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The Happy Racists of Scandinavia

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Scandinavism; A 19th-century propaganda image ...

A 19th-century propaganda image of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish soldiers joining hands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day, my American friend Robert Martin tweeted “Hey, @micaelgrenholm… Sweden is 5th happiest country in the world… congrats!” I jokingly responded “5th?? Now I’m definitely not happy!!” and he wrote “Well, at least 4 of the top 10 are Scandinavian… check it out. US is # 17″ Yup, Denmark was in fact number 1, and Norway number 2. All I could think about at that moment was actually racism and xenophobia.

How come? Well, a couple of years ago a Swedish journalist published a book called The Happiest People in the World about racism in Denmark. While citizens enjoy a high standard of living with extensive welfare and social security, it’s very, very hard for non-whites to become such citizens. In fact, Denmark is probably the most xenophobic country in northern Europe. Even though the racist Danish People’s Party has not been part of a government, other parties have used similar rhetoric and even policies in order to prevent more people from joining them. The result is of course that DPP’s ideas of a multiethnic Denmark being a “national disaster” has formed national policies.

How about Norway, then? The day before Martin tweeted his message to me Norway had their parlamentarian election, and as the Conservative Party won they proudly announced that they would govern together with the xenophobic Progress Party. This is the first time a racist party has entered a Scandinavian government.

How do I know that they are racist? Well, for instance, they want to ban Romani people from the country. Furthermore they have all the traditional charesteristics of xenophobia: they are hostile to islam, they want to decrease immigration, they are patriotic and wants to defend “Norwegian values” against multiculturalism, etcetera.

And then we have my country, Sweden. We have our own racist party here, the Sweden Democrats, whose representatives compare islam with nazism and want to deport Syrian refugees to Jordan instead of Sweden. Fortunately though, the party has neither been a part of our government like in Norway, nor affected it in the same extent as in Denmark. Still, our conservative government manage to be quite xenophobic on their own.

Two days ago, the same day as Martin sent his message, I went together with several other activists to try to use civil disobediance in order to stop a deportation from Stockholm to Kabul, Afghanistan. Many of those that were supposed to be deported did not have passports, and the Afghani embassy had not even got any information about the deportation, which made some lawyers to speculate if Sweden actually was doing some form of human smuggling. One lawyer wrote a form of protest that demands the Migration Board to stop the deportation until, but it was quickly dismissed and the plane went to Afghanistan before the lawyer could object. Yesterday, one fo the Afghanis sent a message to the activists where he wrote that they were drugged to remain calm and that they received no help either from Swedish or Afghani authorities when they arrived, so that many of them now are homeless (some have families living in Iran!)

The same day I found that Sweden has been found guilty in the European Court of Human Rights because of deporting people into torture. Nothing new here, I actuallyhave a friend – John Kabuidibuidi – who was deported to Congo against his will and was tortured by the secret police. Sweden has been found guilty in the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) several times. The lawyer who protested against the deportation of the Afghanis was one of those who made sure that Sweden was found guilty in CAT once.

Is Scandinavia a happy place? Not for me. I am so blessed by our political and religious freedom, our free education system (when we go to college here we don’t pay for it, we receive grants), our free and advanced health care, etc. But I am constantly reminded of that some people are systematically excluded from all this. And as a follower of Christ I don’t want to look at my own interests and circumstances but I want to suffer with those who suffer and mourn with the mourning. Thus, I will continue to eagerly pray and work to fight xenophobia and racism.

Note: You may want to use Google Translate to some of the links.

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28 Comments

  1. Wow… I had no idea… what’s scary is that, at least among some of the more socialist minded people in our government over here, Sweden’s governmental social programs are held up as model programs…. wow… Yeah, not EXACTLY a happy place.

    • Hi Robert!

      Well, the social programs ARE very good, and so is the education system, health care etc. Especially compared to the US. I would even say that the European democracy is better than yours, since you basically live in a two-party state where votes are non-proportional and one guy has way too much power. So Sweden is a nice place in many aspects. But we still got our problem, xenophobia being one of the biggest.

      Blessings!

    • BTW, I read a commentary about that hapiness study in our biggest Christian newspaper. It said that the study had used GDP and life expectancy as indicators of happiness, together with how people say they feel. Religion was not an indicator. The article questioned if this really was a genuine method to meassure happiness. A poor African man filled with the Holy Spirit who raises the dead and preaches the Gospel is probably more happy than an exhausted Danish businessman who lives and dies for money 😉

      • I read something similar, I think, on Scot McKnight’s blog…that we have an interesting measure of “happiness”. We think we need to go and take a tribal man from the bush of African and turn him into a US suburbanite for him to be happy… but I’ll bet he was happiest doing his thing in the bush country… Money/Success happiness….

    • Kevin Daugherty says:

      Sweden isn’t socialist. They have a capitalist economy with a welfare state, which means they are more in line with the old German Social Democratic Party under Bernstein than socialist.

      • Fat Lip says:

        i thought hostility was a norm in christianiy, the whiter you are the less hostility you receive, the image of a perfect man, jesus to christians is a white boy with blonde and blue eyes, Hitler’s christian brown party was an example of a modern satanist crusade, where satan is a friend as long as he supports alcohol and ethnic cleansing, because of the chursh, Satan has a job

  2. Thanks for putting these “happiness” statistics into proper perspective.

  3. In Denmark what you have is basically two groups.

    1) Us (Danes and Native Scandinavians)

    2) Them (All other groups in an inverse pyramid with Africans at the very bottom)

    For example in spite of the overwhelming wealth, welfare and resources, homeless people of foreign extraction are left out in the cold winter snow to basically die, any institution that helps a single one even for a single night or with a bowl of soup will lose public funding, this is the law..what happened to common human decency? This how heartless and cold danish society has become.

    Articles from the leading English Daily in Denmark

    http://cphpost.dk/news/mp-black-people-should-be-called-neger.8407.html

    http://cphpost.dk/news/new-zealanders-offended-by-mps-appalling-ignorance.4879.html

    http://www1.geo.ntnu.edu.tw/~moise/Data/Books/Reach%20of%20culture/cultural%20racism.pdf

    http://cphpost.dk/news/city-council-calls-on-parliament-to-help-foreign-homeless.7372.html

    http://cphpost.dk/news/a-green-card-to-a-grey-zone.7567.html

    http://cphpost.dk/news/editorial-to-each-according-to-his-citizenship.6962.html

  4. Hej Micael,

    I am really impressed by the selfless mission work for the Lord that you have to devoted yourself to.

    Now here comes my rant.

    *One correction DPP (Daske Folke Parti) was actually a major part of the coalition venstre government for 10 years reshaping policy until they got voted out in Sept. 2011, when they could do no more damage without international backlash but just barely.

    I am Danish and I have lived for 11 years abroad,of which I spent 3 in Namibia and four of them in China. Me and my Chinese wife and two kids are constantly having to defend our right to speak the mandarin at home and with the kids even though our kids speak Danish well too.

    There is a problem in Denmark because this having been a socialist “homogeneous” Jante-law enforcing society so much racist behavior is condoned, institutionalized and accepted.

    Where Denmark differs in its nationalistic bigotry, is that people outside of Denmark think we Danes are tolerant and groovy. Individual Danes tend to have that same self-image.

    My wife fell into deep depression when she found our youngest daughter trying to scrub her face whiter at the sink, because the teacher had made a snarky comment about her that caused the class to laugh. We lodged a complaint with the school board which was promptly ignored and we ended up moving her to a private international school.

    We are more or less tired of this unreasonable pressure from the schools and surrounding society here in Denmark and have decided to leave Denmark within the next 12 months. Of course my firm will leave Denmark too :o)

    I feel ashamed about my own nation Denmark and do no longer recognize Denmark as a suitable place for our children to grow up in.

    Currently Denmark has several new laws that can force foreigners kids into kindergartens for up to 30 hours at week in order to “stimulate” the foreigners’ kids with Danish language. This law is of course a clear violation of the UN child convention article 29 and 30 but no one seems to point that out.

    The so called demand for forceful assimilation of foreigners and their kids in Denmark has reach a level where one dare to call it state supported racism and violation of human rights as well as violation of the UN child convention as mention before.

    Public schools have only this year suggested that they tone down from actually calling bilingual kids (actually meaning bi-racial) “a problem” even in national reports,, teachers meetings and the media to a possible resource but still the public schools sees bilingual kids as a problem and even try to pressure the kids to stay at the school for the whole day and not with their families after class so they can speak their “mother language”.

    We have been dealing with public school teachers who found it to be their duty to tell my wife to stop taking care of our now 3 years old son at home, send him to kindergarten and start look for a job… WTF..???

    I mean that is not the schools duty. My wife has a Phd in Computational Genetics but decides by herself what kind of life she wants and when and where she wishes to work and how long she wishes to stay at home to take care of our son. That is not of the schools business. Needless to say but my wife found them rather purposefully ignorant and rude.

    I even got a question from a private school teacher like this “can this mandarin stimulation not only be done in the weekends?”. Me and my beloved wife were blurred by this question. My answer was “no that is not possible”. Also I hold a BA in Chinese, Ms in Anthropology and do know that this is really bad to ask for a Chinese or anyone for that matter. If any person would demand of me not to speak Danish with my kid from Monday to Friday I would go crazy.

    We are so done with Denmark and are now looking forward to live in China where speaking more than one language is viewed upon with awe and even encouraged from childhood.

    Denmark has really disappointed us with its narrow-mindedness and constantly rude attitude towards foreigners who wish to keep just a little of their own culture intact.

    • Hej Dennis!

      Thank you so much for your testimony, it’s shocking, painful and thought provoking. I knew the Danish situation was bad, but I couldn’t imagine it to be this bad. The church definitely has a big responsibility in praying and acting against all forms of xenophobia and racism. I think there is a big need for more inter-Scandinavian church relations that focus on this issue to change the situation.

      Again, thank you so much for your comment. Blessings!

      Micael

      • Fat Lip says:

        my prob in denmark was i got 4 girls pregnant, each one of them told me i was not the father, i sued one and learned i was the father, the baby is black and the man the girl was claiming was the father she later admitted he was some old friend with money and family she liked to marry, they agreed he would father someone else’s child and so on, no will have rights to see my son, meanwhile the other three are avoiding contact, two of them are with other guys as well who probably can not have kids or adopted as house pets to watch MY KIDS, and one of them is single, 4 of my kids all over Denmark, one also goes to Sweden to see who she thinks is her grandparents, all melado, come on people, are you sick

  5. Jonathan says:

    Hi, nice article.
    Here, in Brazil, we don’t read much about Scandinavian countries.
    And how it is like to be a Christian there?

  6. Good article with good comments.

    All ex-colonial countries, including Denmark, are basically “institutionally racist”.

    In the UK institutional racism is defined as: “Institutional racism: the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin”.

    A good example of Danish institutional racism (and sexism against fathers) can be found at the folowing link:

    http://www.avisen.dk/blogs/justicesoldier/justitsmord-cover-up-case-documentation_43702.aspx

    The above article is written mainly in English with some Danish terms.

    Kindly forward the above link to as many people as possible.

    Regards

    Justice Soldier

  7. James Mayer says:

    Have you read about how many rapes the third-world people commit in Scandinavia? Look the subject up sometime; it’s horrifying.

    • Have you read about how racist propaganda works in Scandinavia? Look the subject up sometime; it’s horrifying.

      • I voted for FrP says:

        I’m sorry but saying that those rapes don’t happen is ignorant and horribly insensitive to the victims. I find it strange that you can just deflect something like that with little to no care.

        • Hello. I didn’t say that those rapes don’t happen, my point was that this rhetoric is part of racist propaganda. I can say that most rapes are committed by men as a simple fact, and it won’t do so much harm since men are privileged in our society without any risk to be deported against their will to a poor and insecure place. And most people agree that a lot of the rapes that men commit are caused by social factors, gender roles, class, abuse, and more.

          However, immigrants from “third world” countries are oppressed and face the risk to be deported to countries they don’t want to be in that are poorer and more insecure than Norway or Sweden. When one discusses rape rates among this group, as if it was a homogenous group, without taking things like class, abuse, gender roles etc. into concideration, one parttakes in a racist paradigm where “third world” people are separated from Westeneers and where the former are more prone to rape than the latter.

          ‘Cause here’s the million dollar question: what differentiates the 6 billion “third world” people from the 1 billion Western people? The colour of their skin. They are generally black or brown. Thus, wanting to kick out “third world” people while letting Western people stay is and will always be racism. And racism is stupid, don’t be racist, love some third world people instead.

          Blessings!

          • I voted for FrP says:

            But they are, facts are facts. In Oslo in 2010 or something it slips my mind currently 100% of the rapes were committed by immigrants with non western backgrounds. And quite frankly in my mind the government of their respective countries should prioritize their native citizens above immigrants. I do agree with you about the fact that punishment for rape (and crime in general) is quite lax.

  8. Jack Lipston says:

    Are countries like Finland, Japan and South Korea horrendously racist and xenophobic just like Scandinavia?

  9. Alex says:

    where will your Jesus be when muslims have kicked your teeth in and slammed your face beyond recognition with chains ? You will be fucking praying to Jesus for your life to end then, when you have to eat through a fucking straw. Just happened to a Danish couple attacked by 3 somalies 2 days ago (25th december).

    And it’s not Xenophobic to limit islam immigration, it’s realistic. It’s simply because it doesn’t work !. Do you live in Tensta or Rinsta ? I bet you don’t. Whole suburbds of above 50% in the surroundings of Stockholm with 40-50% unemplyment, 30% unwilling to even work, and 90-98% immigrants.

    I could go on, but I don’t wanna waste my time with a blindfolded-to-truth Jesus loving hippie.

    • Hello Alex! I must say that “Jesus loving hippie” is one of the sweetest insults I’ve ever received 🙂 Thank you! And yes, that’s pretty xenophobic of you, but I hope you have a blessed Christmas season and that you will hug some immigrants. God bless you!

  10. noname says:

    Alex, find me a country which do not have problem. stop calling yourself as happy nation if you cannot have tolerance, stop calling yourself developed if you cannot support people and countries in need. then there is no need for your currency to be traded at higher rate and other countries are cheaper for you. understand economics first, then the politics because you live in money society here. why did immigrants come to your land ? read history and its repeating. so enjoy your ignorance and let the awakened ones make a better and evolved society for all. Religion should be banned anyways because its not only islam but christianity as well , who forced and killed people on name of it, hence you don’t deserve any right to speak on it.

    have fun
    a free man of no color and no religion

    • Hello noname! I can’t really see how forbidding freedom of thought, speech and assembly would be part of an “evolved” society. It just sounds authoritarian to me. Jesus has done countless miracles in my life and I’ll pray that He will do the same in yours.

      Blessings!

  11. Oliver says:

    When does racism end friend when there are no white people left in Sweden?

  12. […] here. Forget for a moment that each of these very predominantly white (like Vermont) countries is scarred by white racist and xenophobic attitudes towards nonwhite immigrants. That problem aside, why does Sanders have nothing to say about the […]

  13. […] here. Forget for a moment that each of these very predominantly white (like Vermont) countries is scarred by white racist and xenophobic attitudes towards nonwhite immigrants. That problem aside, why does Sanders have nothing to say about the […]

  14. Tactical Rommel says:

    Christians like you are the same as Marxist, wanting to genocide their own ethnic people w/Arabs and Africans. I don’t get you. If you want so much to be w/Arabs and Africans, why not just move to their countries (and see how well they treat you – you might not survice the trip, as a Christian).

    In Finland we have this saying that God keeps the sky blue, let’s keep Finland white.

  15. Tanya says:

    Interesting point of view, thank you!
    But I think, things happened not just because some people in one moment become racist, it needs background. And I hope some day the world will be better, and people can live in their own country with no need to change place and meet in face with xenophobia and racism.
    And ofcourse, people of the country that adopt refugees and foreigners need to be more polite and the host country need to be more responsible, in the other way you can just close the border. But I can asure you, living in isolation is not so funny x)
    From Russia with love =)

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The author

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Check out my YouTube channel!

A Living Alternative

God vs Inequality

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