech in Australia, a subject of much greater importance than anything else that some of the participants may think is going on.
Even the ratbags at ABC online are taking Bolt’s side, but only on the pretext of delivering with it the usual slab of bile.
For those of you not up to speed, the Herald Sun columnist is accused of causing hurt and offence to nine fair skinned individuals by suggesting that they choose to identify themselves as Aboriginal for personal gain.
What Bolt has always been questioning is whether or not Aborigines who do not have recognisably aboriginal appearances should get jobs and awards ahead of Aborigines who are visibly recognisable as Aborigines, and may suffer from disadvantage. Regardless of your position on the subject, it’s a fair question to ask.
Lots of things are published that I find offensive, and sometimes I seek corrections and sometimes I write rebuttals, but I don’t go around seeking to shut down debate. Bloggers can experience insulting things being written in comments every other day, and you can choose to be precious about them, or you can choose to be part of the debate. You can’t have both.
Ironically, nobody in Australian public life is vilified more than Andrew Bolt, but he has never been one to take legal action. Like so much legislation relating to Aborigines, the Racial Vilification Act was clearly intended to protect the downtrodden.
I believe that the clear public interest is that the issues Bolt has raised should be discussed, and if the Pasty Nine are offended well, here’s some advice…
A bunch of links here about the trial:
- If Bolt loses the trial, beware the unintended consequences – a report from Quadrant.
- Andrew Landeryou’s take including some court reports in comments.
- Legal aspects of the case from Skeptic Lawyer.
UPDATE: Latest report on the case from Michael Connor.