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Brandis opens the floodgates for bigotry: Greens

Attorney-General George Brandis's amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act will open the floodgates for racists and bigots to dominate the public debate, say the Australian Greens.

"This is the Andrew Bolt Protection Bill - the Attorney General is looking out for his mate but has spared no thought to those who are the victims of racial abuse," Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Wright said.

"Under this proposed amendment, you can now racially insult or humiliate someone as much as you like. It fails to acknowledge emotional and psychological harm can be even more damaging than physical threats.

"Attorney-General George Brandis says we can rely on 'decency' to stop racism - but every period of human history demonstrates decency doesn't always win the day. That's why we had Section 18c in the first place."

Australian Greens spokesperson for Multiculturalism, Senator Richard Di Natale, said that these amendments will be open the flood gates of racism and bigotry.

"Anyone who has been on the receiving end of racism would be aghast at what this government is doing," said Senator Di Natale.

"It takes a unique sense of privilege and entitlement for the Attorney-General not to understand how harmful these amendments could be.

"Creating an exemption for public debate gives racists and bigots the green light to write and say whatever they want in the public domain.

"It makes no sense for the Attorney-General to laud the strong stand the AFL has taken against racism yet argue that government should take a weaker stance. Government can't stamp out racism on its own but it does need to be part of the solution."

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