Racism Expert Jane Elliott Weighs In On Pauline Hanson's 'It's Okay To Be White' Motion
The "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" social experiment creator is "shocked and disappointed" in members of Australia's parliament.
In her latest parliamentary stunt on Monday, Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party brought forward a motion to declare “anti-white” racism is on the rise in Australia.
Hanson -- who wore a burka in the Senate last year to encourage a nationwide ban and kicked off her political career in 1996 with the claim Australia was being "swamped by Asians" -- argued "it’s safe to say white racism is well and truly rife in society".
“People have a right to be proud of their cultural background, whether they are black, white or brindle," she asserted during the motion.
The unsuccessful proposition was defeated 31-28 but such a narrow margin was telling, according to famed American race expert Jane Elliott.
"I'm shocked and disappointed my Australian cousins have forgotten the chaos wrought by 'Puling Pauline's' past statements and behaviors," Elliott told ten daily.
"Some members of your parliament are aping the words and actions of our racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, ethnocentric 'president' [Donald Trump]. Why would you do that?" she questioned.
Elliott, 85, is best known for her "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" social experiment, where participants are labelled as inferior or superior based solely upon the colour of their eyes and exposed to the experience of being a minority.
The former teacher devised the exercise for her students following the 1963 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2015, she told Oprah's Where Are They Now? she felt "hope" for race relations in America also died that day.
Elliott has conducted the stirring experiment multiple times worldwide, including with a group of Australians for SBS in December 2001.
"I've been to Australia several times and have great respect for the people of all kinds who live there," she said. "I really hate to see them becoming 'Trumpized' where skin color is concerned."
Elliott said whites openly expressing fear that people of colour will become "the numerical majority" in Australia mirrored their American peers.
"Instead of being afraid of how you're going to be treated in the future, change the way you treat those who are other than white in the present," she dictated.
"You're in the business of creating the future, and it would behoove you to, finally, treat others the way they want to be treated, instead of treating them any way you want to."
Hanson's motion stunningly used the slogan "It's OK To Be White", a phrase popularised in recent times by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups.
It echoed the sentiment of "reverse racism", which arose in the 1970s in opposition to affirmative action and policies benefiting minorities in the U.S.
Fifty-two percent of white Americans believe discrimination against them is on par with discrimination faced by minorities, according to a 2015 survey.
Ten percent of respondents in a 2018 Western Sydney University research paper reported an event where they perceived a white Australian had been the target of racism.