Jacinta Nampijinpa Price calls Lidia Thorpe ‘immature’ after refusal to pledge allegiance to Queen
Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Price has labeled her colleague “immature” after throwing a Black Power salute and refusing to swear allegiance to the Queen.
Outspoken Greens senator Lidia Thorpe marched onto the floor of the Senate chamber Monday morning and defiantly threw her fist in the air as she prepared to take her oath and be sworn into parliament.
Ms Thorpe reluctantly swore to serve the Queen, who is still Australia’s head of state, after she mocked the 96-year-old monarch on Monday as a ‘coloniser’.
First Nations Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said if her colleague doesn’t want to take the oath, “just don’t take the job.”
“There’s definitely a degree of immaturity in that kind of behavior. If you want to be a protester, this is not the place to do it,” Ms Price said the Australian.
“Go ahead and join the resistance, but we are here to be legislators on behalf of our nation. I think it’s just disruptive behavior.
“The majority of us in the Senate today … just saw it as contemptuous behavior.”
Lidia Thorpe burst into the Senate with her fist in the air and mockingly called the Queen a ‘colonizer’ during her swearing-in ceremony in the Senate Chamber on Monday
Fellow First Nations Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured in the room on Wednesday) has said that if Ms Thorpe didn’t want to take the oath, ‘just don’t take the job’
The screening was reportedly greeted with “groans” from the politician’s upper house colleagues when Senate Speaker Sue Lines asked Ms Thorpe to repeat the affirmation correctly – which she did in a sarcastic tone.
“Senator Thorpe, Senator Thorpe, you must take the oath as it says on the card,” Ms. Lines told the grinning senator.
Greens leader Adam Bandt retweeted a photo of Ms Thorpe with her fist in the air with the caption: “Always was. Will always be’.
Radio host Ben Fordham said the Greens senator thought she was “starring on a reality TV show” and would take any opportunity to “play a stunt”.
“She thinks it’s The Lidia Thorpe Show,” Fordham said on his 2GB show Tuesday morning.
“Her only concern is to make herself the center of attention.
“I think she’s the biggest fake in Parliament – fake claims of racism, stupid stunts and an ego bigger than Parliament House.”
Senate opposition leader Simon Birmingham called the senator’s actions “unnecessary and disrespectful.”
2GB Radio’s Ben Fordham (pictured) said the Greens senator thought she was ‘starring in a reality TV show’ and would take any opportunity to ‘play a stunt’
“As senators, we all have a unique opportunity to pursue change, but we must respect the institutions through which we pursue that change as we advocate for it,” he said.
Thorpe posted a photo of the moment and tweeted: ‘Sovereignty has never been relinquished’.
Australia was a British colony for over 100 years, a period when thousands of Aboriginal Australians were killed and communities displaced.
The country became de facto independent in 1901, but never became a full-fledged republic.
In 1999, Australians narrowly voted against the removal of the Queen, amid an argument over whether her replacement would be elected by parliament, not the public.
Polls show that most Australians are in favor of a republic, but there is little agreement on how to elect a head of state.
First Nations Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured) said there was a ‘level of immaturity’ about Ms Thorpe’s display, saying parliament was not the place for protesters
However, dozens of social media users criticized Senator Thorpe’s behavior on Twitter, with one commenter calling her an “absolute idiot.”
“A total disgrace to Parliament and those it claims to represent,” they said.
Another commented: “Racist, anti-Australian, hate speech trolls who spew trolls like you have no place in government and should be behind bars.”
‘How childish Lidia… Another look at me moment for you. Can you please tell me something good you’ve done for Indigenous Australians?’ said a third.
It comes at a time when the Greens senator claimed that the Australian Parliament was not allowed to exist – and that she was merely a member so she could “infiltrate” the institution, while still receiving the salary and benefits of a parliamentarian accepted.
Numerous social media users criticized Senator Thorpe’s (pictured) behavior on Twitter, with one commenter calling her an “absolute idiot.”
Ms Thorpe, who has both European and Aboriginal ancestry, said in June that her joining Parliament’s “colonial project” was due to her ambitions to “renew the nation” and be a voice and spokesperson for First Nations- people.
The senator is part of a family succession of women who have made careers in Aboriginal activism: Her grandmother Alma Thorpe founded Victoria’s Aboriginal Health Service, while her mother Marjorie Thorpe was part of the national investigation into what became known as the Stolen Generations.
Appearing on Channel 10’s The Project last month, the senator said she also removed the Australian national flag during press conferences after Greens leader Adam Bandt was criticized for the same move.
“The Australian flag does not represent me or my people,” she told the panel.
“It represents the colonization of these countries, and it has no permission to be here, there is no permission, there is no treaty, so that flag does not represent me.”