PAULINE Hanson has denied she’s a racist after condemning the “disgusting” focus on Australia’s indigenous heritage at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
In an extraordinary interview with Sky News, the One Nation leader also said she considered herself “indigenous” for simply being born in Australia.
“I thought it was disgusting, absolutely disgusting,” she said when asked about Wednesday’s official opening on the Gold Coast this morning.
The ceremony had featured indigenous performers Mau Power, the first hip-hop artist to emerge out of the Torres Strait, and world-renowned didgeridoo player William Barton.
Senator Hanson blasted the “20 minutes” devoted to indigenous culture, saying she couldn’t understand the rap song and most Australians didn’t listen to didgeridoo music.
“As far as I’m concerned, that is not Australia,” Senator Hanson said.
“They (indigenous Australians) are part of the culture, the heritage of this country.
“They are not what Australia is about.”
Senator Hanson also slammed more general preferential treatment for indigenous Australians in society but denied her position was racist.
“I have got nothing against the Aboriginal people but I’m sick and tired of being made to feel as if I’m a second-class citizen in my own country,” Senator Hanson told Sky News.
“I’m indigenous as far as I’m concerned.
“I was born here. This is my country as much as anyone else.”
The senator said her criticism was “not racism”.
“I’m sick and tired of people having a go at me because ‘it’s racism’.”
“We have a lot of racism going on in this country — blatant racism that you will get the assistance and help purely based on your race.”
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday advised Australians to ignore online trolls critising the ceremony.
“Just don’t read it,” he told Channel Seven’s Sunrise program.
“If you want to stay sane, don’t read all the negative stuff.
“Social media is dominated by negativity … particularly Twitter. So, stay happy, don’t read it.”