Australia: Mark Latham plans to test white limit of racism

Australia: Mark Latham plans to test white limit of racismLatham plans to test white limit of racism, by Chris Merritt. Earlier coverage of the case here.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham plans to turn defamation proceedings that have been launched against him into a test case on whether those who criticise white people can legitimately be ­described as racists.

Latham is being sued by commentator Osman Faruqi over a broadcast in which he said Faruqi and others were fomenting ­hatred of white people and ­effectively encouraging terrorists.

“This is very much a test case,” Latham said yesterday. “They are challenging my right to object to anti-white racism.”

He told The Australian non-white people could lodge complaints under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act over remarks that caused them to feel offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated. “But you can apparently say anything about white people,” he said.

The case, which has been filed in the Federal Court in Sydney, comes after the Australian Human Rights Commission rejected a complaint last November from senator David Leyonhjelm, who objected to Fairfax Media describing him as an “angry white male”. …

Latham’s defence, which was filed this week, shows his primary argument is that the imputations asserted by Faruqi do not arise. But if the court disagrees, Latham hopes to prove the defamatory meanings are substantially true and are protected by several other defences.

He plans to argue that they are his honest opinion, are fair comment and amount to constitutionally protected free speech on political and government matters. He also intends to argue that his program contained other meanings, including that Faruqi is a racist who has committed anti-white racism and that by contributing to fomenting anti-white racism Faruqi had given succour to terrorist fanatics.

Latham has submitted more than 10 pages of tweets in which Faruqi disparages white people.

Andrew Bolt comments:

Three things about this case strike me as sinister.

First, of course, is the use of the law to attempt to silence or censor someone.

Second, is that it’s a journalist using the law [to] silence or censor someone else. …

Third, the involvement of Maurice Blackburn makes me wonder if this activist law firm is in some way underwriting the costs or the risks for Faruqi. Is this a case where a very rich and powerful law firm is helping a fellow traveller to muzzle an ideological enemy who has no resources other than his family’s assets? I hope Maurice Blackburn spells out the exact terms of its involvement, and Junkee as well.

Mark Latham has a defense fund here:

Faruqi is notorious for denigrating white people for no other reason than they are white. Some of his appalling Twitter comments include:

  • “Mediocre white people: they should be in the bin but instead they own everything and are every f***ing where”
  • “I have a rule of using all media appearances to make fun of white people”
  • “The number of white people desperate to wear blackface shows that darker skin is objectively better”
  • “I love debates about sunscreen. Just more evidence that white people don’t belong in Australia”
  • “Half this country is named after racist, genocidal maniacs, just sit down for ONE SECOND white people”

Don’t expect the courts to be other than PC and pro-establishment. Black letter law is not viewed favorably in these PC times.

Smacks of lawfare to shut down political opponents. So much for free speech. As always with the new left, they never meet criticism with an argument, only with attempts to silence their opponents.

hat-tip Stephen Neil