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Hanson decries reverse racism in Australia

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016 Belinda Merhab

Pauline Hanson insists Australia has a reverse racism problem, telling defenders of race-hate laws to look at the way women who choose to wear mini skirts are being treated by Muslims.

The One Nation leader says Australians are fed up with reverse racism and being told to be tolerant of people with no intention of assimilating into the Australian way of life.

Senator Hanson, along with Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm, has proposed a private bill that seeks to decimate race-hate laws.

During debate in the Senate on Thursday she said people look instead at the way different religions make comments to women who don't wish to cover themselves up.

She claimed women couldn't swim at beaches because others were offensive towards them

"There is a lot of this going on in this country," Senator Hanson said.

"We can't have an opinion, we can't say anything anymore."

Unlike the bill proposed by Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi to remove the words "offend" and "insult" from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, this bill seeks to remove the entire part of the law dealing with prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred.

Senator Hanson says she's sick of being called a racist, insisting her accusers can't point to one racist word she has ever uttered.

She insists she's been subjected to racist slurs, like "white trash", and that Greek and Italian immigrants had a "good sense of humour" about being called "wogs".

Indigenous Labor senator Pat Dodson was scathing of the proposed changes, declaring bigotry was back in favour.

He slammed comments by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton about Lebanese Muslim immigration being a mistake, saying the "stupidity" of his language had "excited some lunatic" to threaten violence and death to Muslim Labor MP Anne Aly.

"This is what words do - when you don't understand and comprehend the difference between debate and prejudice."

He spoke about his own fight for freedom, having been born before the 1967 referendum, when indigenous Australians were not counted in the census.

There was a hell of a lot wrong with freedom if you had to fight to experience it, Senator Dodson said.

"If this nation cannot stand up for the weakest and the poorest and those who are most vulnerable because of their race, their ethnicity, or their beliefs, then we have become a very sad replication of what democracy is about.

"Racism is something that isn't growing wild out there in the fields - it's actually tendered in a flowerbox sitting on the windowsills of flats and houses."

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