Politics

David Leyonhjelm Gave A Pretty Weird Speech About “Young Brown Men”

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi has dragged Leyonhjelm over the speech.

David Leyonhjelm criticised by Mehreen Faruqi for "condescending" speech

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has been criticised for a “condescending” speech he made in Parliament on Tuesday in which he praised “young brown men” for driving him around in Ubers and serving him at 7-Eleven.

I know. I’m surprised too. He’s normally so tactful.

“The young brown men I come across in my day-to-day life are often in low paid jobs,” he said. “They drive me in their Ubers and taxis. They deliver my online purchases, my groceries and my pizza. And they serve me at my local 7-Eleven, at my local service station, and my local restaurants.”

“Many of these young brown men have only been in Australia for a decade or so, and they are giving it go, just like previous generations of young migrants.”

“Australia’s young brown men are typically the ones that turn up their sleeves in the face of jobs that many other Aussies would turn up their noses at,” he added. “They do all of this without whinging about a brown pay gap.”

Leyonhjelm concluded the speech by praising “young brown men and women” for “changing the complexion of Australia for the better”.

But the speech was criticised by Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, who said that she’d “like to give Senator Leyonhjelm the benefit of the doubt in being sincere about his concern for migrants, but condescending speeches don’t help.”

“Migrants aren’t sitting here plugging away passively waiting for the world to change, we are actively challenging racism and demanding our rights,” she told SBS.

Faruqi added that if Leyonhjelm really cared about migrants, “he wouldn’t have just voted to take away their social security safety net should they find themselves in hardship”.

Leyonhjelm recently voted with the government and the Labor Party in favour of a bill that means new migrants will have to wait four years before being eligible for Newstart payments. The Greens voted against the bill, with Faruqi describing it as “inhumane”.