The Australian flag flies outside the Reserve Bank of Australia headquarters in Sydney. (Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg News)© Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg
The Australian flag flies exterior the Reserve Financial institution of Australia headquarters in Sydney. (Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg Information)

Harper Nielsen has grow to be a goal of nationwide condemnation from lawmakers for sitting throughout the Australian nationwide anthem.

She disrespected troops, one lawmaker mentioned.

Her state senator mentioned she was “brainwashed” and that she’d give her “a kick up the bottom.”

Harper is 9.

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She refused to face out of recognition of the nation’s aboriginal inhabitants, she mentioned, suggesting the nation doesn’t symbolize their pursuits in the identical manner it does white Australians. Harper was given detention at Kenmore South State College and her mother and father mentioned she was threatened with suspension, although faculty officers deny the risk.

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Harper’s protest is an echo of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling protest police brutality. He initially sat throughout the nationwide anthem.

“When it says ‘Advance Australia Honest,’ it means advance the white folks,” Harper informed 9 Information, describing the anthem’s lyrics. “And when it says ‘we’re younger’ it utterly disregards the indigenous Australians who had been right here earlier than us for 50,000 years.”

The incident and remarks drew criticism from politicians, together with former prime minister Tony Abbott, who suggested it indicators “good manners” to face whereas the anthem performs.

Australia’s indigenous inhabitants of two million is plagued with increased unemployment in comparison with the overall inhabitants, a decrease life expectancy by a decade and better charges of suicide, weight problems and alcoholism.

Queensland Sen. Pauline Hanson, a far proper nationalist politician who represents Harper’s state, has lengthy been essential of extending assets to indigenous Australians. She took to social media and expressed outrage and blamed Harper’s mother and father.

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“It is about who we’re as a nation, it is a part of us,” she mentioned in a video Wednesday. “Right here we’ve got a child who’s been brainwashed. and I am going to inform you what, I would give her a kick up the bottom.”

Jarrod Bleijie, a shadow training minister and member of the Queensland Parliament, accused Harper’s mother and father of utilizing her their daughter as a “political pawn” and urged her to cease the protest.

“Refusing to face disrespects our nation and our veterans. Suspension ought to observe if she continues to behave like a brat,” he said on Twitter.

Harper’s father, Mark Nielsen, informed 9 Information known as his daughter a “very courageous younger individual” for taking a stand.

In an announcement, the Queensland Division of Training mentioned it was inclusive and supported totally different factors of view, however denied Harper was threatened with suspension or exclusion for her protest.

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“The varsity has been respectful of the coed’s needs and has supplied different alternate options together with remaining exterior the corridor or not singing throughout the nationwide anthem,” the division mentioned.

Her mom Yvette Miller mentioned the college’s response was too extreme, Information 9 reported.

“We had been stunned conduct akin to a passive nonparticipation is perhaps thought-about in the identical realm as one thing like bringing a knife to highschool or being violent towards others,” she mentioned.

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