Pauline Hanson calls girl 'brat' who doesn't stand for national anthem

Pauline Hanson calls girl 'brat' who doesn't stand for national anthem

Harper Nielsen sparked both outrage and inspiration when she refused to stand when Advance Australia Fair was played at an assembly at her Queensland School.

"We're talking about a child who has no idea", she says, adding: "This is divisive".

"I'm not just someone who obliges by the rules of older people just because they're older", the nine-year-old said during one of many interviews she gave on Wednesday.

"I have never met a more intelligent, friendly and polite nine-year-old", Sam Cucchiara wrote.

She refused to stand out of recognition of the nation's aboriginal population, she said, suggesting the country does not represent their interests in the same way it does white Australians.

Harper's stance, with echoes of the kneeling protests of athletes in the U.S., irked Australia's prominent conservative figures.

In 2016, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback sat down during the playing of the national anthem at a game. "And, when it says "we are young", it completely disregards the indigenous Australians who were here before us for 50,000 years", she told 9NEWS.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee as the U.S. national anthem was played to protest racism.

Australia's indigenous population of 2 million is plagued with higher unemployment than the general population, a lower life expectancy by a decade and higher rates of suicide, obesity and alcoholism.

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"This kid is headed down the wrong path and I blame the parents for encouraging this". "It's about who we are as a nation, it's part of us..." "Here we have a kid who's been brainwashed". She also added that she would give the girl a good "kick up the backside" for her behaviour.

The politician claimed the child's parents were "using her as a political pawn", called her protest "silly" and demanded that she "stand and sing proudly your national anthem".

Irrespective of whether she's acted disrespectfully, any attempt by a grown adult to publicly humiliate her is disgraceful, especially when so much focus has been placed on stopping the same behaviour in our schools.

In fact those were her exact words when questioned over the matter by ABC radio in Brisbane.

Harper Nielsen was given detention for not joining classmates in a rendition of "Advance Australia Fair", a song she says ignores the nation's indigenous people.

Pauline Hanson, who made a name for herself espousing extreme anti-immigration and anti-refugee views, was slammed on Twitter over her comments on Harper's protest.

A Department of Education spokeswoman told the Courier Mail that Kenmore South State School had been respectful of the student's wishes and has provided other alternatives to singing the national anthem.

Harper's mother, Yvette Miller, called the school's reaction too severe, News 9 reported.

Nevertheless, infuriated right-wing cultural warriors such as Mark Latham, are demanding the anthem be made compulsory in schools and are treating Nielsen's actions as some sort of crime that needs to be punished.

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