Much controversy has arisen from Gavin McInnes planned comedy tour around Australia. This has been due to some of the extreme views that Gavin states during his show, and other statements and actions to do with the group he established called the ‘Proud Boys’.
The Proud Boys are a male-only alt-right group (however, they prefer to say they’re alt-lite), proudly declaring themselves as “Western chauvinists” with the aim of spreading an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” agenda.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organisation which maintains a list of hate groups in the United States, classes the Proud Boys as a “general hate” group.
To offer context to some of the views Mr McInnes espouses, here are some quotes:
“Muslims have a problem with inbreeding. They tend to marry their first cousins…and that is a major problem here because when you have mentally damaged inbreds — which not all Muslims are, but a disproportionate number are — and you have a hate book called the Koran…you end up with a perfect recipe for mass murder.”
— Gavin McInnes, Get Off My Lawn, April 24, 2018
“Maybe the reason I’m sexist is because women are dumb. No, I’m just kidding, ladies. But you do tend to not thrive in certain areas — like writing.”
— Gavin McInnes, The Gavin McInnes Show, June 28, 2017
For more background on Proud Boys, go to:
What has been Australia’s response to this man’s planned tour?
Currently, he has been approved a Visa, though, a recent change.org petition has been advocating for Gavin to have his Visa revoked by the Minister for Immigration – David Coleman.
At the time of writing, the petition has received over 28,000 signatures our of the goal of 35,000. Labor too is calling upon the Government to revoke his visa, stating that under Section 501 of the Migration Act, the Minister has the responsibility to cancel the Visa of someone who fails to meet the character test.
In this case, the character test allows for a Minister to revoke the Visa of someone who:
- “[is] or [has] been a member of a group or organisation, or had or have[s] an association with a person, group or organisation that the Minister reasonably suspects of being involved in criminal conduct”; or
- will “vilify a segment of the Australian community”; or
- will “incite discord in the Australian community or in a part of it”; or
- will “be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.”
However, I believe it would be harmful to our values as a nation to disallow Gavin McInnes entry into Australia.
We believe in Freedom of Speech and have the Freedom of Political Communication as an implied right within our constitution. To deny this man would go against our values, however, his chauvinistic and racial comments too go against our national values.
Thus, the best course of action for the government should be to allow Gavin’s entry into the country, but, issue a public statement from the Department of Home Affairs and table a Government motion, condemning his views. This way we do not undermine our belief in freedom of speech but make clear that we do not support the views of this man.