|even our little black bunny was the last one to find a home.|
being shockingly racist is nothing new for krarup - look here to see what she said about a visit to niagra falls. since it's in danish, and i do realize that's a minor language, i'll tell you what she said, "Niagara Falls in Canada has been allowed to remain White. In this multi-culti country a white person is always seen next to a black, one brown and one yellow. And they're all smiling so happily! As if to say to us: multi-culti is really good! But the waterfall is just white." this was posted on her facebook page and the comments all glowingly agree with her that multiculturalism is bad. jesper (the peasant) frederiksen actually comments, "multi-culti functions only if there aren't too multi of the antisocial culti." i am rendered speechless by such a public display of racism in an elected official.
when i first came to denmark fifteen years ago, it was frowned upon to say things like this in public. a politician's career would have been over for such behavior. now, it's commonplace and even encouraged. granted the danish people's party is the most extreme right wing example, but they're the ones who have made it ok to bash foreigners and lump them all together into one big, bad group that's out to destroy the danish way of life.
all of this underlines the power of storytelling. for a good decade, in denmark the story has been told and repeated that foreigners, especially from the middle east, come to denmark to cause trouble and live off the supposed fat of the danish welfare state. there has a been an entire bureaucracy built up around a push for integration that looks a whole lot more like assimilation. and fear of The Other has become the order of the day.
i've spent some time in recent weeks interviewing foreigners who have moved to denmark for various reasons and i can safely conclude that this rhetoric and tone are not without damaging psychological consequences on the immigrants themselves. in the push to be stuffed into boxes at danish language schools, many of these people end up in a fog of depression and loneliness. they are bewildered that their danish neighbors don't speak to them and aren't interested in them. they feel isolated by a lack of language and bewildered by a culture that feels like it's rejecting them (and may actually BE rejecting them). many more of them than is healthy made the distressing statement that they began to feel they didn't know who they were anymore.
perhaps this is a common phenomenon for all who are in exile (chosen or not). it's hard to retain who you are in the face of an alien culture and way of thinking. especially when a psychological switch lays the entire burden to suck it up and integrate at your feet as the alien.
it's important to return to enlightenment values which value all individuals as equal and equally having something to offer if we are just open to what that might be. we've got to stop the negative, racist rhetoric in this country. we need to get a whole lot more outraged about it and show the elitist, fascist marie krarups of this country that it's not acceptable. i'm increasingly convinced that as individuals we can and must make a difference, starting right here in our own neighborhoods. my project gives me a chance to do something and i definitely intend to use that chance.