If Sam only knew we’re still waiting…..
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Sam Cook’s message is clear and painful. Many American cities are burning and some cities in Canada are seeing “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations. May I suggest on YouTube the ‘Cowboy Junkies Isn’t a pity (live). With the persistence of bigotry in Canada and elsewhere under the guise of “free speech.” Canada does not have freedom of speech’ we have constrained speech. Hate speech Is illegal but persists to the detriment of our civil society.
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We have the same problem here too. For some time our conservative government has wanted to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act which makes it unlawful to do an act that offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates someone because of their race. Former attorney general, George Brandis (and now UK High Commissioner), said that people should have the right to be bigots. Neither the Australian public or the Australian Senate agreed that the bigots have a “right” to offend and insult people. There is no right within Australian law to free speech.
Now the Government are drafting a religious freedom bill which will effectively do the same thing, but no-one likes that either. Nothing good will come of protecting religious rants and statements that insult people based on their race, sexuality or gender. It is divisive and will give licence to hate speech. I do hope they reconsider for the sake of fostering a tolerant and inclusive society. We have seen where this sort of hate speech leads and the vast majority of Australians do not want to go there.
PS. I watched the Cowboy Junkies performance of “Isn’t It A Pity”. It was very powerful. Liked it a lot.
Such a haunting song.
It breaks my heart.
Thank you for sharing the Sam Cooke video – it really looks like we haven’t learnt much or progressed at all.
It is terribly disappointing, Ju-Lyn.
I have no words at the moment Tracy 😦
Months ago your country was on fire, and we wept for the destruction. Now my country is on fire, and I weep for those whose marches for peace and justice incite racism among some. (What do I call these people who are so full of hatred that they can’t see our commonality?) Wish I knew how to quench such destructive conflagration. Calling it out isn’t a bad start. Thanks, Tracy.
Sharon, you have my deepest sympathies. To our shame, racist dog-whistling is rife in Australia too. It might win elections but it tears a country apart. I dislike using words like neo-liberalism, but in this case, I think the free market at any cost ideology promotes inequality and institutionalises racism. Then shove religious nationalism into that mix and you end up with a cronyism and a dictatorship. I think that it is in the interest of some to keep the conflict going as long as possible to confect an excuse to suspend parliamentary (congressional?) oversight under so-called emergency powers. I haven’t seen any news in two days. Has it happened already? I pray that your country can hold on until the election.