Letter to The Editor
To The Age
Louise Adler correctly says that the best cartoonists 'make us reflect on our prejudices and blind spots' ('It's no laughing matter', 22/11). However, she is on less secure ground in bluntly asserting that 'in a civil society racism or sexism is deemed unacceptable' and that legislation such as 18C 'serves as an educative tool and a moral compass for a decent society'.
One problem is that opinions differ on what is or is not sexist or racist. Adler's phrase 'moral compass' tends to suggest that all good people see things the same way. They don't. Another problem is that, as a matter of fact, laws against racial hatred and vilification have been used in many countries to achieve political censorship. Perhaps oversensitivity to alleged slurs is one of Adler's blind spots.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic