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There’s been a lot of talk and a lot written recently about 18c of the Race Discrimination Act with a lot of the discussion pivoting on whether offence is given or offence is taken.
Here’s the test put forward by Anthony Dillon, himself an aboriginal and a commentator and researcher on aboriginal affairs.
“…However, ‘offence’ is entirely subjective. To use my favourite example, consider that two people can hear a joke. One laughs and says, “That’s hilarious!” while the other cries and says, “That’s deeply offensive.” Obviously, the joke does not choose to offend one listener and tickle the other. One chooses to laugh, the other suppresses that reaction and, in so doing, manifests not the honesty of the individual but the authorised and “shocked” response of the group…”
As you can read and with Dillon’s own background, neither he was n’or his father were offended by the Bill Leak cartoon.
So there you have it. Same joke, different response. case closed. The Oh-So-Easy Habit of Taking Offence