It´s been a year since I have written anything here. The reasons for the lengthy pause are many, but principal among them is the fact that summarising the downsides of your country is pretty hard work. Not because of the amount of registered shortcomings that pile up on one’s desk during the process, but because it gets difficult, if not impossible, to go about your daily business among your countrymen without blending those realisations into the equation. You constantly have to remind yourself that the downsides of Denmark don’t apply to the individual Dane, but to the national character as a whole. At some point that circumstance just got unmanageable. So I needed at break.
But now something has happened that has reinvigorated my interest in the keyboard. Actually, it’s more pertinent to say that something has happened that has so filled me with anger and disgust that I’ve decided to change the focal point of this blog from just describing the absurdities of Denmark to sounding an urgent warning to everyone: Keep as far away from Denmark as you possibly can!
The triggering factor is as follows:
Right now, our parliament Folketinget is negotiating the fiscal plan for our country for the next 10 years, the so-called 2020 Plan. In relation to this, it is of course expedient to calculate the expected income and expenditure, so we know what we’re dealing with. And it’s equally prudent to break down the income and expenditure into different budget headings so you know which knobs to turn up and down to make everything balance.
But this time the MPs are using a calculating principle hitherto unseen. Government officials from five different ministries have made a report splitting up the income and expenditure into different ethnic groups.
No, your eyes do not deceive you. Government officials from five different ministries have actually made a report splitting up the income and expenditure into different ethnic groups. According to this report “immigrants and descendants from less developed countries” (Danish new-speak for ‘Muslims’) “constitute 15 billion kroner in expenses for Danish society” whereas “immigrants and descendants from more developed countries” (Danish new-speak for ‘everyone other than Muslims’) “constitute 2 billion kroner in earnings for the Danish society”.
Now, if I really – I mean REALLY – extend my lenience to include some sort of sense in making this account, I would conclude from it that Denmark has been failing totally in absorbing Muslim immigrants into the labour market, since paying taxes from wages is the most efficient way to contribute income to a society.
But that’s not the conclusion the Danes are deriving from this arithmetical problem. According to the Minister for Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs, Søren Pind, (I’ll explain the ‘ø’ in a later post) we should use this report to conclude that “It is not inconsequential which people arrive in our country. I have no scruples about introducing additional immigration barriers to those who we can suspect of intention to lay burdens on Danish society.” According to today’s newspapers, a substantial majority of MPs agree. The spokesman on the subject from the leading opposition party, Henrik Dam Kristensen even “welcomes the initiatives.”
I’ve always intentionally avoided using the word ‘racism’ here on Downsides of Denmark because calling anyone a racist stops a potentially fruitful dialogue instantly. But there are no other words to describe this attitude. Using the report to advocate the opinion that Muslims come to Denmark with the expressed intention of being a burden to society is nothing else than good old-fashioned bigotry.
So there you have it. Danes have finally fallen over the ledge and gone from casual racism to government-sponsored racism. And from this position, there is no way back. I see no other future for Denmark than the process so depressingly and concisely described by Senator Robert F. Kennedy at the City Club of Cleveland on April 5, 1968, the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his colour or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies – to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.
We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear – only a common desire to retreat from each other – only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.”
For Denmark, this situation is not a question of ‘when’. It’s a matter of ‘right now’.