has been slammed by hard-left activists over what they called a ‘condescending and ignorant’ interview with Greens senator Lidia Thorpe on The Project.
Aly asked Senator Thorpe if she had given up her First Nations sovereignty by pledging allegiance towhen she entered Parliament.
The line of questioning enraged some viewers, who took to social media to brand him ‘offensive’ with others calling the interview a ‘train wreck’.
Waleed Aly (pictured at the 62nd TV Week Logie Awards on June 19 on the Gold Coast) has come under fire online
Aly interviewed Senator Thorpe on Tuesday night after she backed Greens leader Adam Bandt’s controversial refusal to stand alongside the national flag during a press conference in Sydney on Monday.
He never appears with the flag which he calls ‘hurtful’ because it reminds some Aboriginal people of British colonisation.
Senator Thorpe said the Australian flag ‘does not represent me or my people’ and insisted ‘it has no permission to be here’ because there has been no treaty with Indigenous people.
‘We have never ceded our sovereignty as First Nations people in this nation ever, ever, ever,’ she added.
Aly challenged her on this point, asking whether she ceded her sovereignty when she pledged allegiance to the Queen.
Waleed Aly has been branded ‘condescending and ignorant’ over his interview with Greens senator Lidia Thorpe on The Project. Pictured: Some of the Twitter reaction
‘But you’re ceding it right now by being a Senator aren’t you,’ he said.
‘You’re saying ”I submit to this, I become part of the system.” I understand that may not be your personal politics but that’s what that act means.’
Under section 42 of the constitution, a politician has to swear an oath of allegiance to the monarch before taking their seat in Parliament.
Senator Thorpe said she had to take the oath in order to get into Parliament and advocate on behalf of her ‘people’.
Senator Thorpe is pictured in Parliament
‘I am here for my people, and I will sacrifice swearing allegiance to the coloniser to get into the media like I am right now, to get into the parliament like I am every day,’ she said.
‘To make this country put a mirror up to itself and ask, who are we? Where do we come from and where are we going?’
Aly then asked Senator Thorpe to respond to former senator Derryn Hinch’s claim that rejecting the Australia flag was a ‘bad tactical move’ because most Aussies don’t support such a hard-line stance.
She replied: ‘Well, you are comparing a middle-aged, white, privileged guy, to a grassroots Blak Senator who comes from the frontline activist space.
‘You’re gonna believe who thinks he knows best, which is part of the problem in this country.
‘Believe a Blak Senator who left school at 14, who survived family violence, who survived public housing, three kids, five grandkids… I’ll leave it up to your viewers to decide… who has the authority to speak on that.’
The tense moment sparked backlash online from left-wing activists.
Academic Chelsea Watego wrote: ‘The cheek of this settler telling an Aboriginal woman that she has ceded sovereignty.’
I will sacrifice swearing allegiance to the coloniser to get into the media
She added: ‘It’s pretty slack how The Project TV ran this. Why was there no interrogation of why Libs and Nats exclude Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags given their status and umm… whose land you’re all on.’
Professor Euan Ritchie, a scientist, said: ‘Lidia Thorpe absolutely schooling Waleed Aly and others attempting to defend colonialist privilege.’
And journalist Lavendar Baj described the interview as a ‘trainwreck’.
‘Criticise Lidia all you want… but this interview is an absolute trainwreck,’ she wrote.
‘Condescending, ignorant, and offensive behaviour from Aly.’
Radio host Namila Benson also blasted Aly for quoting former senator Hinch.
One journalist said she saw a Greens staffer remove the Australian flag from behind the podium before Adam Bandt spoke on Monday – leaving the Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal flags in place
‘Not Waleed’s place to make that call when speaking with senator Thorpe,’ she wrote.
‘Literally not his place.
‘Also, mentioning Hinch’s name in a lame attempt to add gravitas to the question – yeah, no.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Network 10 for comment.
Senator Thorpe had earlier described the Australian flag as an ‘obscenity’.
‘The Australian flag represents a colonial invasion, which massacred and murdered thousands of Aboriginal women, men and children,’ the indigenous senator told 3AW.
‘For First Nations people that flag is absurd. It’s an obscenity. The Australian flag does not represent me. It does not represent my family and it does not represent many clans and nations around this country.’
Incoming Liberal senator Senator Jacinta Price, who represents the NT, slammed the move to reject the flag.
She said: ‘It’s becoming a little bit childish for leaders to be virtue-signalling about who loves Aboriginal people more.’
The flag, first flown after federation in 1901, has the Union Jack in the upper left corner to acknowledge the history of British settlement.
Mr Bandt does not have an Australian flag in his office in parliament (pictured during a live cross with Sky News)
‘For many Australians, this flag represents dispossession and the lingering pains of colonisation,’ Mr Bandt said on Monday.
‘Through Treaty with First Nations’ Peoples and by moving to a Republic, we can have a flag that represents all of us.’
A review of Mr Bandt’s previous TV interviews shows he always has the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the background, but never the nation’s flag.
Mr Bandt added later that the Union Jack symbol is hurtful to Indigenous Australians.
Australia’s national flag
The flag, first flown after federation in 1901, has three elements on a dark blue background: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross.
The Union Jack in the upper left corner acknowledges the history of British settlement.
Below the Union Jack is a white Commonwealth star. It has seven points representing the unity of the six states and the territories of the Commonwealth of Australia. The star is also featured on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.
The Southern Cross is shown on the flag in white. It is a constellation of five stars that can be easily seen from the night skies of the southern hemisphere and is a reminder of Australia’s geography.
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