Australian rapper 360: ‘I identify the Australian flag with racism’

Matt-ColwellOutspoken rapper 360 has labelled the Australian flag a symbol of racism in an appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program last night.

Fielding a question from an audience member about the overseas perception of Australians as racist, the rapper – real name Matt Colwell – took aim at the “dickheads” that use the Australian flag as a tool of oppression. “I identify that with racism, does anyone else?” he asked the audience.

His comments recalled the controversial Australian flag “ban” at the Big Day Out in 2007, after claims it was being used as a form of provocative nationalism in the wake of the Cronulla riots. “On Australia Day you see a bunch of dudes walking around with their tops off,” 360 continued. “They’re getting on the drink, they’ve got an Australian flag wrapped around their neck. I’ve seen it so many times. They just started yelling at taxi drivers, ‘Get out of our country, this is not your country’. And they’re wearing Australian flags. I’ve seen it so much growing up and still today. It’s pathetic.”

Asked by host Tony Jones whether he had racist fans at his gigs, Colwell said he “definitely” has. “In hip-hop there’s a lot of racist people … I don’t want those people at my shows. I don’t want anything to do with them”…