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You’re Entitled To An Opinion But

freedom-of-speech

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.

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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16 comments

  1. Jess Peachy

    Just leaving this everywhere she is mentioned.

  2. Alexandra Bennett

    She’s entitled to her opinion. However, if you say racist things then people will call you racist. It’s your right to be racist. But you just have to deal with the backlash.

  3. Hannah Shaw

    Even more irony – it’s ‘opinions’ like this from people like her that we needed freedom of speech in the first place, because certain groups were not allowed to say how they should be permitted to sit next to white people on the bus, in class or go to ‘white’ restaurants, even having to do their laundry in a separate laundromat. But as they say, opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one but they are not always pleasant when shared!

  4. People are so sure they’re “entitled” to an opinion and so outraged when their bad opinion is debated, aren’t they?

  5. I think it is great that things are being discussed, that’s what so many people fought for. It is great to open discussion up too but yes it is good to remind ourselves that our opinions and views will always be judged by others. We do all need to try to work together. Great post. 🙂

  6. Yes. So true. And – you (I) would think, self -evident (but apparently not).

  7. I live in fear. “As a mother” I fear that this kind of ignorance will triumph. I shudder to think of the ramifications.

  8. I just wish we would stop giving all these stupid people the loud voiced platforms to spread the fear.

  9. I hope I never hear the terms ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘PC’ again. Great post.

  10. I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion and also the potential criticism they may receive in relation to their opinion. I just wish ‘others’ more positive opinions were given the platform and publicity that Sonia received. Without Muslim migration I would never have met the love of my life which in turn means I wouldn’t have my 2 amazing daughters.

  11. Mummy Muckups (Anna)

    So disappointed to hear this from such a talented woman whom I previously admired. Over and out, Sonia.

  12. I’d love to be a fly on the wall the next time Sonia bumps into her ‘many good friends’ who are Muslim at a bbq…. ?

  13. Rachel @ Tweens2teen

    You’re so right Rachel. There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion, people just need to find a polite way to say it that doesn’t step on the rights of others to feel safe and not be judged.

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