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#Thread. Alright let’s deal with the Hecht Op-Ed/steaming pile of crap. First from a journalism perspective it should never have been published. It is a hot mess of exaggerations, fiction, and leaps of conclusion to fit the author’s - ignorant - narrative.
First never mind #Denmark I found the the most puzzling statement to be about #Switzerland, below. The Swiss are not governed by four ethnic governments with each ethnicity sticking to their fourth of the country. This claim, as far as I can tell, is total fiction.
Matter of fact after an afternoon researching Swiss governance, ethnicity, etc. The descriptions of #Switzerland used common terms like “diverse” “a melting pot.” Having been to Zurich it is also very nice and well worth a trip.
Now to #Denmark where the author makes the claim there was an ‘insistence’ immigrant children go to public school not religious school or social benefits would be “rescinded.” The nearest thing I could find was the article below.

While the author cites #Denmark and its moves opposing Muslim immigrants he glosses over one thing. A coalition of right wing parties made some seriously drastic, and in my opinion awful, anti-immigrant moves. They were swept from power in June taking historic election losses.
While the new PM Mette Frederiksen and her Social Democrats did swing to the right on immigration she must answer to a now left wing coalition in government so how #Denmark charts it’s course now on immigration remains to be seen.
And yes immigration is a fire starter issue in #Denmark with lots of passionate takes on the issue in the country and playing out politically. The article below provides a good overview.

Back to the op-ed while it is clear the author didn’t know, or chose to ignore, the important context on his #Denmark examples he also makes plenty of unattributed claims like this one. “Many found” ...according to who? From what study? C’mon.
He also completely contradicts his own conclusion in his article. While he argues immigration erodes trust he snuck this in near the end “Scandinavian countries are becoming even more trusting.” But but but they have, and continue too, accept immigrants how can that be?
The problem is where is his baseline? Denmark has always had astonishing high levels of trust. In government, in its social systems, and in each other. Living here it is palpable. What is Canada’s baseline for trust?
And for a homogenous #Denmark. Well okay statistically I suppose but I live in a town of just over 7,000 people. My son’s daycare has kids from 11 different nationalities in it. I also see more than a few non-whites here and everywhere I travel in the country.
That at its heart is the most troubling this about the op-ed to me. That only if we look the same, speak the same language, have the same beliefs, and culture can we ever trust each other. That idea at its most extreme is what we essentially fought against in WWII.
The other troubling thing is the implication an immigrant can check their beliefs, customs, and culture at the border. If only. Extremism, be it religious or political, is incredibly hard to combat because how do you stop an idea? Or an ideology? Or a belief?
For those of you who are virulently anti-immigrant in #Canada please allow me to point you this Statistics #Canada finding.
Immigration is a serious issue. It has many benefits and like everything else it also has problems. We need to be able to have hard adult conversations about it without allowing the issue to be hijacked by racists, white nationalists, or garden variety fools.
And yes it is very troubling to me that an ignorant piece like this written with exaggerations, leaps of conclusions, and wilful ignorance was allowed to be published by a major newspaper chain. As a journalist I am embarrassed and angry.
But I am also proud of so many whom I respect in this profession including many from the @VancouverSun and @theprovince and others stand up and be counted in opposing what was written. I hope it brings needed change. End.
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