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Lauren Southern arrives in Australia amid racist controversy.
After Australia temporarily denied a far-right YouTube star from entering the country, she made a fashion splash when she finally got there.
Lauren Southern, who has 568,000 YouTube subscribers and who has been banned from entering the U.K., was originally not allowed into Australia for her speaking tour because she had apparently applied for the wrong visa. But the Canadian YouTuber landed in Australia late last week with a T-shirt that read, “It’s okay to be white.”
— Frank Chung (@franks_chung) July 13, 2018
In an interview with Sky News after arriving in Australia, Southern said, “I feel zero shame whatsoever for being white.”
“If I were Black, I could say I’m proud. If I were Asian, I could say I’m proud. If I were any other ethnicity, I could say I’m proud because that’s how our culture is,” she said. “But if I’m white and I say I’m proud, the media will go nuts.”
.@Lauren_Southern says she feels 'zero shame' for being white.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) July 13, 2018
Australia earlier this month denied her Electronic Travel Authority request because she apparently had applied for the wrong type of visa (an ETA does not allow you to work in the country while visiting Australia).
— Ross Cameron (@RossCameron4) July 8, 2018
But she was granted another type of visitor’s visa and allowed to enter the county last week.
“Obtaining [an Australian] visa was, well, rather a challenging process, and it was hard at times to avoid the thought that our applications might have been delayed due to the perceived content of our speeches, rather than any objective reason,” Stefan Molyneux, another controversial far-right activist who is on the speaking tour with Southern, said in a statement, via the Sydney Morning Herald. “Lauren and I are very proud of our contributions to the global conversation, and we are both immensely eager to engage with the Australian public over these coming weeks.”
Southern has courted plenty of controversy for her Islamaphobic views, for her mocking of transgender people, and for once wearing a sign that read, “There is no rape culture in the West.” She was also banned from the U.K. for racism last March after passing out fliers that read “Allah is a gay god” and “Allah is trans.”
They just locked me out and said "au revoir"… Officially banned from UK for "racism".. doing fine though, all the cool people are being banned anyway 😉
Need to gather my thoughts and call family. Interrogation story is pretty crazy though. Will tell it soon. pic.twitter.com/mARtkyZKFm
— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) March 12, 2018
Southern begins her tour in Melbourne this Friday, and according to the Morning Herald, tickets cost $79. But if you want a 30-minute meet-and-greet with Southern and Molyneaux, it costs $199, a 45-minute meet-and-greet costs $499, and a dinner date with the pair costs $749.
Said Southern, via news.com.au: “It’s a pleasure to land here and see Australia upholding its commitment to free speech and Western culture—something that may not be here for much longer if left-wing Australian politicians continue their pathological worship of multiculturalism.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.