FEEL­ING SHIRTY ABOUT THE LAW

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

AS a mem­ber of the grumpy Cau­casian men’s club, I was in­ter­ested in the ker­fuf­fle about Se­na­tor David Ley­on­hjelm who com­plained to the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion af­ter be­ing de­scribed as an an­gry white male. He made the com­plaint to shine a light on sec­tion 18C of the Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion Act, which he be­lieved lim­ited free speech. Most would see it as a lu­di­crous com­plaint but that was his point. The com­mis­sioner must in­ves­ti­gate if the com­plainant says they were of­fended, in­sulted, in­tim­i­dated or hu­mil­i­ated by some­thing spo­ken, writ­ten or even drawn in a car­toon. Mr Ley­on­hjelm wants the words of­fend and in­sult re­moved from sec­tion 18C. I am not of­ten struck with right­eous in­dig­na­tion, like Mr Ley­on­hjelm. My anger is usu­ally more frus­tra­tion – like when you can­not get the crease straight in the arm of your shirt when you iron it. But I will al­ways de­fend his right to be of­fended by the use of the word of­fend.

Rick Lee - re­gional ed­i­tor

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