Senator Fraser Anning.
Senator Fraser Anning. Matt Taylor GLA040718FRAS

OPINION: We are all to blame for Fraser Anning's behaviour

IT'S funny.

If I as a South-Asian, Muslim journalist ever had to interview Fraser Anning he'd probably shake my hand and be perfectly polite.

Only when the cameras started rolling would he spew his dehumanising rhetoric against people like me.

To see him censured is a victory in many ways but he shouldn't have had such a magnified voice in public discourse to begin with.

As much as our collective condemnation of Anning's vitriol gives rise to voices of hope, it does little to sway the minds of those peddled into his ideologies.

He represents a dangerously large group of people whose view of the world is so deluded and formed in such a position of privilege that it categorises people like me, my friends and my family as sub-human; not deserving of the same life or even the same sympathy after death.

His words feed into a vacuum from which terrorists like the Christchurch shooter emerge.

As a society we are still docile around people like him.

With the way things are going I believe we must be firmer, as there will be others who will repeat his hateful message of division.

We cannot be so enamoured by free speech that it ceases to be a democratic tool and instead propels our nation into a circus act, ie: "the final solution". 

Free speech can only be worthwhile for as long as it does not undermine my inherent value as a human, and does not discredit the lifetime of hard work people like my parents have put into seeing the progression of this society and making themselves worthy of a place in it.

We must be more unapologetic casting aside the Annings of the world.

We owe it to ourselves and the decades of progress we've made, not just as a nation but as a species, one which prides itself on the ability to understand, empathise and have a larger-than-self frame of mind.

And if we don't do better we are all culpable.