In-groups are formed by what we consider to be ‘relevant’ familiarity. Children, and even adults, process most of our information visually which means that varying skin tones might be not only the first but also the only indicators for who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’.
One reason why this immigration was considered successful had nothing to do with Sweden’s ability to integrate immigrants; only that the type of immigrants arriving were more easily ‘integrate-able’ as is still the case today for me. At first sight therefore, when immigrants are able to fit into Swedish culture at a level which allows them to peaceably live and work within the system, we do not see backlashes against immigration.
I’m not laughing anymore. I’m crying because what this farce of an election has done, is to uncover evil in my own home, in my own friends and yes, also in myself. It has torn the veil off those relationships I believed were rock solid. Not because my world or social circle are anything like as extreme as Trump, but because extreme or not, his vile behaviours–like the objectification of women–are so commonplace.
Welcome to the Swedish hen do–not a penis in sight–but where instead you can dress up as a pantomime cow to play five-a-side football.
But when you dig down into the voting statistics, some very obvious truths surface. Those like me–generation X,Y or post Y and/or many with immigrant heritage–voted remain. Almost half of us. The baby boomers voted leave. Was it their fear of change?
Experience inadequacy and confusion when you go out, try to grapple with vastly different public transport systems, inadvertently miss bill payments because the sheer volume of foreign administrative mail takes literally days to wade through. Be misunderstood for your communication and have people shout louder at you thereby triggering your childhood trauma. And then spend even more years trying to learn the language starting with ‘Lesson 1: how to buy an apple’ instead of the more useful topic ‘Lesson 367: dealing with online banking and tax declarations.’
I know what a fucking apple is and how to buy it, since apples and currency work the same in pretty much every language.