LETTER: We need to be free of bigotry


THIS week the government has introduced legislation to repeal sections of the Racial Discrimination Act which have been used to sue Andrew Bolt for racially vilifying fair-skinned Aboriginal people.

For me, this move has been a serious source of anxiety.

As a fair-skinned Aboriginal person, I often find myself in the unique position where people will divulge their own racist views under the false assumption that they are in sympathetic company.

Throwaway comments like "Someone broke into my house. It was probably a couple of Abos", or "I live in a pretty good street, apart from the Abos a few doors down" are not uncommon.

I rejoiced in the success of the case against Mr Bolt because I felt it was a win for those of us who were tired of being made to feel ashamed of our heritage; for those of us who have been told, after revealing we are Aboriginal, "Well, at least you don't look it."

The repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act paves the way for racist views to be advocated by powerful media personalities and opens the floodgates to comments like the ones that have been made to me and my family over the years.

I believe that people have a right to be free from hate speech and racial vilification.

I don't believe people have a right to be bigots.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop