No room for racism
Protesters raise their fists during a rally organised to show support for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, following recent police shootings in the US, in central Sydney, Australia, July 16, 2016. Reuters/David Gray

Nick Folkes, leader of the Party for Freedom, said "The Truth About Racism" is a biased take on part of its broadcaster, SBS, to suit its own agenda. On Wednesday night, Folkes clashed with the host of the show, Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

"The Truth About Racism" sees participants undergo scientific experiments aimed at studying facial recognition, empathy and pain and fear responses towards situations involving people of different cultural backgrounds. The controversy surrounding the show stemmed from Abdel-Magied’s heated discussion with Senator Jacqui Lambie on Q&A when she asserted Islam as the “most feminine religion.”

Folkes said the show was biased. “SBS is only interested in showing the token white guy as a bigot and a racist,” he said, speaking with Daily Mail Australia. Folkes admitted he had less empathy for black people in pain than white people. “My compassion has its limitations, absolutely,” he said. Abdel-Magied also said she wasn’t “interested any more” in the views of the leader of Party for Freedom.

Folkes said he wasn’t given any room to express his opinions concerning sealing Australia's borders. “It was a stitch-up from the get-go,” Folkes said, speaking with the Australian. “The experiments we did — I just found them very skewed to find the white guy a racist. It wasn’t about being an Australian, it had racial overtones about being a token white guy."

Calling himself a "minority," Folkes also added that the series is "the new face of multicultural and multiracial Australia" and the TV show is not about being an Australian but it was "just promoting negativity around our national identity.”

Nevertheless, he said he does not believe Australia should be called a racist country. “SBS is always trying to push the message we'are all racist,” he said. “I believe Australia is tolerant county, and most people don't make opinions based on skin colour.”

Folkes, who is the son of a Russian refugee mother, was asked about his stand on immigration. In response, he said Australia was admitting the wrong migrants. “We are letting in far too many Muslim, black and Asian refugees. We're being robbed of our identity,” he said. “We need to return to a policy based on European migrants.”

SBS, on the other hand, said in its defence that it did give Folkes a chance to voice his opinions. “As one of five participants in 'The Truth About Racism,' Folkes had the opportunity to discuss his views and share his experiences, but as with all of those involved he also had his views challenged through experiments that tested the science behind racial bias,” the broadcaster said.