In Australia, The Australian and their cartoonist Bill Leak are under investigation for the cartoon shown above.
The same thing happened here in New Zealand. The publisher was Whale Oil Beef Hooked and the cartoonist was Boomslang. Fortunately our Human Rights Commission is a toothless organisation and I simply ignored their bleating and that of the complainants.
The Australian and Bill Leak are fighting back against the Human Rights Commission.
Lawyers for cartoonist Bill Leak and The Australian have accused the Human Rights Commission of outright bias and warned of legal action to restrain the federal body and its head, Gillian Triggs, from investigating a drawing.
The newspaper yesterday issued its formal legal response to the commission after The Australian and Leak were put on notice that they were being investigated for alleged “racial hatred under the Racial Discrimination Act” for a cartoon depicting the neglect of indigenous children by their parents.
The lawyers for Leak and the newspaper state that, if necessary, they will produce evidence to establish the August 4 cartoon was drawn in good faith and did not breach section 18C, and that indigenous people would testify they were not “offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated” by it.
Their letter states they will rely on evidence from “sociologists and criminologists, as well as witnesses having direct daily exposure to the problems associated with juvenile crime and recidivism in remote Aboriginal communities, to establish that the point made by Leak’s cartoon is both a ‘genuine’ matter of concern and a legitimate issue of ‘public interest’’’.
Jodie Ball, the delegate for commission president Professor Triggs, advised the newspaper this month that an investigation under section 18C had been triggered by complainant Melissa Dinnison, who says she has “experienced racial hatred” and been discriminated against as a result of the cartoon.
In Leak’s and the newspaper’s reply yesterday to Professor Triggs, who has faced resignation calls this week after falsely claiming to a Senate committee that journalists at Melbourne’s The Saturday Paper fabricated her quotes, the commission is charged with “playing politics” with the welfare of children.
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