by Aramie Louisville Vas
On Thursday a lone attacker in Sweden marched his way through a school, stabbing people with swords before being shot dead by police. The masked swordsman was captured on security cameras in the school. A teaching assistant and one boy were killed, two others were injured, fitting the United States’ definition of a mass killing.
The murders are being treated as hate crimes since it appears the killer may have sought out dark-skinned victims. Surveillance footage shows the attacker stopping to talk to light-skinned students; he left them alone. The attacks happened the very same day that the Swedish government announced that a record 190,000 refugees would be allowed into Sweden during the year. The Swedish industrial town of Trollhattan, where the attacks occurred, has a large immigrant population.
One victim was a 17-year-old student from Somalia who has been three years among the Swedes. A recovering 15-year-old boy was a student from Syria. On Friday, the government announced it was restricting Sweden’s liberal immigration policies and – okay, just right here I am going to say that this statement was from whence came my first twinges of bullshittery.
“What?” I thought. “How convenient as a reason to not have to let immigrants in anymore. ‘We have people here that might kill ‘em! We just can’t.’”
Is the situation such that one common man dictates immigration policy in Sweden? Is the government framing one psycho’s actions as a hate crime in order that they don’t look the bad guys in a door-closure policy towards the needy?
Authorities found a “sort of suicide note,” pointing towards motives of the racial kind and indicating the killer acted alone. That is not exactly what anyone would call rock-hard evidence of a hate crime. But his social media did display some neo-Nazi leanings, so perhaps he was racially motivated. And obviously, NO ONE wants immigrants killed; they want them safe. In refuge. But considering where the immigrants are now, you know, and from where they are fleeing? They stand a good chance of being killed there. A much bigger chance than being killed in fucking Sweden! Is Sweden really prepared to say “No … it could happen on our soil … its already happened before! We better keep them most definitely in harm’s way. They’re better off with the bombs and enemy soldiers. Maybe just let them be nomads?”
“We have never felt afraid in Sweden,” the mother of the injured boy was quoted as saying, referring to life there before the stabbings.
Right. Because most Swedish aren’t like this. Violence in general is rare in Sweden and attacks inside schools are blissfully close to non-existent. Polls show that most Swedish do indeed welcome refugees.
Sweden’s policy used to grant asylum seekers permanent residence. Nice. Now I am wondering why the asylum-seeking from August was denied? But close to 200,000 people is a lot of people. The new policy grants three-year temporary residence permits and allows exceptions for families with children and unaccompanied minors.
To be fair to the government, a number of asylum centers have been attacked within the past week. And in August a refugee, whose asylum request was denied, murdered a Swedish man and woman inside an IKEA store. I guess if you live in a place like Sweden, any crime at all is a big deal. But I still think it’s bollocks to change immigration policy because a maniac killed two people and injured two more and was “probably” operating with a racial bias. However, three mosques have also been bombed in a one-month span. Honestly, racial tensions might indeed be rising.
Oh. And it probably doesn’t help that Swedish Democrats, with roots in the Neo-Nazi fringe, somehow just got 13% of the national vote; a double increase from four years ago. These Democrats are not the U.S. kind of Democrats. They are dedicated to hateful rhetoric of the kind the U.S. is used to seeing from Rush Limbaugh-type Republicans. They say immigrants are a little worse, a little more evil, and a little less Christian (obviously) than they would like to see in Sweden. Presumably, they’re also a little less white.
“Immigrants are in general little bit more criminal than Swedes born in Sweden, and that’s a fact,” Democratic Party leader Jimmie Akesson recently told the BBC. “You can see it especially in violence, rape and so on.”
Uh-huh. Cause Swedes never rape. Anyone who believes that, I’ve a wooden nickel on a bridge I’d like to sell you. The Swedish Democrats plan on unleashing media ads aimed at pressuring the public to reject the idea of immigration. Sounds like Sweden might be joining the ranks of countries across Europe where anti-immigration policies are gaining power.
Perhaps the most telling quote from the Swedish public, the one indicative of the perceived limits of the general human comfort zone and all its barriers, comes from a security guard named Filip Wennerlund.
“Often [immigrants] don’t want to come here and change,” he says. “They want to change us. And we don’t want to be changed. So that’s a conflict.”
I have said it before, I will say it again: we have to learn to play nice together. We have to value human life over our fear of change and over our blind dedication to nationalism and all its traditions. We can create new traditions. Or we can consent to killing one another, possibly until only a few are left standing, and they in turn can decide to play nice or to keep killing each other off. This isn’t just for Sweden. This is advice for the whole goddamned world. We have a choice. Face who we are, or change who we are becoming. It’s up to us as humans.
“The situation is unsustainable and we are at the limit of what we can deal with,” Migration Minister Morgan Johansson stated a news conference.
Okay. If that’s how they feel …