Andrew Wicks

About Andrew Wicks

Andrew Wicks is a country boy with a penchant for movies and sport. After a few years working in health, he decided he'd rather work with today's youth and studied arts and education in rural NSW. His main interests are religion, health and lairy shirts.

Defending Folau’s “freedom of speech” exposes a freedom from logic

Those defending Israel Folau have viewed GoFundMe dumping his campaign as an abuse of freedom of speech. Again, we find ourselves at the same confused placed we visited in 2017.



As sure as time and tide pausing for no individual, the conservative counter-takes of Israel Folau’s banishment from GoFundMe have rolled in.

Chris Kenny, who recently vowed to leave Twitter, appeared on it, proffering his take, one that took the decision as a blow against the alabaster body of our freedom of speech. Kenny stated that: “We have a real problem with freedom of speech in the country and it just got a whole lot worse. GoFundMe is saying that if they don’t agree with your cause, you can go fund yourself.”

Senator James McGrath took it further, stating that “The true test of a democratic nation is not how we treat those with whom we agree but how we treat the rights of those with whom we disagree. Freedom of speech is timeless and should not be restricted by the leftist gormless oxygen thieves of GoFundMe.”

I have a problem with this country, one that seemingly continues to get worse, in that the definition of freedom of speech sits elsewhere in the dictionary, nestled somewhere between offering hate without consequence, and thought without logic. From top to bottom, the state of Israel’s case is nonsense. The crusade waged by him, and on his behalf, is tosh. Folau has no legal standing numerous times over. He breached both his Rugby Australia contract and the terms and conditions of GoFundMe. Everything else is projected discrimination. In the strictest terms, he broke the conditions he wilfully signed.

It’s not about religion, or expression, or democracy, it’s about the expanse of Izzy’s denial, and the lengths we’re willing to go to ignore the issue.

But enough about Israel, as he’s merely the latest conduit of the same brand of thinking. The tussle over 18C, which literally states that discrimination of “race, colour or national or ethnic origin” is unlawful, had the tone. It wasn’t freedom of speech per se, it was freedom of repercussion. We should be able to say what we choose and to whom, and that person/institution will have to accept this. They, of course, are free to offer their own rebuttal in response, in similar terms. Is that the general idea? For a nation (or at least the same part that endeavours to save the thinking) that strives to call out bullshit when they see it, when the same matter tumbles from our mouths, not so much. The oft-exorcised truism is that we’ve gone soft, in that political correctness is the true foe, and to that, I call bullshit.

I’m of the mind that this culture of whataboutism (which is the diffusion of the actual topic, with the placing of an unrelated one, in order to draw away attention from the original), is the greatest threat we face. It isn’t “creeping sharia”, or those on Manus, or the madness of political correction gone mad, it’s our absolute inability to look at an issue objectively and stay on topic without adding ourselves into the argument.

Folau may have hauled himself upon a cross of his own making, and hammered in the nails himself, but through the prism of our own hate, a millionaire who raised money from the poor, a total similar to the amount he paid for his Italian hypercar, is somehow a victim.



The case of Folau is a simple one. Some are knowingly making it complex, those looking to fund themselves.



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