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Speech: One Nation (and others') racism on migration

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 13 May 2020

I did ponder a bit whether speaking on this matter of public importance was worth it, because it clearly seeks to divide us. But, to be honest, I have had it up to here with One Nation, so I will have my say. This MPI is just another way for them to define who should be in Australia, who is deemed as 'one of us' and who is deemed as the 'other' because of what they look like or where they come from. Let me make one thing crystal clear: when One Nation talk about changing the composition of our migration program, we know what you mean. It's not simply a technical or abstract debate about temporary versus permanent migration, or skilled workers versus family reunion. For One Nation, the party of the Muslim ban and decades of overt racism, it is about something else entirely.

Just two years ago, former Senator Anning, who was elected as a One Nation senator, said the quiet part aloud in his widely condemned first speech, calling for a migration program that reflects the historic European Christian composition of Australian society. That senator, thankfully, has gone, but unfortunately One Nation is still here. If you had your way, I would have never been allowed in this country that I call home, let alone sit in this parliament, in the Senate chamber. Shame on you. For all your talk about supporting good migrants who speak perfect English and assimilate completely, you would rather we just go back to the White Australia Policy. Well, we are not going back to White Australia.

It's not just One Nation sitting here relentlessly pursuing their agenda of racism and xenophobia; it's also the Liberals sitting over there and the Labor Party sitting over there who must cop blame as well. The Liberals have, for years, targeted and fanned the flames of hatred, from targeting the Sudanese community to Lebanese Muslim migrants to asylum seekers and refugees. The Labor Party's hands are dirty as well, with its continual dog whistling Australian-first rhetoric. This posturing and rhetoric normalises and gives oxygen to One Nation's racism and xenophobia. It hurts and damages us. We are not here as fodder for your inherent biases and white supremacy that you want to exert. We are proud upstanding citizens of this country and we work hand to make Australia a better place.

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