Thursday, 5 March 2009

When Fox News Came to Sweden

I recently came across this clip from another blog (Daniel Lampinen’s Stockholm 2009, I can highly recommend it.) It’s a report from Fox News about migrants in Rosengård, the famous Miljonprogrammet suburb in Sweden’s third city Malmö. In typical tabloid fashion the report is sensationalist and misleading, yet I still found it quite interesting to watch.

Sweden does have a large migrant population but it is interesting to note that both of my parents, who visited Sweden on separate occasions in 2008, remarked on how homogenous Sweden appeared. As I’ve said countless times in this blog, Sweden is very segregated with the majority of migrants living in satellite towns like Rosengård. Out of sight, out of mind. But tension does seem to be bubbling away and if I’m bold enough to make one prediction about Sweden’s future it is that racial tension will become a big issues in coming years. Already there have been minor riots in Rosengård and reports of a rise in Muslim extremism.

In many ways Sweden reminds me of pre-1996 Australia in that there seems to be a lot of racism and prejudice simmering away, which the media and political establishments don’t want to acknowledge. Like Australia, all it needs is either a Swedish Pauline Hanson (a bigot who can successfully portray themselves as average Joe Public and ‘voice of the silent majority’) or a John Howard (an opportunistic politician not afraid to exploit racism for electoral gain) and suddenly racism will be out in the open, wreaking havoc and tearing the place apart. You heard it here first.

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