It's 'OK to Be White': Australian Senate Narrowly Votes Against Motion Condemning 'Anti-White Racism'

The Australian Senate has narrowly rejected a motion brought by a far-right populist politician stating that “it’s OK to be white” and condemning “anti-White racism.”

Senator Pauline Hanson, leader of the One Nation Party, put forward the motion, but it was defeated on Monday by a vote of 31 to 28, Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) reported. The text of the motion specifically criticized the “deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilization” and affirmed that it is acceptable to be white.

Critic’s of Hanson’s motion pointed out that the language appeared to be taken directly from the alt-right, criticizing the measure as an unnecessary stunt by the right-wing leader.

GettyImages-885800064 Senator Pauline Hanson listens as Milo Yiannopoulos speaks during an event hosted by senator David Leyonhjelm at Parliament House on December 5, 2017 in Canberra, Australia Michael Masters/Getty Images

“Anyone who pays attention to the news or spends any time on social media has to acknowledge that there has been a rise in anti-white racism and a rise in attacks on the very ideals of Western civilization,” Hanson argued before the vote, Australia’s News website reported.

“I would also hope the Senate does the right thing and acknowledges that it is indeed okay to be white. Such a simple sentence should go without saying, but I suspect many members in this place would struggle to say it,” she added.

Senator Derryn Hinch, an opponent of the motion from the Justice Party, blasted Hanson and her statements, accusing her of trying to be “the biggest, the loudest, racist bigot” in upcoming elections.

“That’s what this obscene motion is all about. It could have been written on a piece of toilet paper,” Hinch added, accusing Hanson of using the Senate “as a conduit for her headline-grabbing stunts.”

Senator Richard Di Natale, leader of the Greens, pointed out that “‘it’s OK to be white’ … has got a long history in the white supremacist movement,” according to British newspaper The Guardian. He also argued that Australia’s “privileged white Anglo community” occupies positions of power in the country, whereas Aboriginal Australians are “more likely to die younger [and] to be locked up,” while African people are “more likely to experience racism.”

However, Senator Lucy Gichuhi, who was born in Kenya and the first person of black African descent elected to the Australian parliament, also voted in favor of the motion. Additionally, 23 members of the government’s ruling Liberal-National Coalition voted for the motion, including the deputy Senate leader and trade minister, the small business minister, the resources minister, the communications minister and even the Indigenous affairs minister.

Hanson has become an increasingly prominent and controversial figure in Australian politics over recent years. In August 2017, Hanson was condemned by the government of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when she wore an Islamic burqa to the Senate, before removing it dramatically to grab attention.

"With the amount of kids that these Muslims are having and breeding here in Australia....possibly, one day, maybe not in the next five years but further down the track, it might be [that] my daughter or grandchildren will be told, 'You must cover up,' as is the case in many countries," the right-wing politician said at the time to explain the stunt.

Join the Discussion