• Sweden edition
 

Sweden Democrat: 'a negro is a negro' to me

Published: 28 Nov 2011 16:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Nov 2011 16:42 GMT+01:00

A Sweden Democrat politician in southern Sweden recently made the papers after saying on Facebook that the word “negro” is not a racist term.

“No, for me a negro is a negro. There is nothing negative with that at all,” Annika Rydh of Älmhult, Småland, told local paper Smålandsposten on Monday.

The debate kicked off after Rydh answered the query “Is it racist to say negro?” in a Facebook post. To her, the answer is no.

According to the paper there have been many reports to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO) pertaining to the word and several companies and government agencies have been made to pay damages to people who feel discriminated against when that particular word has been used.

But Rydh told the paper that it is not the word but how it is used that is important.

“It shouldn't be an insult to be called a negro. There is the red race, the yellow race, and then there's me, who is of the white race. A negro is a negro. There is nothing demeaning with that,” Rydh told Smålandsposten.

Rydh also told the paper that things have gone too far and that if it continues in this fashion it will soon be impossible to say anything at all.

“We do have freedom of speech in this country, after all,” Rydh told Smålandsposten.

According to Rydh, despite the fact that some may feel the word is demeaning most of the people she knows wouldn't mind at all. But these are no people of colour, the paper pointed out.

“No, I don't know many negroes, there aren't that many in our area,” Rydh told the paper.

She retained the firm belief that it is the context that should determine when it is acceptable to use the term, and if someone feels insulted they should just say so.

Annika Rydh is one of two Sweden Democrats on the municipal council in Älmhult.

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Your comments about this article

17:55 November 28, 2011 by occassional
Blame Blumenbach.
18:33 November 28, 2011 by Social Hypocrisy
I think that anyone who thinks th at negro or 'neger' are not offensive should put their money where their mouth is and approach a black person the next time they are out of the country, call him a 'neger' and see if they finds it offensive...
18:54 November 28, 2011 by bells on the knight
the funniest of it all is that in america the worst offenders of this stigmatic word are the.......... negroes themselves, and that ain't racist lol

Now if i walk around calling anyone a nazi, what will happen? Nothing.
19:09 November 28, 2011 by Playmaker
Love it. There is way to much PC BS going on now. Its cool for mexicans and other latin countries to say brown pride, and blacks form the states to have black pride but if i say anything or have tattoos that say white pride im a racist. what a double standard.
19:24 November 28, 2011 by Social Hypocrisy
@bells on the knight & Playmaker.

Yes, yes pretty words... But in the famous words of Samual Jackson 'I double dare you motherfu**er!'
20:13 November 28, 2011 by rufus.t.firefly
For a little perspective, Negro is a term that is out of fashion. Over the years, though not recently, it has been used by well educated people, including Martin Luther King and leading black intellectuals, with only the best intentions.

Any American, or reasonably well informed person without a memory deficit can corroborate this fact. Of course, intention and intonation can alter meaning in a particular context. However, the word Negro, per se, is not a derogatory term.

That I keep hearing this from Swedes is surprising. It doesn't speak well for the education of the average Swede. Sweden Democrats do not define the English language.
20:23 November 28, 2011 by calebian22
Well, considering the use of the term nigger balls as a perfectly acceptable way to order chocolate balls in Sweden, I don't see how there should be a controversy over this. Many people who have a problem with this Sweden Dem saying negro, probably order up a side of fika with a racial slur without a second thought.
21:18 November 28, 2011 by wxman
Those who call certain Africans "black", yet complain that the term negro is racist, are uneducated as well as stupid. In the Latin languages, negro means black. Grow up, and shed your brainwashed PC thinking.
21:47 November 28, 2011 by salalah
@wxman: agree

Why is Negro all of a sudden a racist word?

Ii is NOT racist
22:13 November 28, 2011 by The Nine
omment: Bells on the Knight, Social Hypocrisy, your comments do nothing but show exactly what small minded idiots you are. BotK, The pride or social identity associated with phrases like Brown pride, or Black Pride, have their origins in a very situation to that of White Pride. They do not remotely stand for the same thing, and to suggest they do is dumb. Phrases like Brown Pride, or Black Pride are routed in being oppressed and suffering prejudice. They are routed in hundreds of years of oppression but being proud to be who you are. That is to say, it's not black people who have prejudiced themselves based on colour. The need to reference their colour in phrases like Black pride is purely a result of their colour being used as a prejudice by whites. Put simply, if white people didn't use colour as a barrier, then non whites wouldn't need to reference it in their defense. You could use the same argument in reference to Gay pride. Gay people (of any colour) feel the need to stand up and be proud of who they are, and so they should, because sexuality shouldn't be a measure of the person. Movements like Gay pride exists because of small minded prejudice towards a minority. Movements like black pride exist for exactly the same reason. By and large, white people don't have the same need to assert their place in society.
22:15 November 28, 2011 by tedd09y
@ rufus.t.firefly I totally agree....

"Sweden democrats do not define the English language" It is not their job period their purpose must be other things ,and invest their time for the betterment of their party in a good manner rather than involving themselves in sensitive issues and so forth..
22:25 November 28, 2011 by lovebobu
for certain people, the N word is ok and acceptable. but for some people, it is not.

so it is your right to use that word as per free speech in Sweden.

But you have already known that someone might get offended from that word, so why dont you just be nice and avoid saying it at all then.

would it be better not to hurt someone feeling, then trying to tell them that it will be ok after?

be nice!!! there are plenty of words to say and racial issue will never end if you dont respect one another.
22:31 November 28, 2011 by omash kavash
you people all talkin bullshit do you know that the first man to be created to touch down on earth was a black man so shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ur white whats so supirior about you??????????
22:52 November 28, 2011 by salalah
Look up the word Negro in Wikipedia and see that the word was actually used because it was considered derogatory to call people "black"

Even MLK called his people Negroes and why the is there still a

United Negro College Fund

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Negro_College_Fund
23:33 November 28, 2011 by blursd
It all depends on context ...

In the United States:

A white guy talking to another white guy: Probably racist to say negro

A white guy talking to a black friend: Probably not racist to say negro

A black guy talking to another black guy: Not racist to say negro (for some reason)

In Brazil:

Negro = the socially acceptable way to refer to Afro-Brazilians

Preto = basically, the Portuguese version of the "N" word

In Europe:

Judging from all the people I've heard saying the either the word "negro" or the "N" word is common, everyday colloquial conversation it doesn't have the same pejorative connotation as it does in the United States. Also, the history of Africans was dramatically different in Europe, so there isn't an entrenched history of systematic racism associated with the word as it would be in the United States.
00:09 November 29, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
United Negro College Fund...

Motto: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

White people donate to it...are they expected to leave "negro" off the check?

Black people donate to it, can they write "negro" on the check.?

If "negro" is offensive in America, then why haven't the checks been returned???
00:11 November 29, 2011 by bolababu
I am surprised that people do not know the difference between the words Negro and Nigger, as a black man i consider myself a Negro like a mexican is Hispanic, if you call me a Nigger then we have trouble and that applies to both white and black afro-american-wannabes. I dislike the Swedish democrats with every breath in me but if political correctness is not tamed now, we will end up having nothing to refer to people of colour by. It really is becoming an embarrassing situation even for Negroes.
00:35 November 29, 2011 by pivo
@the Nine: Extraordinarily well-said.

@Gamla Hälsingebock : Sarcasm is not the best argument.

My belief is that if I am referring to myself then I may call myself what I wish. If I am referring to someone else, even with my "freedom of speech", I should respect the wishes of that person and try to not offend. I believe that there are responsibilities that come with "freedom of speech" and one of those is to treat others in the manner in which I would like to be treated.
00:48 November 29, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Punchline:

"just what are you people calling yourselves now"?
01:13 November 29, 2011 by swenrika
Well I object to being called "white" or "whitey"... now what ? so ridicules this race and color argument...

And just for a by.. I never heard more swearing that from afro americans and they f..ck ni..er this f..ck nig..er that and you f..ing ni..er mother wh..re etc.. boy they can let rip and that all is just fine and nobody complains.. but if a latino (may I say that ?) or white (no idea what else to call them.. maybe settlers ?) use half those words they are racist and demeaning.

we also have the music awards of all sots for all races and the BLACK Music Awards for blacks only hmmm

And we have collages for all races and BLACK collages for blacks only hmmmmm

also have the negro fund for... you guessed it, blacks only but no funds dedicated to latinos, whites, yellows, greens, pinks and what ever other color there is.

Real double standard and don't give me the "intended meaning" BS either.. a frog is a frog is a frog so frog right off :)

go well all you rainbow people and peace to ya all !
02:27 November 29, 2011 by jvtx3232
"This sweltering summer of the NEGRO'S legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the NEGRO needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the NEGRO is granted his citizenship rights....

...And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old NEGRO spiritual, 'Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'" [Capitalization emphasis added.]

--From the August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
03:28 November 29, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Don't forget the...

National Association For Colored People...

Colored? no wait, Negro, no that's not it either!

Black people, err, no.

African/Americans... can we call a Haitian that?

How about "those people" nahh, doesn't fit.

Gee? What's in a name?
03:32 November 29, 2011 by Frobobbles
A mind is a terrible thing to waste on such a silly subject.
06:33 November 29, 2011 by ericrufinosiah
There is nothing offensive to say that word " negro " though of course it also

depends on the way or the manner on how the " word " was used then anway,well

perhaps some people are just too free that they'll comment on anything.
06:52 November 29, 2011 by SergioSver
@Gamla Hälsingebock It is appropriate I guess for many Africans to be called black. However if they think that the word N is inappropriate, then I would not use it. For instance, Jews in Poland and many other Eastern European countries are called "Zydy", which only means Jews in respective languages. However this word is considered to be derogatory and offensive for the Jews who live across the border in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus.
08:41 November 29, 2011 by Marc the Texan
I've mentioned this on the Local before. Negro is not a racist term. Just because people who edit Wikipedia and listen to NPR might think it is out of fashion and have decided it is, doesn't make it so. They need to get out of the ivory tower and realize it is still in common use and not considered offensive in places where it is in common use. I'm talking about the South in the USA.
10:30 November 29, 2011 by Streja
Sometimes it's difficult to translate from English to Swedish. The word the SD person used was not negro but neger, which are two completely different things. The real term to translate the Spanish word negro would be svart and I don't think that's derogatory as much as neger is.
10:36 November 29, 2011 by johnny1939
Lets stop labeling each other and just be people. I hate it when I have to put a cross in the square where they want to know my race and almost always cross the "other" yea, yea I know they think they need to know this for medical, political and social reasons but just the same.........
10:49 November 29, 2011 by salalah
Neger is not derogatory because it is a translation of the word Negro. Some people may think it is equal with the word Nigger because it sounds almost the same, but it is NOT the same word.
10:52 November 29, 2011 by Migga
@ Streja,

neger isn`t derogatory. Neger comes from the spanish word Negro. Get your mind right. Svart doesn`t come from the word Negro.

But to minimize a person by refering to them by the colour of their skin is just strange and stupid. That goes for everyone.
10:53 November 29, 2011 by Central European
Humorous times isn´t it ?

In my country were gypsies since 1990 called Roms ( one person rom) and we have no problem so far as we were called "members of majority"in medias.

So if there was a problem it was "among the member of majority and Rom"

But during this year increasing pressure of corectness bring neologism

Non-Rom, so we are not a members if majority or simple white native anymore, we become non-romes :(
11:17 November 29, 2011 by Gubbe
I would contend that the need to specify someone's skin colour when referring to them would inherently indicate some sort of prejudice, with few exceptions perhaps. Intentional prejudice or not, I can certainly understand people being offended by this constant delineation - specifying someone as an "other", remarking on their difference rather than their sameness, regardless of the descriptor used.

Seriously, I never hear white folks say "My white friend So-and-So..." - even where no offense or prejudice is intended, white folks often preface a description of someone of color by specifying their color - while any other number of descriptors go unremarked.

In the end, people are just people - there is but one human race. Try leaving skin color out of the equation, it is so absurd to even consider it, and does nothing more than insert a barrier and create an "us and them" atmosphere.
11:29 November 29, 2011 by Morenikeji
I agree with Rydh on this. There is nothing derogatory about the word negro, it is its corruption, the so-called N-word that is offensive. Racism in this country is not so much about what people say but about what they do.
12:43 November 29, 2011 by N0DE
Funnies part was this :

"We do have freedom of speech in this country, after all," ..... HAHAAHHAA ... Sweden and Freedom of Speech are two opposite things : Can you talk about denial of Holocaust? They put Julian Assange in jail just that he exposed some country.
13:19 November 29, 2011 by larky
I hail from a multicultural part of London. I have black friends, Pakistani friends and even white friends. One particular Pakistani friend of mine (you know who you are) calls me milk or milky, as according to him all white people look and smell like milk. I in turn call him Joe (Joe Daki) which is cockney rhyming slang for Paki, which apparently is quite offensive but he doesn't seem to mind. One of my black friends, no, in fact both of them call me nigger. They call each other nigger too, and don't seem to mind when i return the greeting. Truth is, in my experience, it's only those who harbor racial prejudices themselves who actually find such words offensive. The world is full of pakis niggers and whiteys. And don't forget the squints (orientals). Deal with it. Sticks and stones.
13:39 November 29, 2011 by Jes
If "negro" means black ( according to wiki) what does "white" mean then ?

I have never met any white "person" anywhere ., unless -pale-pink means white sometimes .
13:44 November 29, 2011 by zircon
This is Sweden where everything seems exotic e.g. negro. What sparked this thing off? In politics you can't address for example President Obama, US President, as negro President Obama. So how will you do this as SD un- official and officially? Fascism isn't something typical white people's thing, you know. Take DRCongo for example...
14:02 November 29, 2011 by drones
It is obvious that the word negro and neger are completely different in a sense but if the black race finds this word uncomfortable in any way, there is no need to use them at all for you have other ways of addressing them. Why not black people or Colored people simply!!! It eases the communication with them and using this words have nothing to do with freedom of speech at all.
15:04 November 29, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
I think this whole PC thing should be universally adopted.

So, lets start with automobiles...yes! Why not?

They are all the same when you think about it.

So now you cannot call a Saab a Saab or a Volvo a Volvo, because you might offend one.

You cannot say a blue Saab or a red Volvo!

Depending on your usage of their name you could be subject to PC rules and branded an "automobilist!

You now must call them all, automobiles, regardless of make or manufacture.
15:26 November 29, 2011 by indeedmagnifier
Undoubtedly, you are not white!

Remember that as long as the blood flows under your skin, more or less you are a "purple-pink" color skin!

However, for any reason or any impact, you lose your blood pressure or blood flowing under the skin, then you are pretty much a "beige" color skin!

Moreover, taking into account that the skin of this type of race is very dry, so you need every day to have some kind of treatment for it or put some kind of fat or oil on the skin to make it suitable, so as to be clearer and more precise you had better know that you belong to "the Beige-purple-pink color dry skin race"!

Keep in mind that, just and only "the A4 paper SHEET is white!"
15:32 November 29, 2011 by SergioSver
@Gamla Hälsingebock Some words may have different meanings nowadays. I guess any sane and intelligent person can understand this. For instance, leader in German is Furher and when Europe is asking Germany now to take some leadership I somehow do not find this word "Furher" in German newspapers. Really I can not understand why German newspapers avoid this word? Why should they call Merkel Furher of the nation or call her to become the Furher of Europe. After all this is just a word " leader" simple as this. Why they try to express their ideas in different words is beyond me.
16:55 November 29, 2011 by Jes
@indeedmagnifier dear , why don`t you write your comment in English so that we all can follow what you are trying to say ?
23:58 November 29, 2011 by Tengo
What is so bad in respecting one another? If a people find it degradatory to be called nigger don't you think one should respect that? because that is what she said, the correct translation would be nigger and not negro.

I see no problem in obliging that, instead of going into long discussion about semantic, interpreting feelings attached to a word and it's connotation.
10:17 November 30, 2011 by John.Smith
I was in NY recently and hanging out with a an old Dominican mate of mine. He is of mixed race but regards himself as being black. He calls me 'nigger' as a term of affection even though I am white. The word nigger has been diluted somewhat due to mainsteam Rap music in the US. it is still NOT acceptable for a white person to call a black person nigger however for me it is all about the intent behind the word and how it is directed. When I call my mate Ruben nigger he thinks it is hilarious as he knows my intent is that of a joke in the same way that he calls me a cracker etc.. Funnily enough, I also found that one of his mates (an afro-american) has a major chip on his shoulder about the race divide in the US. We were driving in NJ when he was cut off by an SUV and he shouts.. "Damn white driver!".. He then turned to me and said I wasn't white, I was European :)
20:11 November 30, 2011 by rumcajs
I'm from a place where most of people are mulates and I was the only white in my circle of friends as well as one of my best friends was the only 100% black and we were "el mono" ( the blond one ) and "el negro" ( the black one ).... none of us got ever ofended ........ and I ain't even blond, just a bit lighter than mos of the people there. In the other hand, it depends on when and how you say it and I don't think the average SD uses the word in the same friendy way we used it with my friend. One thing is semantics ( and the guy MIGHT be right coz why sould you get ofended if they call you something you are? ) and another one is the "energy" or "feeling" you put in a word coz you can make ofensive the sweetest word on earth only with entonation.
22:33 November 30, 2011 by indeedmagnifier
@ jes dear, my addressee was Annika Rydh

Suppose when we are talking about colors of flowers, when we say red color, yellow color, white color it is clear for us because those colors reflect the light in a certain frequency which stand in the red Spectrum, yellow Spectrum and white Spectrum so we see them red, yellow and white.

But about the skin it is not accurate. In fact it is an unreal definition the red for skin and the yellow or the white for the color of the skin, because the color of the skin never stands in the red Spectrum , yellow Spectrum and white Spectrum.

In addition, since Annika Rydh had said that she was white, I remind that, her opinion is not correct. Because she looks pink-purple

and suppose for any reason or a shock she looses the circulation of blood under her skin, then her skin has the color of beige. So at the most, her skin could have a color between beige, pink, purple.

To be more accurate talking about the skin, it is better to choose a better classification and it is about the properties of the skins. Dryness or softness "moisturize".

So forget about colors, more scientific is the classification of:

1- dry skin race

2- "soft" skin race

Therefore, Annika Rydh should know that she is belonging to the "dry skin races"!

@jes dear, I hope have you got it
12:44 December 1, 2011 by robban70226
??

The word Negro is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance, whether of African descent or not. The word negro means 'black' in Spanish and Portuguese, from the Latin niger, 'black', probably from a Proto-Indo-European root *nekw-, 'to be dark', akin to *nokw- 'night'.[1][2]
21:55 December 1, 2011 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Where is The Original Black Man when I need him?

Here's my kind tuppence worth,

it could have been a lot worse:

http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/corneliushamelberg/2011/12/01/sensitivity-tuning-a-short-note-on-the-word-negro/
16:24 December 2, 2011 by Ron Pavellas
There are no "races", just one human race.
19:04 December 2, 2011 by zoroastrina
As a radical leftist adherent of the Fourth Socialist Intermational and an anti-American American citizen, I find the use of the term "negro" racist and despicable in the present context of social and political correctness and as loathsome as the Sweden Democrats themselves.
19:10 December 2, 2011 by tadchem
There is only one race - "human."

There used to be another, but Neanderthals are now extinct.

I put it to you that is "racism" is an issue of importance to you, then you are a racist. There is my definition of racism.

I see no reason to build walls between myself and my co-workers just because my ancestors emigrated from Africa a few score generations before theirs.
19:45 January 1, 2012 by Cornelius Hamelberg
"Because man originated in Africa, the genetic diversity in Africa is much greater than in Asia or Europe, which were first settled only 30,000 years ago." :

http://www.africandna.com/
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