Finland's prime minister said Nordic countries do a better job of embodying the American dream than the US

Oct 27, 2017
2,702
Except that’s not what happened. At all.
Some European politician from an overwhelmingly white nation boasted that they’re happy and content and doing better than America.

Then a black guy from New York such as myself proceeded to call out the general European fuckery and hypocrisy in bragging about a nation’s progress compared to the States when you keep black and brown people out of it.

Cause I know if those nations had the same numbers of black and brown minorities they’d be just as selfish and “free market solutions!” as the US.

“All the Americans”, that’s my point. Many Europeans, doubly so from those homogeneous nations tend to not even see us, lol. Only when there’s a news story about us getting fucked up in America.

That’s what I’ve said. Feel free to try and dismiss my view by claiming it’s right wing talking points but conservatism has nothing to do with it. Just an honest observation.




Do you think bigots want their nation’s demographics to be like the US or Norway?
Thank you.

Europeans always retort that it’s bitter Americans complaining about these studies. No, it’s usually black/brown people of (insert any country here) that are the first ones to call this shit out.

Same song and dance every single time
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,090
Applauding all the POC members here pushing back against the typical European paradise bullshit.

Some of us have or are considering moving to other countries so these are legit questions and not "right wing propaganda" or whatever white nonsense was used this time to silence POC voices.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,399
If you think I’m arguing to keep minorities out you’re intentionally misrepresenting my position and my posts and not discussing this in good faith. Period.

Cut that dumb shit out. It’s a weak argumentative tactic to completely ignore my central point: Don’t brag about how awesome Nordic nations are compared to America when they won’t even let my people in.

Cmon. Stop playing dumb with me.

I’m saying it’s easy for Nordic nations to not be racist when black and brown people are kept out. And it’s easy for those Nordic nations to share prosperity without said racism present.

Stop trying to twist that into “oh you’re clearly saying all white societies are better and that’s the solution, huh?” Cmon, you’re not going to pull that silly shit on me.

For the record my suggestion is for Europeans to embrace sharing prosperity with people that don’t look like them. Particularly black and brown people. America hasn’t because of racism. Nordic nations therefore win by default: They have no substantial black and brown populations. That’s nothing to celebrate or pay yourself on the back about....
I wonder if any one can answer this question who has the stats: do any Scandinavian countries let any foreigners in in significant numbers, white, black, or otherwise? If so, are the rates between differing ethnicities/races significant?

Second, mostly for the American POC in this thread, do you think America would have significant minority populations today had chattel slavery not been part of America's history? Because with the level of racism and xenophobia on display even today, it certainly doesn't seem like it would to me.

I'm curious to know what you think because xenophobia seems to be the default human behavior for homogenous groups, regardless of ethnicity or race. This behavior is observed in the vast majority of countries around the world even today. In addition to Europe, extreme examples are observed in countries spanning Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

And to that end, if you are in agreement that xenophobia is a universal inbuilt human tendency for the in-group and that it must constantly be managed to overcome it, what are your feelings on striving for social democracy with a robust welfare state despite that constant battle?

Do you feel it is not worth the energy or not realistic amongst diverse populations? That seems like a cynical position to take but I'd understand why'd you take it. Or do you think we Americans should go for it, despite the battle necessary to overcome the racism and xenophobia present here? I want to be optimistic and go for it. My reasoning is that i want minorities and disadvantaged people to be on a more equal footing from the outset of their life and i want to live in a world with more integration rather than segregation.

White American guy here by the way (from the Jersey/NYC area at that). Diversity has been my reality from inception. But observing segregation, redlining, and systemic racism incessantly has made me realize we are not going to fix the problem without integration. Integration requires access to the same shared resources, spaces, and experiences. And my take is that we are not going to get that organically: it's going to require redistributive economic policy.

I personally am in favor of everyone having higher personal taxes for the explicit purpose of funding a robust welfare state...since it will increase social mobility, decrease indebtedness, and decrease barriers to access economically generally for marginalized groups and across class lines for all groups.
 
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BlackJace

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,476
Gotta says pretty hilarious to be accused of using right wing talking points as a black person because I'm not giving white countries props for their happiness index score and whatnot.

Stay in that utopian bubble I guess
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,683
It's funny how hard Euros push back against it being pointed out y'all quick to dump the idealism once your melanin content starts rising when we have evidence of that happening on a wide scale across the damn continent.
 

Byakuya769

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
2,295
Someone tell that dumbass that the American Dream is being way richer than your neighbors.

And by neighbors, I mean people who live within a few square miles of you. The American Dream is behind a gated community.
 
Jun 17, 2019
345
What's weird to me honestly is the comment about Finland having a very isolated emotional experience. Which brings up the question of how emotional happy people are. I know in some western states, Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, theres a significant amount of alcoholism, depression and suicide, some stemming from the fact that reportedly there are less people living in those states compared to say New York, thus less people to interact with and expand on their emotional health and well being. I'm curious if the same issues are true in Nordic countries as well, what's the depression rate and other illness rates over there?
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,114
Boston/Helsinki
What's weird to me honestly is the comment about Finland having a very isolated emotional experience. Which brings up the question of how emotional happy people are. I know in some western states, Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, theres a significant amount of alcoholism, depression and suicide, some stemming from the fact that reportedly there are less people living in those states compared to say New York, thus less people to interact with and expand on their emotional health and well being. I'm curious if the same issues are true in Nordic countries as well, what's the depression rate and other illness rates over there?
it’s the same in Finland at least, alcoholism levels are highest in Europe and suicide rates are highest in the world, a lot of people report suffering from loneliness.

Do Finns even belong under the American social construct of "whiteness" though? We suffered under the rule of the Swedes and Russians, and at the time Swedes even thought we were an inferior race. It's a small and insignificant country of like 5 million people who's only ever been fucked over by more powerful countries, and the way people talk about is like we were some colonial superpower just because we happen to have light skin lmao.
now this is just absurd and highly offensive to the current and historical suffering of any black community in the US. Yes, Finland was under colonial rule but the racial aspect was at best a curiosa at the height of “biological taxonomy” and the birth of eugenics. Acknowledging the suffering of those families who had their relatives dug up is not going to negate Finland’s own racialized past or present.. The 20th century - ”whiteness“ is present in Finns own historical treatment of the Sami, the treatment of the Roma, and the Jews during WW2 and now any non-white refugees. Finland has a prevalent issue and legacies of racism - aknowledging this takes nothing away from the truths on the argument about social mobility... The Finnish eugenics movement is more visible in modern history than 19th century, I belive your former PMs father eg. was a big proponent of eugenics and race biology..
 

GameAddict411

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,297
It's all nice and rosy until people have fingers to point to and groups of people to single out.

edit: The American Dream never real. It was always something that privileged enjoyed. The people who truly needed the opportunities to rise up never got them. Only the handful of few who clawed out with all their might managed to find success. But is that a fucking dream? No, I don't think so.
 

apocat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,063
Gotta says pretty hilarious to be accused of using right wing talking points as a black person because I'm not giving white countries props for their happiness index score and whatnot.

Stay in that utopian bubble I guess
That particular comment is, at least from me, specifically about the fact that several posters claim that an ethnically heterogenous population makes it impossible to accomplish a functioning welfare society.

I personally don't think that there is any truth to that, and I'm used to hearing those talking points from the far right here in Sweden. I don't for a second think the intent behind the statement is the same when used in this thread, but it is pretty much identical to the arguments that are used in Sweden to argue for throttling immigration to our country.

For all of the things that I'll readily admit is wrong with my country, I happen to quite like the basic principles that give us healthcare and education here, and I, perhaps naively, think those policies could be applied in the US to great effect as well. I don't see why the fact that the population is ethnically diverse would be an issue in regards to that.
 

fireflame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,003
Well we are often told in France that Norway, Findland and Netherlands are the good pupilsof Europe with good jails, schoolsn good economy,etc...

I won't deny they probably have issues and will believe anyone telling me they have problems cause all countries have. But USA's situation looks so dark and depressing that it loks hard to make worse in the Western world.
 

Don Fluffles

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,554
Some chucklefuck claimed that one of the nordic countries have a 50% income tax and that it was working to move away from the socialist model. Let's prove him wrong.
 

Sloth Guevara

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,168
It's funny how hard Euros push back against it being pointed out y'all quick to dump the idealism once your melanin content starts rising when we have evidence of that happening on a wide scale across the damn continent.
Well.....

it is a talking point used by the far right here.
It implies that only white people are capable of building a country with social welfare nets.

But speaking as a PoC brought up in Sweden I have something to say on the issue.
Sweden DOES have a large portion of PoC, especially the last 20 years coming from North Africa and the Middle East.
People like to point to this and the rise in far right parties like the are related and one happened cause of the other.
But during the last 20 odd years Sweden has had some major austerity measures a long with the privatization of tons of areas that is bleeding tax money to tax heavens.

That said we do have documented proof of institutional racism in Sweden.
Having a Muslim name will result in your having a harder time finding work despite being as or more qualified.
Same thing with finding suitable housing.
PoC are more harshly judged in the justice system.

As a PoC that has grown up here I find Sweden more open to assimilation vs integration.
Sweden loves other cultures and food but won’t want actual PoC move in and live in their neighborhoods.
The segregation is fucking insane here and a new underclass of brown bodies are being formed.
 

Vagabundo

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,225
Well.....

it is a talking point used by the far right here.
It implies that only white people are capable of building a country with social welfare nets.

But speaking as a PoC brought up in Sweden I have something to say on the issue.
Sweden DOES have a large portion of PoC, especially the last 20 years coming from North Africa and the Middle East.
People like to point to this and the rise in far right parties like the are related and one happened cause of the other.
But during the last 20 odd years Sweden has had some major austerity measures a long with the privatization of tons of areas that is bleeding tax money to tax heavens.

That said we do have documented proof of institutional racism in Sweden.
Having a Muslim name will result in your having a harder time finding work despite being as or more qualified.
Same thing with finding suitable housing.
PoC are more harshly judged in the justice system.

As a PoC that has grown up here I find Sweden more open to assimilation vs integration.
Sweden loves other cultures and food but won’t want actual PoC move in and live in their neighborhoods.
The segregation is fucking insane here and a new underclass of brown bodies are being formed.
Small story my brother tried living in Denmark for a year with his Danish wife. He's white-Irish. He moved back even after learning fluent Danish. One of the reasons was he believed they would always view him as an outsider and never be really comfortable around him. There seems to be a very strong cultural conservatism in Denmark and I'd assume Sweden as well.

I got the vibe as well when I visited Copenhagen, there was so much less interaction than when I'm at home, little chats with strangers. I thought it might have been a language barrier, but then they mostly had great English. When I went to Italy it felt very different, much less English, but more interactions with strangers (mostly in pigin Italian and international sign language).

Not trying to whitewash your experience either, I'm sure its worse as a POC.
 

Sloth Guevara

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,168
Small story my brother tried living in Denmark for a year with his Danish wife. He's white-Irish. He moved back even after learning fluent Danish. One of the reasons was he believed they would always view him as an outsider and never be really comfortable around him. There seems to be a very strong cultural conservatism in Denmark and I'd assume Sweden as well.

I got the vibe as well when I visited Copenhagen, there was so much less interaction than when I'm at home, little chats with strangers. I thought it might have been a language barrier, but then they mostly had great English. When I went to Italy it felt very different, much less English, but more interactions with strangers (mostly in pigin Italian and international sign language).

Not trying to whitewash your experience either, I'm sure its worse as a POC.
Sounds about right.
Swedes aren’t very sociable but they do warm up after you’ve broken the ice.

Im impressed he learned Danish since Scandinavians will switch to English if they hear someone with and English speaking accent.
My ex pat mates complain that they can’t get better language skills since they can’t get any practice in.

But I do recognize the feeling of always being othered.
The most normal question one will get is “where are you from” etc.
Like I said it feel like my existence is always on certain terms that if I don’t live up to or uphold I’m suddenly not considered Swedish.
 

TojoT

Member
Oct 30, 2017
125
This idea that POC don't exist in the Nordics, and aren't visible in the public sphere needs to stop. It's correct that we're fewer than in the UK, USA, but we're increasingly represented, atleast in my areas of interest which is news and politics.

In the spoiler you'll see Norwegian POC I see daily and weekly by just following news and politics.

On NRK (the public broadcaster) and most watched channel in Norway:

Rima Iraki and Yamal Wolasmal are two of the six main news anchors on NRK (the most watched daily Norwegian news broadcast).


Lars Nehru Sand is one of two permanent political analyst focusing on Norwegian politics in NRK. Often on news broadcast on both TV and radio when news around Norwegian politics are discussed.


Fredrik Solvang used to be one of the host for NRKs daily radio/TV news and debate shows (Dax18), and is now the host of Norway's only prime time debate show (Debatten), which will host party leaders and government ministers regularly.


Johan Golden is a comedian and permanent panel member on NRKs news comedy show (Nytt på nytt, a Norwegian version of "Have I got news for you"). The show is one of Norway's most popular weekly shows and has on average more than one million viewers (1/5 of Norways population). The show is so popular that sitting ministers appear on the show. Last week the justice minister was on.

In national politics:


Abid Raja is the minister of culture in the current government and member of the liberal party (venstre). Known for pissing off the right wing Progress party (Fremskritspartiet), even though they were in a joint coalition government up until very recently.


Hadia Tajik is the deputy leader of the Norwegian Labour party (Arbeiderpartiet, Norway's largest political party), Picked out by the of former prime minister and current NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg to become a future leader of the party. Appears frequently on news and debate shows as one of the main voices in opposition to the current government.


Lan Marie Berg is the co-leader of the Norwegian Green party (Miljøpartiet de grønne) and on the Oslo's city council in charge of transport and environment (currently on leave until summer 2020).

These are just the most prominent national politicians there are many more in local politics.

Others worth mentioning:


Mah-Rukh Ali is a former news anchor for NRK and the commercial TV channel TV2. She was the first national news anchor with a minority background on NRK. She's currently the communications director for the NGO: Care Norway.


While Leo Ajkic might not be considered a POC he's absolutely worth mentioning as a minority TV personality and documentary maker.


Karpe is a duo consisting of Chirag Rashmikant Patel and Magdi Omar Ytreeide Abdelmaguid. They are arguably one of the most popular Norwegian music acts in Norway, and definitely the one with the most sustained popularity over the last 20 years (I don't think anyone else is close here).

There are many more, and I'm sure posters in the other Nordic countries can post their own situation.

My post is by no means meant as a dismissive of the presence of systemic and casual racism in Norway or the Nordics. There are plenty of studies showing bigotry in the Norwegian populace, and I have plenty of personal anecdotes too. If you read Norwegian here are a few public studies: If you have a foreign sounding name you're 25% less likely to get an interview; in 2012, 43% of immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America were overqualified for their job, compared to 11% in the remaining population; both the Muslim and Jewish population face a lot of bigotry in Norway. What's interesting, in the last study, is that the Muslim and Jewish communities report more discrimination and bigotry in the general populace than within the social services.

I just feel that the idea that everything is pearly white here is unhelpful hyperbole. There are plenty of fields where we're underrepresented, particularly arts and winter sports. But in my interest fields (politics and news) I think, we're atleast as prominent on television in Norway as what I saw while living in the UK, France, and USA. It's unhelpful having posters from other places using their experiences, in their country, and a miniscule of knowledge about my region try to tell me what it's like to be a POC here. I lived a year in the USA and I wouldn't even dare using my experiences as a reference point for what it's like to be a POC there.
 

Idde

Member
Oct 27, 2017
311
Applauding all the POC members here pushing back against the typical European paradise bullshit.

Some of us have or are considering moving to other countries so these are legit questions and not "right wing propaganda" or whatever white nonsense was used this time to silence POC voices.
I'm not a PoC, and I'll be the first to admit Europe is not a paradise when it comes to race. I've had Muslim friends say the exact same thing Sloth said; that they had to do everything perfectly otherwise they'd be seen as a foreigner, and not a real Swede (dutchman in their case). And even in Amsterdam, where I work where the clientele is about fifty percent PoC you still get a lot of (more or less casual) racist remarks. And a way too big percentage of the people push back against Zwarte Piet, clinging on to tradition without seeing how it is racist. Without wanting to see how it is racist. So yes, there is definitely racism here.

But some stuff said in this topic is just flat out wrong/unnuanced. Like saying that 'Europe is all white' and 'black/brown' people are kept out. The Netherlands have had about 12 tot 15 percent PoC since the seventies. And much of the social securities since then are still intact. And thanks to our fucked up colonial history people from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St Maarten and Saba (which are part of the official Kingdom of the Netherlands) can freely come and live in the Netherlands. And by freely I mean completely freely. And they are mostly black. And Moroccan/Turkish people (mostly single men) who came to rebuild the Netherlands after WW2 could bring their families over.

And if you really want to move to the Netherlands, of course there are rules to migration (which are harsher than I'd like (though I think not as strict as the US has, I think?)), but the color of your skin should have no impact on the legal process. That should be the same for a white/Asian person as a black/brown person. Though that might be my naive white privilege speaking. Perhaps a PoC who moved here through the legal process has a different view on that.


Well.....

it is a talking point used by the far right here.
It implies that only white people are capable of building a country with social welfare nets.

But speaking as a PoC brought up in Sweden I have something to say on the issue.
Sweden DOES have a large portion of PoC, especially the last 20 years coming from North Africa and the Middle East.
People like to point to this and the rise in far right parties like the are related and one happened cause of the other.
But during the last 20 odd years Sweden has had some major austerity measures a long with the privatization of tons of areas that is bleeding tax money to tax heavens.

That said we do have documented proof of institutional racism in Sweden.
Having a Muslim name will result in your having a harder time finding work despite being as or more qualified.
Same thing with finding suitable housing.
PoC are more harshly judged in the justice system.

As a PoC that has grown up here I find Sweden more open to assimilation vs integration.
Sweden loves other cultures and food but won’t want actual PoC move in and live in their neighborhoods.
The segregation is fucking insane here and a new underclass of brown bodies are being formed.
This sounds really similar to over. When the austerity measures started in 2008 the populist right wing parties blamed the negative effects of that on immigrants as well. Because as always PoC make for easy scapegoats. And of course some people lap that shit right up.

And the segregation was/is a real problem over here as well. There are entire neighbourhoods where white people moved out of their cheap rental homes because they thought PoC were 'ruining' the neighbourhoods. And because those homes were cheap, and first generation immigrants had to make due with low income jobs like cleaning, they moved into the freed up houses. An effect that built on itself.

I know the two cities I've lived in, one medium size, one the biggest in the Netherlands now have policies in place to combat that. Whenever a neighbourhood gets renovated part of the housing is free market rent, the other is rent subsidized and another part can be bought. And the city government actively mixes things up by spreading PoC throughout neighbourhoods to combat segregation. And it seems to work...okay? If you're 'forced' to live next to a PoC (and you're not a complete biggot) you sooner or later come to the conclusion that hey, PoC are just people to!
 
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Frankfurter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
577
Except that’s not what happened. At all.
Some European politician from an overwhelmingly white nation boasted that they’re happy and content and doing better than America.

Then a black guy from New York such as myself proceeded to call out the general European fuckery and hypocrisy in bragging about a nation’s progress compared to the States when you keep black and brown people out of it.

Cause I know if those nations had the same numbers of black and brown minorities they’d be just as selfish and “free market solutions!” as the US.

“All the Americans”, that’s my point. Many Europeans, doubly so from those homogeneous nations tend to not even see us, lol. Only when there’s a news story about us getting fucked up in America.

That’s what I’ve said. Feel free to try and dismiss my view by claiming it’s right wing talking points but conservatism has nothing to do with it. Just an honest observation.
I'm confused how having a more diverse population makes things such as free education and univeral health care impossible (or even more complicated) to implement and maintain. These two are definitely among the most important factors to decrease the likelihood that there is a huge difference in life expectancy between the poor and the rich and improves the chances of social mobility.

The US has been on the forefront of the "Free Market" since like forever, including those times when it was a much less diverse country. The UK also has always been relatively close to the US path, while France and Germany much less so. Same with the Nordic countries, which haven't significantly altered their course, although they are much more diverse countries now than they were 30 years ago.

Therefore I'm gonna have to ask how you could possibly "know" this:

Cause I know if those nations had the same numbers of black and brown minorities they’d be just as selfish and “free market solutions!” as the US.
 

CoolOff

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
2,059
it’s the same in Finland at least, alcoholism levels are highest in Europe and suicide rates are highest in the world
Both of these aren't true? For alcoholism I can't be sure but rather infer that the Czech Republic consuming 14.1 litres of alcohol vs Finlands 11.9 per person and year would mean they have more alcoholics. As for suicides we have raw numbers, and Finland is nowhere near the top. In Europe alone Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium all have higher rates.
 

Dictator

Digital Foundry
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
2,514
Berlin, 'SCHLAND
20-25% of the US population isn’t part of the white club in the eyes of white America. Would Nordic countries still be so great if 25% of its population wasn’t white?
While an interesting thought experiment, I am not sure if "what if" historical scenarios that might have been are the best way to describe things "as they are".

The reason why nordic countries have these statistics for upward social mobility, happiness, wealth equality, etc. cannot be best, or only, explained by the lack of one particular historical possibility.

That type of an argument, while interesting when we just philosophise about stuff (Would the statistics be the same finland was post-soviet and was historically absorbed into USSR?) - alternative realities as possibilities do not describe the real historical material foundations that drive developments.
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,901
I thought the American dream was something about a house, a white fence, and half a child....and a chicken in every pot!
 

regenhuber

Member
Nov 4, 2017
2,753
While an interesting thought experiment, I am not sure if "what if" historical scenarios that might have been are the best way to describe things "as they are".

The reason why nordic countries have these statistics for upward social mobility, happiness, wealth equality, etc. cannot be best, or only, explained by the lack of one particular historical possibility.

That type of an argument, while interesting when we just philosophise about stuff (Would the statistics be the same finland was post-soviet and was historically absorbed into USSR?) - alternative realities as possibilities do not describe the real historical material foundations that drive developments.
This.
One could also ask how life in Europe would be if Western European nations had the same amount of natural resources America had/has.
 

amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
Saying you should only speak English in America is considered racist here, but enforcing a national language in Scandinavia is just considered good and normal.
Just got up here in Northern Europe and so catching up.

I found this quite interesting. You'd probably be surprised to find out that it wasn't until 2009 that Swedish was recognised as the official language of Sweden. It isn't somethign that has been around forever.

But even then, this entire country is bilingual. A non-native language has permeated through the entire culture in a way most in this thread probably don't understand. I once asked some Swedes, not long after I moved here, if it was weird to see the words Swedish and Sweden everywhere in this country, seeing as Swedish and Sweden are foreign words (Svenska and Sverige being the Swedish words). They just looked at me all confused. "This is just how it is", they said-. They'd never known anything different.

I've travelled a reasonable amount in the US (about 15 states or so). For all you have these small pockets of foreign languages, nothing compares to the extent that English has not only invaded but been accepted in the Nordics. It is easy to handwave away if English is your native language, it is normal to you. But look at it from their point of view. This language is not from here. There are no regions where it is the most common language due to an immigrant population.

Yet it is fucking everywhere. And it has been utterly embraced.
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,943
I like Canada, I lived there for 3 years but they're highly selective in regards to immigration.
It's nowhere even close to being as selective as European countries though.
They have the express entry system wherein all you need is a degree, maybe 2 years of work exp and that's usually enough to fulfil the criteria to get invited to come to Canada. And actual invitation ! You don't even need to have a job or a sponsor. If you are over 30 and have a partner then it's a bit harder but it can be countered by knowing french, have more exp, or a masters degree as those will bump up your points significantly. And ofcourse you need to have some funds in savings but that's true for every country.

Meanwhile in UK you need a job that earns a minimum salary that's set for your field which is usually higher than the national average for that field, have a company not just willing to hire you but also capable of sponsoring you AND willing to sponsor you, there are monthly quotas allocated and if you don't make it you apply again for the month after. And you can't switch jobs because if you do, you have to do the whole process all over again.
 

amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
User Banned (Duration Pending): Misrepresenting arguments around race and dismissing minority members across multiple posts
A lot of people in this thread intentionally miss the point and can’t take criticism for shit.

As an American (like there’s no difference being a black/brown person in America or nearly anywhere else) I can readily concede America’s fuck ups. Easily. Anything you throw at me will result in “Yup”.

But Nordic and Europe piss and moan you say a single thing. It’s truly astounding. All white nation bragging about how awesome they are. Lmao. Fuck outta here. It’s easy to provide a high standard of living when you don’t have black and brown people to be bigoted against or be worried that they’re “taking our country” cause of said racism and bigotry.

All white nation bragging about how awesome they are. Lmao. Fuck outta here.
A large part of it is that we a routinely told how our countries are homogenous and basically full of white nordic people, when it simply isn't true. We've already seen it multiple times by multiple posters in this thread alone. Just because you keep telling yourself something doesn't make it true.

Nationwide, Sweden is 20% first generation immigrant. Not "from a family of immigrants that have been here for ages". First generation immigrant. In 2017 the percentage for the US was 14%

US: https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/chart/first-and-second-generation-share-of-the-population/
Sweden: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/First_and_second-generation_immigrants_-_statistics_on_main_characteristics#Top_three_countries_of_birth_of_foreign-born_population

Those Sweden stats are older than the US ones and from what I have read that Swedish number may have gone as high as 25% now, but as that was an EU report I am going to stick with that one. Notice also that there is a breakdown of if the immigrants are from the EU or outside the EU and that Sweden's number from outside the EU us still higher than the US's total.

Also notice that the three countries with the most people born in that country are Iraq, Serbia and Iran. Americans often talk about "People of Colour" meaning, basically, African Americans as if somehow these are the only types of "People of Colour". There has been huge amounts of immigration of people from the Middle East, mainly because there's shit going down there and we are pretty close by.

As an example, there is a town just south of Stockholm called Södertälje. After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the town of Södertälje (population: 72,000) took on more refugees than the whole of the US and Canada combined (population: 357,000,000).

Source: https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=5389357

These are the reasons people get annoyed. It is the willful ignoring of facts to support your world view.
 

amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
I’m saying it’s easy for Nordic nations to not be racist when black and brown people are kept out. And it’s easy for those Nordic nations to share prosperity without said racism present.
An example of the wilful ignoring of facts that I am talking about.

Apparently the Nordic nations are keeping black and brown people out, when we actually take in more immigrants per capita than the US. And even if you filter out the people from other EU countries (who may still be people of colour) the amount is still higher than the US.

Should I instead be claiming that it is the US that is keeping people out? You seem to have a very racist president who is hell bent on keeping Hispanic people out.
 

Mass_Pincup

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,287
It's nowhere even close to being as selective as European countries though.
They have the express entry system wherein all you need is a degree, maybe 2 years of work exp and that's usually enough to fulfil the criteria to get invited to come to Canada. And actual invitation ! You don't even need to have a job or a sponsor. If you are over 30 and have a partner then it's a bit harder but it can be countered by knowing french, have more exp, or a masters degree as those will bump up your points significantly. And ofcourse you need to have some funds in savings but that's true for every country.

Meanwhile in UK you need a job that earns a minimum salary that's set for your field which is usually higher than the national average for that field, have a company not just willing to hire you but also capable of sponsoring you AND willing to sponsor you, there are monthly quotas allocated and if you don't make it you apply again for the month after. And you can't switch jobs because if you do, you have to do the whole process all over again.
The express entry system doesn’t really work like that. It’s not any degree that is deemed valuable for the Canadian economy. And that’s the core point of that system, it’s to find and recruit useful workers for their companies in need!of skilled workers.
 

amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
Sounds about right.
Swedes aren’t very sociable but they do warm up after you’ve broken the ice.

Im impressed he learned Danish since Scandinavians will switch to English if they hear someone with and English speaking accent.
My ex pat mates complain that they can’t get better language skills since they can’t get any practice in.

But I do recognize the feeling of always being othered.
The most normal question one will get is “where are you from” etc.
Like I said it feel like my existence is always on certain terms that if I don’t live up to or uphold I’m suddenly not considered Swedish.
Also, people from foreign countries seem to take a default that the "correct" way to be is to be open and chatty to everyone. Nordic people aren't like that, they value quiet and privacy. I've heard many people speak about how they don't like how in the US you are forced into conversation everywhere.

I also doubt the language ability. There is no true definition of fluency, I've seen definitions range from being able to deal with buying something in a shop to being absolutely indistinguishable from a native (including accent). Also, if someone doesn't speak a language, seeing someone speaking that language as a foreigner can often look a lot more impressive as they cannot hear or understand the errors in grammar, pronunciation etc. I'm British in Sweden (although a Swedish citizen now). I have been here for twenty years but never use the word fluent to describe myself. When I go to the doctor I speak Swedish, I've gone on dates in Swedish, I've had relationships where Swedish was our primary language, I've worked in Swedish (although don't right now due to the large amount of immigrants at the company that don't speak Swedish). But I never say I am fluent because that words means such vastly different things to different people.
 

oddjobs

Member
Oct 27, 2017
496
Except that’s not what happened. At all.
Some European politician from an overwhelmingly white nation boasted that they’re happy and content and doing better than America.
This isn't what actually happened though.

This is the paragraph that lead into what she said:

Across the Atlantic, at least one leading proponent of the Nordic model welcomed its embrace by U.S. politicians. “We feel that the Nordic Model is a success story,” said Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in an interview with The Washington Post last month on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Marin said she recognizes that “every country’s situation is different, every country’s political atmosphere is different,” but that Finland’s system could set an example for the United States nonetheless.
Note that Finland setting an example is from all appearances conjecture from the writer - there is no quote from Marin herself saying that in the article. Of course we would need transcripts to see what was actually said.

Then the article continues:

”I feel that the American Dream can be achieved best in the Nordic countries, where every child, no matter their background or the background of their families, can become anything,” Marin told The Washington Post in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last month.

“We feel that the Nordic model is a success story,” said Marin"
Again, I see no direct comparisons between Finland and The US. To me it looks like she is talking about the ideal of the "American Dream," tying that into the setup we have for our social services, education etc. Can that be construed as bragging? I guess, but overall it looks to me more like pointing out how in general the Nordic model at least tries to provide a level playing field and a solid start for people.
 

Discokuningas

Banned
Jan 18, 2018
755
32nd highest in the world, not even the highest in Europe and only slightly ahead of the US.

Also I have to add that Finland is second time in a row happiest country in the world by UN report so that really goes against the narrative.


 
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Oct 29, 2017
496
While I agree that large parts of Europe are as racist as the US and would have similar, if not worse, conditions for people of color in a theoretical scenario where they represent a comparatively large part of the population, it‘s baffling to me that we are calling out Finland of all countries as just not having woken their inner racist yet because of their homogenous population.
 

amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
It's nowhere even close to being as selective as European countries though.
They have the express entry system wherein all you need is a degree, maybe 2 years of work exp and that's usually enough to fulfil the criteria to get invited to come to Canada. And actual invitation ! You don't even need to have a job or a sponsor. If you are over 30 and have a partner then it's a bit harder but it can be countered by knowing french, have more exp, or a masters degree as those will bump up your points significantly. And ofcourse you need to have some funds in savings but that's true for every country.

Meanwhile in UK you need a job that earns a minimum salary that's set for your field which is usually higher than the national average for that field, have a company not just willing to hire you but also capable of sponsoring you AND willing to sponsor you, there are monthly quotas allocated and if you don't make it you apply again for the month after. And you can't switch jobs because if you do, you have to do the whole process all over again.
And yet ...

In 2018, the figures I found the quickest, the UK took in 603,000 immigrants. The UK currently has a population of 66.44 million. So that is 0.00907 immigrants per capita.


In 2019, Canada took in 321,065 immigrants. This, apparently, is the largest amount since 1913 and the fourth largest on record. Canada currently has a population of 37.59 million. So that's 0.00854 immigrants per capita.


So despite Canada being oh so less selective and awesome and stuff, when compared to the UK, a comparison that you started, it turns out that Canada actually takes fewer immigrants per capita.

North Americans seriously have no idea about immigration in Europe. No idea at all.
 

Principate

Member
Oct 31, 2017
7,876
And yet ...

In 2018, the figures I found the quickest, the UK took in 603,000 immigrants. The UK currently has a population of 66.44 million. So that is 0.00907 immigrants per capita.


In 2019, Canada took in 321,065 immigrants. This, apparently, is the largest amount since 1913 and the fourth largest on record. Canada currently has a population of 37.59 million. So that's 0.00854 immigrants per capita.


So despite Canada being oh so less selective and awesome and stuff, when compared to the UK, a comparison that you started, it turns out that Canada actually takes fewer immigrants per capita.

North Americans seriously have no idea about immigration in Europe. No idea at all.
I thought Canada being relatively strict about immigration was well known guess not.
 

oddjobs

Member
Oct 27, 2017
496
While I agree that large parts of Europe are as racist as the US and would have similar, if not worse, conditions for people of color in a theoretical scenario where they represent a comparatively large part of the population, it‘s baffling to me that we are calling out Finland of all countries as just not having woken their inner racist yet because of their homogenous population.
That's a pretty good way of saying it.

Also Finland's homogenous population is not "by design," considering that there were very, very fucking few reasons for anyone to come here prior to maybe the last 25 years. This was a poor country, partially steered by the Soviet Union's whims until it's fall, and things only kind of started to get in place in the 80's.
 

Vagabundo

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,225
Also, people from foreign countries seem to take a default that the "correct" way to be is to be open and chatty to everyone. Nordic people aren't like that, they value quiet and privacy. I've heard many people speak about how they don't like how in the US you are forced into conversation everywhere.

I also doubt the language ability. There is no true definition of fluency, I've seen definitions range from being able to deal with buying something in a shop to being absolutely indistinguishable from a native (including accent). Also, if someone doesn't speak a language, seeing someone speaking that language as a foreigner can often look a lot more impressive as they cannot hear or understand the errors in grammar, pronunciation etc. I'm British in Sweden (although a Swedish citizen now). I have been here for twenty years but never use the word fluent to describe myself. When I go to the doctor I speak Swedish, I've gone on dates in Swedish, I've had relationships where Swedish was our primary language, I've worked in Swedish (although don't right now due to the large amount of immigrants at the company that don't speak Swedish). But I never say I am fluent because that words means such vastly different things to different people.
Don't doubt it. I'm not using the word lightly.
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,943
The express entry system doesn’t really work like that. It’s not any degree that is deemed valuable for the Canadian economy. And that’s the core point of that system, it’s to find and recruit useful workers for their companies in need!of skilled workers.
I've applied for it myself. Yes there are criteria but unless you did a degree from a big standard university your degree is valuable.
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,943
And yet ...

In 2018, the figures I found the quickest, the UK took in 603,000 immigrants. The UK currently has a population of 66.44 million. So that is 0.00907 immigrants per capita.


In 2019, Canada took in 321,065 immigrants. This, apparently, is the largest amount since 1913 and the fourth largest on record. Canada currently has a population of 37.59 million. So that's 0.00854 immigrants per capita.


So despite Canada being oh so less selective and awesome and stuff, when compared to the UK, a comparison that you started, it turns out that Canada actually takes fewer immigrants per capita.

North Americans seriously have no idea about immigration in Europe. No idea at all.
Those numbers also include refugees and students, by using them you are basically doing the same thing the anti immigration people do to skew the numbers. Additionally unlike Canada the UK doesn't automatically provide the students with a work visa post study (they will from next year but they don't atm) and most students end up going back to their home country instead.

The UK being in EU also leads to UK conceding and taking more refugees in than they want at times, skilled immigration is an entirely different matter altogether. The lower per capita immigration is also more due to UK being more attractive immigration option than Canada being oh so tougher. So while more people have success, you'll also have more failures.

Infact since you brouht it up, why is the per capita immigration number barely any different despite UK historically having been the more desirable option for study and work?
 
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amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
I thought Canada being relatively strict about immigration was well known guess not.
I was responding to a poster that said "It's nowhere even close to being as selective as European countries though." who then want on to compare Canada to the UK, implying things were harder in the UK. So I crunched the numbers for him.
 

amanset

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
1,211
Those numbers also include refugees and students, by using them you are basically doing the same thing the anti immigration people do to skew the numbers.

The UK being in EU also leads to UK conceding and taking refugees in, skilled immigration is an entirely different matter altogether.
Clearly you didn't read the sources.

The Canadian numbers are not for skilled immigrants only. They are for immigrants full stop and include refugees.
 

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,972
I see a lot of dismissive commentary about "defensive Americans" in this thread that's honestly unacceptable. The members that are expressing scepticism are predominantly marginalised minorities themselves, and not people who are stanning for how awesome and just America is. Quite the opposite. They're pointing out a very valid observation that racism is one of many tools that is used to screw over and manipulate the working class (many of whom are people of colour, particularly whenever the number of ethnic minorities increases in a nation). And European countries are not immune from this. As posters have already mentioned, only looking at immigration statistics also ignores ethnic minorities who would not fit that label. This is very much not a right-wing talking point, even if far right parties try to use a similar argument for nefarious reasons. It's a criticism of the institutional racism, not an argument against diversity and immigration.

That's not to say that the standard of living and conditions shouldn't be improved (they absolutely should), but simply that this is something that should not be ignored or brushed over when examining these statistics. Looking at things from a black and white perspective is foolish. And before anyone asks, no, I'm not American.
 

Poodlestrike

It's salt.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,501
I see a lot of dismissive commentary about "defensive Americans" in this thread that's honestly unacceptable. The members that are expressing scepticism are predominantly marginalised minorities themselves, and not people who are stanning for how awesome and just America is. Quite the opposite. They're pointing out a very valid observation that racism is one of many tools that is used to screw over and manipulate the working class (many of whom are people of colour, particularly whenever the number of ethnic minorities increases in a nation). And European countries are not immune from this. As posters have already mentioned, only looking at immigration statistics also ignores ethnic minorities who would not fit that label. This is very much not a right-wing talking point, even if far right parties try to use a similar argument for nefarious reasons. It's a criticism of the institutional racism, not an argument against diversity and immigration.

That's not to say that the standard of living and conditions shouldn't be improved (they absolutely should), but simply that this is something that should not be ignored or brushed over when examining these statistics. Looking at things from a black and white perspective is foolish. And before anyone asks, no, I'm not American.
Agreed with all this. The right wing talking points thing is especially missing the point. The objection being raised isn't that minorities make it harder to build a working social safety net, it's that WHITE PEOPLE in those countries make it hard when they're suddenly being asked to provide for nonwhite people. That's a pretty dramatically different take than what you'd get out of, say, a Le Pen like European far-right figure.
 

eot

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,680
I had a funny story of someone from Sweden that subletted in my apartment for awhile...was all oh I'm open-minded and we have this and we have that...then I showed her the type of politicians getting elected in NYC and she was like "WHAT YOU ARE ELECTING PEOPLE WITHOUT COLLEGE DEGREES AND AREN'T FLUENT IN ENGLISH" 😂 She said the same thing (you can't serve in office unless you are educated and speak the language) and I told her that if she said that outside she would easily be branded a racist since just my street has like 4 different languages being spoken at any time.
She was ignorant. We've even had a finance minister who not only didn't get a college degree, but failed high school and had to retake it.
 

JDSN

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,560
Would love to hear more about this since I am living there aswell, and have done all my life.

But! As a straight white male in my 30's I clearly do not have the insights. Seriously, would love to hear more to learn.
My insights will be kinda vague because those are not my stories to tell, they are extremely grateful and they live fulfilling and happy lives.
My three cousins have jobs in healthcare, they are refugees that have lived there for a 15 years or so, and they already know they peaked professionally, with opportunities of promotion being given to nationals over them, even when they have been on the job longer, one of them even got a degree on another field and had to stick to the same job because she has not a "good fit" for it. My older cousin has advanced a lot, as as happy as she is, she knows it's because she has physical features that allow her to blend better than her brown as fuck sisters.

Like I said, they are happy there and the people are as nice as they can be, but they know there are places that they will never be a part of no matter how great they are. (There is a chance a might move there, to drive the point again that they live great lives that they could only get in very few places)
 

Joe White

Member
Oct 27, 2017
400
Finland
They're pointing out a very valid observation that racism is one of many tools that is used to screw over and manipulate the working class (many of whom are people of colour, particularly whenever the number of ethnic minorities increases in a nation). And European countries are not immune from this.
Yep. I kinda wish the change could be faster, but by my estimate, it will take about 40 years for Finland to increase ethnic diversity to even 20-25% level. Luckily the situation is constantly improving, and with PMs like our current we will keep providing free education, healthcare, support and opportunities for all.
 

TojoT

Member
Oct 30, 2017
125
I see a lot of dismissive commentary about "defensive Americans" in this thread that's honestly unacceptable. The members that are expressing scepticism are predominantly marginalised minorities themselves, and not people who are stanning for how awesome and just America is. Quite the opposite. They're pointing out a very valid observation that racism is one of many tools that is used to screw over and manipulate the working class (many of whom are people of colour, particularly whenever the number of ethnic minorities increases in a nation). And European countries are not immune from this. As posters have already mentioned, only looking at immigration statistics also ignores ethnic minorities who would not fit that label. This is very much not a right-wing talking point, even if far right parties try to use a similar argument for nefarious reasons. It's a criticism of the institutional racism, not an argument against diversity and immigration.

That's not to say that the standard of living and conditions shouldn't be improved (they absolutely should), but simply that this is something that should not be ignored or brushed over when examining these statistics. Looking at things from a black and white perspective is foolish. And before anyone asks, no, I'm not American.
But the talk about how white Nordic is and us POC here not being visible, as many comments in this thread has focused on, is pure hyperbole. I'd argue it's harmful as everytime it's perpetuated that we don't exist it stirs up the crazies when we're increasingly becoming visible in the media landscape. I tried to show what I see regularly by just following news and politics in Norway. And it is no worse in representation than the UK or USA.

I feel many could learn that their local personal experience is not necessarily what it's like elsewhere. My experience as a POC in the USA (1 year), France (1 year), UK (10 year), and Norway (25 years) are very different. I've experience racism everywhere but to me it felt different, but I would never claim my experiences in the USA or France is indicative of what it's like to be a POC there. Nor would my experience as a mixed, Norwegian born POC be the same as the experience a non-norwegian born POC living here.

So criticism of someone from across the oceans with close to zero knowledge of the political situation, in any of the Nordic countries, nor what representation looks like in the media in these countries, is hard to let lie without any response. Since US culture is so prominent and embraced here, everytime it's mentioned how "pearly white" the Nordics are it encourage the rhetoric around us actually being overrepresented in politics, news media, when we're absolutely not.
 

Mjester

Avenger
Mar 3, 2018
38
Threads about Nordic wellware always turn into some rable rable about immigration, but is it really better being an immigrant in the states than in a Nordic country?

Even tho, I do wonder: from what I've seen, examples of how good the quality of life can be in a Nordic country is always from people who made it, but can life still be good in a Nordic country if you haven't made it?
 

Patapuf

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,388
Agreed with all this. The right wing talking points thing is especially missing the point. The objection being raised isn't that minorities make it harder to build a working social safety net, it's that WHITE PEOPLE in those countries make it hard when they're suddenly being asked to provide for nonwhite people. That's a pretty dramatically different take than what you'd get out of, say, a Le Pen like European far-right figure.
The biggest reason for strong social democraty in europe today is because the comunist revolution happened in europe as a direct response of WWI and 2 and the inhumane working conditions during the industrial revolutrion. Inhumane for everyone.

The "white people" distinction also doesn't really work in same way for europe. Ethnic violence and rascism wasn't absent in Europe just because there's fewer POC. We've had ethnic cleansings on the continent within the last 30 years. Eastern european migration has given more rise to racist rethoric than any other ethnicity and the world wars are not that ancient history were multiple Ethincities where subject to genocide and ethnic hatred. Racist violence doesn't peak much higher than what was happening then.


The prescence or absence of social safety nets globally also isn't dependent on how diverse or not a population is. In europe, the least diverse places are certainly not those with the best social mobilty. I'm not sure where that argument comes from. It tends to be poor places that have the worst social safety nets.

And yes, good social mobility in the nordics doesn't means there's no racism.
 
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Arebours

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,889
Threads about Nordic wellware always turn into some rable rable about immigration, but is it really better being an immigrant in the states than in a Nordic country?

Even tho, I do wonder: from what I've seen, examples of how good the quality of life can be in a Nordic country is always from people who made it, but can life still be good in a Nordic country if you haven't made it?
what do you mean by "made it"?