You’re probably aware that Sonia Kruger made some remarks about stopping Muslim immigration into Australia yesterday, suggesting it should be “stopped now, because I would like to feel safe….”
Her co-host, David Campbell, started to say that “This breeds hate. This sort of article breeds hate. When you have someone like Pauline Hanson….” and Sonia came in over the top of him and said “So, you’re not allowed to talk about it? You’re just not allowed to talk about it? You’re not allowed to discuss it?”
Here’s the thing – we are discussing it. We’re discussing it right now. Actually half the internet is discussing this topic, from all sides and angles.
And yet I’ve seen a large number of people stand up against the more-or-less polite discussion on this topic in defense of Sonia Kruger, saying “She’s entitled to her opinion” and “What about freedom of speech?”
Yes. What about Freedom of Speech?
Freedom of Speech does not mean that you can say absolutely whatever you like without anyone responding to your opinion. Freedom of Speech doesn’t make you immune from being told that you’re wrong.
Ironically I’ve only ever seen people bring up “Freedom of Speech” and “Everyone is entitled to an opinion” on the internet in an attempt to silence anyone who disagrees with them.
Sonia Kruger is absolutely entitled to her opinion, she’s even entitled to voice it on National television, but that means that everyone else is allowed to have an opinion on her opinion.
And hey, here I am having an opinion on people having an opinion on people having an opinion on her opinion.
Sounds like we’re discussing the topic. Maybe the conversation isn’t going the way Sonia intended, but she hasn’t been silenced. Her opinion is being heard. If anything Sonia has been given more of a public platform for her opinion in the last 24 hours than she’s previously had in her life.
The other thing that seems up upset people is that having the right to an opinion doesn’t protect you from being called a bigot, or racist, as Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, pointed out on twitter “If you don’t want to be called a racist or bigot, start by not doing something that involves racism or bigotry.”
He also encouraged people to speak out against it.
So, go ahead and have an opinion, you can even share it far and wide, but you need to be prepared for other people to have an opinion also.