(1) So, just three days before the #SwedenElection, and with so many options open to it, the @nytimes decides to run an Opinion piece about Sweden which plays upon many of the stereotypical, simplistic tropes about Sweden we have heard in recent years. nytimes.com/2018/09/06/opi…
(2) So, the title. Lazy, clickbait wordplay gives us nothing. The Sweden Democrats are currently polling between 17-24%. So, it's likely that 4 out of 5 Swedes will not vote for them, most of whom do not want their party to enter into a coalition with SD. That's "conquered"?
(3) "Once a racially and culturally homogeneous country." Oh? If journalists are going to publish Op-Eds in the New York Times, at least have the decency to recognize that there are ethnic minority groups in Sweden who have been here for centuries, and in some cases millennia.
(4) Is there violence in Rinkeby? Yes. In some other areas with many immigrants? Yes. Are these very violent areas representative of ALL areas in Sweden with many immigrants? That's not discussed. Nor is the fact that the vast majority of immigrants have nothing to do with crime.
(5) Ah, the "Sweden has never seen murders like this before" argument, which is great if you haven't actually looked. If you do, you will see that the per capita homicide rate in Sweden was lower in 2017 than it was during multiple years between 1979 and the early 1990s.
(6) "Considered no-go zones by some Swedes." Well...yes. There are "some" who think that. There are also a great many, including the police, who do not. As "no-go zone" is understood to be a place where even the police will not go, there is little to no basis for this assertion.
(7) "This could be good for Sweden in the long run" argument is what Žižek said about the Trump election: it will blow up the status quo. The problem is that those who pitch this idea are usually not those to suffer the consequences of that explosion: the poor and minorities.
(8) It's a shame that the NYT decided to go with this stale, tired theme just before one of the most important elections in modern Swedish history, rather than, say, a piece that adds more complexity to the arguments and images of Sweden we have heard many, many times before.
(9) It's not just the overall theme, but the devil in the details. Like no-go zones. Or unheard-of murder levels. For example, I've never heard anyone in Sweden say everyone should get "a state of the art apartment." Don't pitch a non-existent utopia to serve as a juxtaposition.
(10) This piece concludes with a call to reject right-wing populism, but such a call can only be made if one avoids repeating the many simplistic arguments and (mis)representations used by those same populists to present Sweden as "collapsing."
(11) This piece was so flawed I took a lunch break while writing the thread. Even if you forget the arguments I make above, the basic analysis of Swedish politics and the #SwedenElection is, at best, very ill-informed. See these comments explaining why:

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More from @ChrChristensen

Sep 16, 2018
Voter turnout (latest election) among countries with non-compulsory voting (as % of voting-age population).
Sweden: 87.2%
Denmark: 80.3%
Netherlands: 77.3%
Finland: 73.1%
Norway: 70.6%
France: 67.9%
UK: 63.2%
Germany: 66.1%
Canada: 62.1%
USA: 55.7%
What makes US voter turnout as % of voting-age population (55.7%) so awful is that US ranks as one of best countries in terms of voter turnout among REGISTERED voters (86.8%). US just makes it more difficult to register/vote than most OECD countries w/hard impact on working poor.
Ways Sweden gets 87.2% voter turnout:
* All citizens over 18 automatically registered
* "Advance voting locations" open in Sweden 18 days before election where people can vote early
* Some hospitals form election committees where patients, doctors can vote
* Election on a Sunday
Read 4 tweets
Jun 18, 2018
There's nothing US right-wingers love more than attacks on Europe, because, to them, European "Multiculturalism" has destroyed a mythological, ethnically homogeneous "motherland" white US citizens know little or nothing about, yet claim as their own. So, a Love-Hate relationship.
US right-wingers also hate Europe because it has universal healthcare, paid maternal leave, paid vacations, free universities together with higher quality of life & free-market economy. Europe a huge billboard telling the US that claims about the evils of the state are bullshit.
US citizens constantly told free-market is only solution to any problem, yet Europe a reminder that there are things that the market will not or cannot do. That drives free-market zealots -- who then desperately throw "socialism" around with no understanding of the word -- nuts.
Read 5 tweets
May 18, 2018
22 years ago, a gunman entered Dunblane Primary School in Scotland, killing 16 kids and a teacher. The UK govt responded by enacting tight gun control legislation. In the 8000+ days since, there have been a total of 0 school shootings in the UK. #SantaFeHighSchool
And, by the way, to those who say London has a higher murder rate than New York...no. These are the murder per 100,000 rates from the last year that INCLUDE the recent months with large murder numbers in London. Still WAY below US cities.
And, about knife attacks in the UK: in 2016, Texas (pop 28m) had 1,459 murders; England & Wales (pop 58m) had 723 murders. In Texas, which has HALF the population of Eng/Wal but DOUBLE the murders, 175 of those murders were stabbings.
Read 7 tweets
Apr 29, 2018
(1) A 2016 Eurobarometer poll about attitudes in the EU toward sexual violence against women is disturbing, and the results are rarely discussed. Here are a few results.
(2) When asked if women "often make up or exaggerate claims of abuse or rape" (that's not "sometimes," but OFTEN), here is the % that agreed with that statement. The EU average was 22% (so, 1 in 5).
(3) "Violence against women is often provoked by the victim" (again...not "sometimes," but OFTEN). Here is the % that agree with that statement. The EU average is 17%.
Read 8 tweets

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