Australian senate narrowly votes down motion declaring 'It's OK to be white'

Australian senate narrowly votes down motion declaring 'It's OK to be white'
© Getty images

The Australian Senate on Monday narrowly defeated a measure declaring that “it is OK to be white” pushed by Pauline Hanson, the leader of the nation's right-wing nationalist One Nation party.

Hanson said that the motion, which was defeated 31 to 28, would bring attention to what she called the “deplorable rise of anti-white racism.”

ADVERTISEMENT

"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," she told the Senate, according to BuzzFeed News

"People have a right to be proud of their cultural background, whether they are black, white or brindle. If we can't agree on this, I think it's safe to say anti-white racism is well and truly rife in our society,” she said.

The 27 senators who voted to approve the motion included 10 government ministers, including indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion.

Opponents of the measure, including Australian Greens lawmakers, noted that the slogan “It is OK to be white” has a history of use by the white supremacist movement.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale spoke out against the measure in the Senate chamber.

"It's not just OK to be white in Australia, it's actually a ticket to winning the lotto," Di Natale said. "You know what it's not OK to be in this country? It's not OK to be Aboriginal, because you're more likely to die younger, to be locked up. It's not OK to be an African person, because you're more likely to experience racism."