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‘Appalling’: Minister lashed for racist posts

NT
NT Police Minister Brent Potter reportedly shared racist content on social media. Picture: Pema Tamang Pakhrin

The Northern Territory’s Police Minister has apologised for previously sharing racist, anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic content on social media.

It has been revealed Brent Potter shared Facebook posts that quoted Nazis, used the n-word and advocated for the destruction of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a press conference on Thursday, he apologised for the “stupid” and “d***head posts”.

“I’m sorry for those comments, I can’t change what I have done,” Mr Potter told reporters, of the posts shared between five and 11 years ago.

“In hindsight they were absolutely racist.”

Police Minister Brent Potter has been criticised for previously sharing racist social media posts. Picture: Fia Walsh
Police Minister Brent Potter has been criticised for previously sharing racist social media posts. Picture: Fia Walsh

Mr Potter said there may be more controversial social media posts which are yet to come to light.

Independent MLA Robyn Lambley called on the Labor Party to expel the NT Police Minister over his “appalling commentary’.

“Someone who holds these views is not a fit and proper person to be the NT Police Minister or indeed be a member of the NT Legislative Assembly,” she said in a statement to NCA NewsWire.

“My view is that Potter’s position as a NT Minister is completely untenable.”

Northern Territory Police Association President Nathan Finn said the association was deeply disappointed in Mr Potter’s actions.

“(I) t is difficult to see how he can continue in the role of Police Minister,” he said.

Mr Finn said he would have expected the NT Police Minister to be held to a higher standard, given his role and responsibilities.

“There is absolutely no excuse for racism, but there appears to be a different standard of accountability applied to Mr Potter,” he said.

“The defence of, and ongoing support for, Minister Potter by (NT) Chief Minister Eva Lawler also sends a damaging message about equality and integrity.”

Ms Lawler has been contacted for comment.

Robyn Lambley called on the Labor Party to expel Mr Potter.
Robyn Lambley called on the Labor Party to expel Mr Potter.

One of the controversial posts was shared by Mr Potter in 2016 and contained a quote from a senior Nazi general which said “In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.”

The posts have been condemned by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin, who called for Mr Potter to educate himself.

“His denigration of Orthodox Jews and admiration for one of Hitler’s generals is appalling conduct by a public official and sets a terrible example,” Mr Ryvchin told NCA NewsWire.

The racist social media posts have sparked calls for the NT Police Minister to resign from his position.

Independent MLA Robyn Lambley told Sky News she was “appalled, shocked and deeply disgusted” by the posts.

“To see him present in the NT Parliamentary chamber next week would be a deep insult to all Territorians,” she said.

On Thursday, Mr Potter told reporters the posts reflected the “narrow view of the world” he held when he was serving in the Australian Defence Force.

He said working in aged care and politics has changed his perspective on the world.

One of the posts that triggered outrage was posted in 2015 and twice employed the n-word.

Another was posted the following year and contained a link to a video from a prominent right-wing commentator on destroying the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr Potter is under fire for sharing anti-Semitic social media posts.
Mr Potter is under fire for sharing anti-Semitic social media posts.
He appeared to endorse a video from a right-wing commentator.
He appeared to endorse a video from a right-wing commentator.

Mr Potter appears to endorse the video with his comment “worth a watch”.

The posts have now been deleted.

In a statement to Sky News earlier this week, Mr Potter maintained the inflammatory content did not reflect his views.

“Like most people, in my past, I have posted or shared controversial content on Facebook but that does not mean I ever agreed with all the views expressed in them,” he said.

Ms Lambley noted Mr Potter had posted “dozens of highly offensive extreme racist, homophobic and misogynistic” over a period of years.

“Leopards don’t change their spots!” she said.