Immigration has again become a recurring topic of global conversation due to the exodus of beleaguered migrants from the Middle East and Africa primarily. One country that has become a frequent locale of interest in these conversations is Sweden, a majority white, Nordic nation that has experienced a persistent assimilation problem. But the issue of ghettoization in Sweden is not new, despite an uptick in recent media attention.
A New York Times article published in 1998 focused on the city of Rinkeby, an immigrant-heavy suburb located 15 minutes from Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm. The issues plaguing residents in this neighborhood- widespread government dependence, persistent language barriers, higher than average crime rates- are the same problems lamented by anti-immigration factions in Sweden today.
The conversation regarding the cultural differences between immigrants and native Swedes has also changed very little. Some say that it is ‘systematic racism’ in the nation that leads to widespread disenfranchisement of immigrant populations, causing lives of crime and government dependence:
“Criminologist Manne Gerell, a researcher at Malmö University, said that “structural racism” is what lies behind the massive overrepresentation of migrants from poor and violence-plagued third world countries in Sweden’s crime statistics.
“Many people who come from other countries and living in deprived areas feel they are discriminated against,” he told Expressen.”
However, this passage typifies many Swedes’ feelings regarding these immigrant ghettos, Swedes who see much of the immigrant population as leeches upon, not benefits to, the nation’s long-held value system:
“More than 50 percent of Rinkeby's residents live on full government benefits, and the town has become stigmatized in Sweden as a haven for welfare cheats and a center of criminal activity. Ill-spoken Swedish is known throughout the country as ‘Rinkeby Swedish,’ used by urban toughs and middle-class youths eager for a little street credibility.”
These are the same gripes being espoused by Germans, Italians, and other native Europeans who see certain immigrant groups- many of them of Middle Eastern descent- as unwilling to assimilate. Any native population, whether they are willing to say so or not, wants to see an effort from immigrants to embrace the existing culture, not merely take advantage of the benefits of the Western world without attempting to learn the language and customs.
Swedes know that they have a beautiful, modern nation with a collective sense of pride, and those who move there from war-ravaged, less modernized nations should be grateful, in the eyes of many. Instead, a mentality that equates difference in skin color or language- traits true of almost any immigrant in any country- to victimhood is pervasive:
''It's very hard for people who don't have white skins and blond hair to be accepted in Sweden,'' Dag Jutfelt, deputy director of the Rinkeby district administration, said. ''If you look different, you are called an immigrant, and if you're an immigrant, you're an immigrant for life.''
Since when is ‘immigrant,’ and the inherent differences which it connotes, an offensive, dirty term? It’s not the difference of skin color or birth nation that determines the status of any immigrant in Sweden, though it plays a part. It is the approach and attitude one takes toward becoming a true Swede upon being admitted as an immigrant that defines most native Swedes’ view of the immigrant population.
In Sweden, a nation long cited as a bastion of socialistic success, most everybody pays their dues to maintain social safety nets and government-provided services such as healthcare and education. Those who are unable to pay their own way are the beneficiaries of the safety net. Still, if too many Swedish residents become takers, instead of givers, to the national monetary fund, the system will eventually collapse.
Further, many have cited Sweden’s relatively homogenous culture as the primary reason this system has been sustainable. The people, by and large, have shared cultural approaches toward language, customs, employment, and economic and personal independence.
Were such a nation to admit large segments of a like-minded population- Brits, for example- the system may still work, though still perhaps not as efficiently. When a group of people as culturally different to Swedes as Syrians, North Africans, and Somalians are let in by the thousands, the socialist system is untenable.
Yet, this reality- that immigrants must be admitted based on their willingness and ability to assimilate- has been largely ignored due to what can only be described as white Swedish guilt. The nation’s approach to immigration policy is lax, to say the least:
‘Since World War II, Sweden has gone from being a country of emigration to one of immigration. Unlike some other European nations, it has no colonial past that exposed its society to influences from abroad. It has been more generous than other European nations to refugees from South American countries with military dictatorships, political exiles from ethnic disputes in Asia and victims of fighting in the Balkans, and it still maintains a relatively large foreign aid program aimed at the needy of Africa.’
Unwittingly, this has meant the admittance of large segments of immigrants with value systems that are decidedly anti-Western. To make matters worse, Sweden just admitted immigrants without restrictions on how long they could stay. No work visas, no nothing. As immigrant generations became increasingly ingrained in a cycle of government dependence and a race-based view of Sweden, excuses were made:
‘Sweden has altered its approach over time, first embracing the goal of assimilation, then moving gradually to the present posture of encouraging distinct cultures within Sweden while insisting on equality of opportunity.’
This is, quite simply, the opposite of assimilation, the primary ideal which determines successful immigration into any society. But, Sweden’s policy of appeasement of cultures who find assimilation to be a deplorable concept has meant the exacerbation of the ills outlined in the 1998 New York Times article.
The logistics of incorporating Islamic culture in Sweden don’t even work in theory. In the Arab world, women are largely expected to stay home, raise children, and not work. This is expected of women from a young age. Swedish women, on the other hand, have come to be known for their independence and prevalence in the workforce. Contributions to the socialist system by women in Sweden is a major reason why the system has been able to function reasonably well.
The inequality between genders that exists in much of the Arab world has contributed to the rise in rapes that has gained less global media coverage than it should. Some have pointed out that Swedish laws pertaining to sexual assault are wide-ranging, and they have a point.
However, this does not explain away the fact that Sweden’s largest music festival canceled its 2018 iteration due to the uptick in rapes in recent years.
Videos such as this one show that the government is keenly aware of Sweden’s rape epidemic, however futile the efforts to prevent such attacks may be:
The Swedish government’s doctrine of appeasement for those who refuse to adopt Western culture has had irreparable consequences. In the years since the 1998 New York Times piece, the ghetto that is Rinkeby has only gotten worse. The construction of a new police department has been delayed because construction companies refuse to undertake a contract in the neighborhood now considered a no-go zone because of widespread anti-police sentiment:
"It's too dangerous to build a police station in the area," several police officers who wanted to remain anonymous told SVT. "It must be guarded around the clock. This includes both the risk of theft but also threats to staff who will work on the construction project," they explained.
Such appeasement policies have contributed to the rise in gangs, who are concentrated in ghettos such as Rinkeby but have spread to the nation’s once safe metropoles as well.
A country once known for the peacefulness of its people has seen a spike in gang violence, with at least 12 separate gang factions operating in Stockholm alone. A recent report found that 95% of gang members in Sweden have foreign backgrounds, a testament to how Swedish nationalism has been widely rejected, not embraced, by a large segment of the immigrant population.
What this is, simply, is disdain for a nation harbored in the sentiment that racism has contributed to an immigrant group’s lack of success in society. This disdain for the native people makes committing a crime against native citizens less distasteful, in the mind of the perpetrator. To argue that the two- anti-Swedish beliefs and crimes perpetrated against Swedes- don’t go hand in hand is illogical.
And now Sweden has extended its self-defeating generosity to Swedish natives who have left the country, fought for ISIS, and now want to return. The impossibly optimistic Swedish policymakers believe that in order to re-integrate these jaded terrorist sympathizers into society, they must be granted new identities.
That’s right. Policy-making groups in Sweden actually want to allow ISIS fighters back into their society. Further, they don’t want to punish them. They want to give them the means to re-integrate into society. Apparently, the fact that they once had access to the Swedish Dream and chose instead to identify with and aid in the bloodshed perpetrated by ISIS is not sufficient evidence that these evil people have no intention of assimilating, ever.
Despite this being true:
‘Örebro’s municipal government came under fire at the beginning of the year for offering internships and training to two men who’d fought with Islamic State in Syria. The pair chose to return to Syria, where they were killed in battle.’
Swedish politicians continue to say, earnestly, things like this:
‘“There may be criticism, but [I think] that you should get the same help as others who seek help from us. We cannot say that because you made a wrong choice, you have no right to come back and live in our society,” Sjöstrand told Sveriges Radio.’
Call me crazy, but joining ISIS and proudly posing with dead bodies doesn’t qualify as a ‘mistake.' But in Sweden, the new home of cultural lunacy, betrayal of native citizens, and wrongheaded appeasement of cultures long gone mad, this is the new reality.
White guilt is a powerful, destructive thing.