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Christian Christensen @ChrChristensen
, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
(1) After many versions of this before the election, yet another US-based journalist who took a short walk around parts of Swedish cities with large numbers of immigrants and decided that he had all of Sweden's problems figured out. Except he didn't.…
(2) Ngo writes about Rinkeby: "Here, there were no H&Ms or other hallmarks of Swedish fashion." Yeah, that's because the H&M that serves Rinkeby is a short distance away. Of course, when you know nothing of the city, district or language, this bullshit "reporting" is the result.
(3) Ngo shocked to find out parties in Sweden have politicians who might actually come from the districts they represent. And, it seems he's shocked that Muslims can hold political office in Sweden. Of course, US politicians have NEVER co-opted Latino culture to get Latino votes.
(4) Ngo also plays on well-worn angle that arrival of immigrants led to unprecedented explosion in violence & murder. While true that number of gun homicides has risen, it's lesser-known that homicide rate in 2017 in Sweden was at same level as early-mid 1990s & lower than 1979.
(5) Ngo also has the "some people I spoke to said..." routine, with no actual quotes, who he spoke to, or how many. I can't speak for all Swedes, but gender segregation and religious conservatism in the suburbs has been covered a great deal in mainstream Swedish media.
(6) This is the M.O. for these types of articles: provide dubious, emotive "facts" as the basis for drawing very large conclusions. Does Sweden have problems with integration and crime? Yes. Radicalization? Yes. Has the intake of refugees been hard? Yes. Who has said otherwise?
(7) The deep problem with 99% of these "I Walked In District X, And Here Is What I Know" articles is the view that integration is a one-way street, and that discrimination and racism are rarely considered. How can any understanding of integration NOT include those factors?
(8) For example, a recent report by Swedish public broadcaster SVT illustrated the grinding racism & discrimination faced by immigrants in Sweden. Discrimination that causes immigrants who WANT to "integrate" to seek the security of their own districts.
(9) When discussing drug crime & immigration in Sweden: (1) cops are FAR more likely to stop and arrest users in poorer areas; (2) non-immigrants often finance drug violence through consumption that is low-risk (for users/sellers) precisely because cops leave rich areas alone.
(10) Recent study showed that the district of Stockholm with the highest number of youth who admitted to using drugs was wealthy, and the district with the fewest number of drug suspects. These issues must also be factored into discussions of crime, violence and integration.
(11) The notion that there is serious "concern" over integration on the part of journalists who write articles like this is undermined by the cherry-picking of issues addressed. You can't discuss integration without discussing discrimination. Or the political economy of crime.
(12) Again, are there problems in Sweden? Of course. But emotive, factually dubious, context-free articles that are a result of parachuting into a part of town you know nothing about, then leaving the next day, offer little or nothing. Yet, the genre will not die. Too bad.
(13) As a late, final addition here...the piece also omits what most in this genre omit: that the vast, vast majority of immigrants to Sweden are decent, honest, hard-working people who just want to live their lives. Seems like an obvious point, but needs to be said more often.
(14) Right on cue: Swedish Television report today on how medical staff at Swedish hospitals at the receiving end of racism from patients who don't want care from "foreigners." The quote from a patient: "I don't want you touching me with your Turk hands!"…
(15) While authors walk around "ghettos" looking for veils and crime, they never go to hospitals and talk to non-white staff trying to save the lives of "ethnic Swedes" who don't even want to be touched by those staff. Discuss THAT in relation to "integration," for once.
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