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Australian Charged With Sending Racist Remarks to Aboriginal Senator

  • Fern Robinson

FILE - Then-Australian Olympic sprinter Nova Peris is seen in this June 7, 2000 file photo. She later became the first Aboriginal woman to win a seat in Australia's Parliament.

FILE - Then-Australian Olympic sprinter Nova Peris is seen in this June 7, 2000 file photo. She later became the first Aboriginal woman to win a seat in Australia's Parliament.

A chiropractor in Australia is facing charges after allegedly sending racist rants on Facebook to a senator who is the first Aboriginal woman elected to parliament.

Senator Nova Peris said she kept the rants from Chris Nelson on her Facebook page "to continue to show the ugly side of this country."

Nelson said the rants did not come from him and he is the victim of a "vicious hacking" to his Facebook account. He told Australian media he has "friends who are Aboriginal and family who are Aboriginal."

Nelson has been arrested and charged with using a telecommunications service to cause offense.

In the alleged tirade, Nelson repeatedly referred to Peris' black skin in a derogatory manner.

"My skin is my pride," Peris replied

The offensive remarks included telling Peris to "go back to the bush" and to stop painting her face when in parliament.

Peris responded that she was from a coastal region and would "continue to wear ochre on my face just like my people have done for thousands of years."

The senator is an Olympic gold medal winner, taking home the top prize for field hockey in Atlanta in 1996. She also won gold in the 200m and 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

In another alleged post from Nelson, he wrote "Other than being a runner you are nothing."

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