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Gothenburg tram driver charged for racial slur

Clara Guibourg · 5 Aug 2011, 16:02

Published: 05 Aug 2011 16:02 GMT+02:00

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The incident occurred on a Saturday evening in December when six teen boys ran to catch the tram, the Nyheter24 news website reported.

After the two fastest-running boys, 16 and 18 years old, manged to reach the tram before it departed from the stop, they proceeded to hold the tram's doors open for their slow-moving friends.

The delay infuriated the driver, who told the teenagers that the tram wouldn't be going anywhere until they left the car.

Four of them immediately did, but the two who'd held up the doors stayed,

After a 10 minute showdown with the stubborn teens, the driver delivered a racist announcement over the tram's public address system.

"It's thanks to these svartskallar [lit. "blackheads"] that we've had to wait," the driver announced, according to Nyheter24, employing a derogatory slur commonly used to refer to people in Sweden thought to have foreign backgrounds.

On Friday, the tram driver's racist rant resulted in charges being filed against him in Gothenburg District Court.

"At our workplace there are certain rules and restrictions that every member of our staff must follow. This person has obviously broken these rules," Lars-Börje Björfäll, CEO of Göteborg Spårvägar, told Nyheter24.

Several witnesses have confirmed the boys' reports that the driver demeaningly called them "svartskalle" and "suburban losers".

The driver is also accused of having yelled "move, you damn retard" to another person standing on the tracks.

He also flipped the teens the finger, according to their report of the events,s an action which, according to the Gothenburg police, "isn't impossible".

Björfäll was dismayed to hear of his employee's actions.

"First of all I was extremely disappointed, because this goes against all our rules and values. Secondly I was very surprised, because Gothenburg is such a multi-cultural city," he said.

Göteborg Spårvägar has not experienced any problems with this tram driver in the past, and is now waiting to see what happens in the courtroom, before deciding what actions to take against him.

"If he's convicted in the District Court it'll become a matter of employment law negotiation," said Björfäll to the local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten (GP).

According to the tram driver himself, he was driven to his aggressive tone and actions by the teenage boys' behaviour, claiming they were rowdy and attempted to vandalise the tram by kicking at the doors.

Story continues below…

"He says he's done nothing wrong," said Björfäll to Nyheter24.

However, witnesses and surveillance cameras prove the tram driver's story wrong, showing that the boys were sitting still in their seats.

"The surveillance film doesn't show any of the boys acting inappropriately inside the car. None of them kick against any door, pole or seat," wrote the Gothenburg police, according to Göteborgs-Posten.

The driver has yet to be appointed a lawyer for his case.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

17:50 August 5, 2011 by graphixperson
Yer fired!
18:14 August 5, 2011 by judgejack
Is it legal to hold the doors open and delay the car? The PC society will never overcome the truth about human behavior. Overbearing rowdyism will always be opposed even if in silence. Drivers put up with a lot from the public and do have a bad day once in awhile like us all. But to be arrested for a few words is nightmarish. Hard to believe.
18:17 August 5, 2011 by conboy
He could have had a bad day or he could be a moron lets hope a fair investigation is carried out after all their is video evidence.
18:45 August 5, 2011 by kheoz
"The surveillance film doesn't show any of the boys acting inappropriately inside the car. None of them kick against any door, pole or seat," wrote the Gothenburg police, according to Göteborgs-Posten.

For anyone defending the tram driver and saying that a "few words" are no reason to be arrested. Think about it he is employed to deal with customers rowdy or not it is part of his job description and to utter racial slurs especially in this situation where the boys themselves did not do anything other than take their seats, is wrong.

These lads whose only wrongdoing was running for a tram and holding the doors open as i have seen done a countless times on the tunnelbana or the tube in london, did not deserve to be ejected or racially abused. Think about it if the driver was only annoyed that there was a delay then why keep the tram held up for 10 minutes until they got off?
19:09 August 5, 2011 by prince T
He is a public officer and should knowmhowmto control his temper in public. There is no justification for his actions. He should have taaken a day off if he was having a bad. We cant use our tax money to pay a racist. By d way he is a racist a long time, it has just been discoveredt. No matter how angry i am i will not use racist or demeaning remarks on anyone.
19:16 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
It cannot be. These things do not happen in Sweden. The poor kid's version has to prevail. Let us send to prison the tram driver because he might have been drunk, doped or whatever. I would never believe a group od teenagers behaving like savages on the train, at the Tunnelbanna, on a Viking line ship or at a rock festival.
19:28 August 5, 2011 by viroz
it's lack of pussy that let to the lose of temper.
19:43 August 5, 2011 by Streja
Perhaps the poor kids were cold as well as we can see from the picture that there is still snow in Göteborg.
19:53 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
19:43 August 5, 2011 by Streja #8

The freezer might be inside their so called heads. The tram driver tried to warm them up. He did not succeed and then he got furious and since everything you say in Sweden against anybody is consider racial agitation, children and teenagers can defecate on you and you are helpless. If you dare to retaliate, you are lost. You are the one committing a crime.
19:57 August 5, 2011 by Streja
J. L. Belmar, I see that you condone people calling you a svartskalle.
20:06 August 5, 2011 by tuerd1982
Good for surveillance camera. It did revealed that lire and racist drivers true behavior. Both teenage boys and driver need some education about rules and human behavior.
20:10 August 5, 2011 by Streja
People do that all the time. they are desperate to catch the tram. It's not a crime. Perhaps it's not good to slow down the tram but the boys did not deserve that.
20:16 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
19:57 August 5, 2011 by Streja # 10

Forgive them oh Father, because they do not know what they do.

But Sreja, where did you read that someone is calling me a "svartskalle"? Not in this thread.

If that stupid knows me, he/she needs to go to an optrician. If he/she does not know me, than he/she is supposing that because I come from a Latin country, I must be a "svartskalle". Of course. That is the typical way of how a Swede would think

And then you are surprised about the "type" of commentators that have invaded The Local?
20:21 August 5, 2011 by Streja
My mum is sometimes called a svartskalle. two of my sisters too.
20:37 August 5, 2011 by Michael Whitfield
To J.L> Belmar - Touche'

I think Sweden has become too much like US. Sensitivtiy and political correctness take precedence over non sense issues and facts. This tram driver has the guts to say what most people are thinking. I guess there are probably worse names to call these teenage rascals. I don't agree with his actions (killing his fellow citizens) but isn't this mass shooting in Norway recently is what this is all about. Hopefully, the tram driver will take the required customer friendly service course and all will be forgotten and he can keep his tram driver position.
21:00 August 5, 2011 by prince T
If i were to us derogratory language on a gay person,reactions will be totally diffferent. Using language that makes another person less human must not be accepted. No matter who is saying it.
21:21 August 5, 2011 by Jules
Why does this even have to go to court and waste everyones time and tax money? Both sides are clearly in the wrong. The regioanl traffic authority should bring both sides together and force them to apologise to eachother. The boys for holding up fellow passangers and disrupting the service the driver was trying to provide, and the driver for using inappropriate language and lying about the boys behaviour. Both should be warned that any similar actions in future will result in a ban from using the network, or the loss of employment, respectively. Job done.
21:42 August 5, 2011 by Mb 65
Yesterday conductor followed rule book a threw a 11 year old off the train. today it's he didn't follow the rule book. These employees can't win no matter what they do. i think they should write a new rule book. it doesn't even say if they were immigrants or swedes. It amazes me how quick people are to defend these yobs who did not respect the other people on the tram and delayed there journey. they should be taken to court as well.
22:44 August 5, 2011 by conboy
Let them eat cake regardless of the evidence
23:06 August 5, 2011 by wxman
The tram was leaving on time. If you aren't there accordingly, you wait for the next. You know, like a civilized human being.
23:10 August 5, 2011 by Streja
wxman, how do you know that there was another tram? Do you live in Gbg? Maybe they had an appointment? Maybe they just acted like most people do in Gbg when they see their tram, they ran for it?
23:12 August 5, 2011 by prince T
The fact we dont realise is that, the moment he used a racist word on the guys he has also insulted all the black people on that tram and all the black tax payers. They should take both parties to court and see the outcome. if they let the racist conductor get away with warning. Race relation will suffer a set back in sweden, that is if CNN, BBC dont come in.
23:53 August 5, 2011 by ccb
Most people run for a tram/train if they know it will be a certain period before the next or there won't be a next. This happens with teenagers and adults. And anyone with a sense of friendship holds the door for a friend provided it is not an unreasonable period of time (the length of which I guess is for an arbitrator to determine). Now if the boys held the doors and annoyed the driver and the ones who didn't get there in time got off as the story suggested I could understand his annoyance. But to use abusive language is wrong in anyway. Knowing he is wrong he proceeded to lie about the whole incident where witnesses and cameras proved him wrong. Now that is the issue with the case. Why did he feel he needed to lie? How could he say he has done nothing wrong when he has both lied and conducted himself inappropriately. Though the boys may not be in total right for holding the doors, especially if the period of time was more than reasonable. I commend them for speaking out and holding their ground. Too often things like that happen and no one complains or reports it,

Many readers would say yeah what's the big deal, But nothing is a big deal until it happens to you. Nothing is a big deal until it happens many times in your life in many different situations, especially in unprovoked ones.
23:53 August 5, 2011 by jomamas
If the conductor asks you to leave the train, you must - the children were definitely in the wrong.

The conductor was wrong to use racial slurs.

But let us not lose sight of the fact that immigrants come to Scandinavia and cause problems - sometimes innocently and unwittingly, sometimes on purpose.

Mass immigration creates a systematic problems.

I come from Canada where we have to erase every bit of our identity in order to accommodation newcomers.

You can either chose: Sweden, or the melting-pot of multiculturalism. The only 'Sweden' remaining after multiculturalism is a flag, a passport and a few legal institutions.

The notion that to be Swedish is 'an idea' is rubbish - especially since it is subject to gross interpretation by every Swede.

Globalization and mass immigration will erase Sweden in 1 generation.
23:57 August 5, 2011 by lovedealer76
I am a black african and to be fair,people hold up tram doors all the time both black/white or any other race,i just want to ask,if it was white,what language will the driver had use,i bet he would keep silent as i've witness it very often how drivers are reatingto tempting customers behaviours depending on their colour,believe it or not is the truth,as i've dedicated my time to observe this racist attitude in our daily lives.

Like as some other person mention ealier,if i was a black person sitting on that tram and understood the swedish slang,of course,i would have been pissed off and last but not the least,the holding doors culture i don't like but then again people are different the way they behave,especially teenagers which is not so surprising in this situation and the driver should have just ignore them considering that they look young to act like he would have expect them to.
00:13 August 6, 2011 by conboy
There unfortunately is a great deal of truth in your post - Fair Play!
06:35 August 6, 2011 by tonylaz
The first question to come to my mind Is: was svartskallar an accurate description.

If NOT, the conductor owes an apology to the boys, and that should end it. If it WAS an accurate description, then persecution---legal or not---of this man is a gross violation of his basic human right of free speech. How soon we forget the Germany of 75 years ago or the Soviet Union of just one generation ago. Anti free speech laws have no place in a civilized society
07:53 August 6, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@MemphisSwede ¤ 28

In Sweden, if you call someone "svarskalle" you bet you will wind up in jail, but any "svartskalle" can call a Swedish blond girl "white whore" an nothing happens.

So, next time I have a problem with a "svartskalle" i will call him "vitskalle" (white skull). If they feel ofended and the police is called, I will say that I am daltonic and that I do not dig how the "vistskalle" new I was.
11:04 August 6, 2011 by cowboykodp

So you are an Eskimo?

Otherwise shut the F UP.

The train conductor should be warned, apologize and do a few hours of community service. But be allowed to keep his job.

The youngsters should be taught some manners. They should not hold up the train. Black, Chinese, Apple pie, or a Svensson.
11:55 August 6, 2011 by johnny1939
Was on a bus in STockholm and when a man used very foul threatning language on his cellphone in a very loud voice. A lady complained to the driver who shrugged his shoulders and said there was nothing he could do about it. We were forced to listen to the obscenities and there were loads a little kids on board because the bus came from Skansen so what to do? Nothing I guess the jerks always win.
12:14 August 6, 2011 by Svensksmith
I work with teenagers. It can be very frustrating at times. There is a general loss of civility and a lack of respect for authority among many kids. Not all, but a growing number. Sign of the times, I guess.

However, if you work with the public you need to be able to handle the stress. This guy flipped out. While I can understand it, I do not condone it. The driver should be punished and may even lose his job. Tough break.
13:05 August 6, 2011 by prince T
I can see another generations of Ander Brevik rising on TL. People use racist terms and make racist comment flippantly. As for @jomama I was in Canada in June. I could see that younger generations of Canadians are lazy and unproductive. Canada is not hiding the fact that she needs to bring in immigrants into country. Canada is the one inviting immigrants and not The other way round. If i have an engineering degee today i will get work visa easy. For jomama to be blaming immigrant for the beatiful work that is going there is a disastar.
13:56 August 6, 2011 by GLO
You deserve a call down when you act bad, sorry dont see any problem here. Act bad your a a#$^@e.....
14:17 August 6, 2011 by underskyofsweden

Saying whatever you want is not freedom of speech and there will not be a civilized society as long as racism still exists in such minds!
14:45 August 6, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
14:17 August 6, 2011 by underskyofsweden # 34

Will you please define what is freedom of speech?

For me is consigned in the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech.

The U.S. Supreme Court often has struggled to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech. The following are examples of speech, both direct (words) and symbolic (actions), that the Court has decided are either entitled to First Amendment protections, or not.

The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:

"Congress shall make no law...abridging freedom of speech."

Freedom of speech includes the right:

Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).

Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war

To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages.

To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions)

To engage in symbolic speech, e.g., burning the flag in protest.

Freedom of speech does not include the right:

To incite actions that would harm others

To make or distribute obscene materials.

To burn draft cards as an anti-war protest

To permit students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration.

Of students to make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.

Of students to advocate illegal drug use at a school-sponsored event.

Now, you let me know your version.
15:07 August 6, 2011 by prince T
Anther point i did not add b4 i sign off 4 d day is that Ander Brevik did not kill the people he hated. It was the people he was trying to protect he slaughtered i.e the white race. Holding tram or buss door is not only black thing but it is what everybody do. @glo it is good to talk down on someone but not i a racist way. Calling someone jävla böga will offend not only the person called but others that will hear abot it. If my friend calls another person vita höra, it means that is my friends opinion of me. That friend ceases to be my friend. WE SHOULD STOP PROMOTING HATE. canada is enjoying the benefits of sensible approach to immigration. Moreover the same crisis is going to happen in sweden soon, our young people are Lazy and old one are retiring. Most of immigrants i saw doing well in canada were trained in sweden. What a waste. We sit on computer all day but not beneficial to the community
15:28 August 6, 2011 by awash
two wrongs don't make one right...it's one of the worst irritating and frustrating stuffs which many commuters do on daily basis (black, white, blue, old, young, teens whatever) so that their lazy, careless, reckless friends/loved ones even sometimes to complete strangers catch the train. but, this doesn't give a right for any public service provider to rant racial slur or other demeaning terms on whomever is obstructing the traffic. on the other hand, such behaviors of the commuters also outlawed and considered as an offence of traffic obstruction for harmoneous traffic flow...i guess this a fair play for both sides.
16:33 August 6, 2011 by Mb 65
When i moved to Sweden from the UK i was told by my neighbor that i must do what they F-----g tell me. They knocked down my wooden fence post so i put up granite ones and they told me that i must put them 1mtr on my property which was incorrect. i reported them to the police and no action was taken. my point is if i had been black they would have taken them to court so why when something happens to a white person they take no action.
16:35 August 6, 2011 by darky
because Gothenburg is such a multi-cultural city,".............. Who told u this?? I like to know if this tram driver is a male or female.
19:25 August 6, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
16:33 August 6, 2011 by Mb 65

Welcome to reality.

16:35 August 6, 2011 by darky

Who cares if the tram driver is a she, he or it.

He did what he did because he was fed up with a situation that in Sweden has become the daily bread and butter, whether this comment is liked or not by some of the many canukeees and shoestones in this thread, I do not give a you know what.
20:17 August 6, 2011 by Grokh
Both sides are wrong really, one for being stupid and saying racial stuff, and other side for holding the door of a public transport to wait for their friends as if the transport belonged to them, maybe they should have asked the driver please to wait for their friends instead of acting like they own the place.
20:23 August 6, 2011 by calebian22
He should have just called them inconsiderate, self entitled turds. Big shocker, teenagers! Additionally there is no bigotry in that statement, since all turds no matter the nationality, are the same color.
20:28 August 6, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
20:17 August 6, 2011 by Grokh

The world is full of "maybe" and "if", but you should change the order of your meanings like:

"Both sides were wrong really, one side FOR HOLDING the door of a public transport and the other side for BEING STUPID and saying racial stuff. The cause of the racial stuff is the way the nice, little tiny, innocent youngsters behaved and nothing more.

You are really naive if you think that the word "please" is in their vocabulary. It would be certainly a first.

People in Sweden have forgotten how to say please, forgive me, excuse me and/or thanks and you expect the nice little kids to do it? You just won a prize.
20:50 August 6, 2011 by tonylaz
I'm new at this. How do I enter a reply to a comment?
20:58 August 6, 2011 by Mb 65
J.L Belmar I agree 100% with you.
21:16 August 6, 2011 by gh2008

as i just did reply to you :)
21:18 August 6, 2011 by johan rebel
Björfäll "was very surprised, because Gothenburg is such a multi-cultural city"?

Huh? What planet is he from?
21:20 August 6, 2011 by lovedealer76
@tonylaz,the is no option available to reply to a comment here,i guess you should just do as i did on you,the individual can always see his/her name mention that would catch their attention
22:07 August 6, 2011 by Svensksmith
@calebian #42 One time I ate too many dried apricots and my turds were orange.
23:46 August 6, 2011 by underskyofsweden

I can't open your reply message because it says "This function is probably accessible to signed in members only" while I was signed in! Anyway, you can reply here if you don't mind! I define freedom of speech myself and according to what the humanity says. If you think that racism and insulting people with racist words is kind of freedom of speech, you are completely WRONG!

@J.L Belmar

I really don't care what your boss in US defined the freedom of speech as they used to define any thing based on their benefits and then expect other nations obey them blindly! Big markets such as human-rights associations and NGOs are nice just in face and you can see all over the world how they react to different cases!
01:28 August 7, 2011 by Njal
To those posters using Canada as an ideal model of multicultural, guess again. Our own politicians, (including 'the great', sickmaking i know, Pierre Trudeau), have acknowledged it's failure time and again. Now this is an established fact by people in-the-know, (i.e. Pierre being a major advocate of multiculturalism, only to completely de-bunk it before he died).

Immigrants do not integrate if they feel they do not have to. If you could come to a first world country, enjoy all the benefits, without having to adopt what you perceived as negative aspects of that culture, then why would you change?

Certainly the politcians aren't giving immigrants any reason to do so. You've only got to be white and walk around Surrey (in Vancouver) before you understand you're a long way from Amritsar (sikh holy city/capital?), and they'll let you know it!

So all you people talking about Canada this, Canada that, stop right now, you haven't a clue what you're on about.

@cowboycodpiece - eskimos immigrated too sunshine.
02:53 August 7, 2011 by sherkovic
bottome line: A liar can be of any color or background.
10:04 August 7, 2011 by rise
Well some vitskallar don't like svartskallar... so what? A person can't love everyone. Some svartskallar are calling vitskallar "jävla svennebög" or some such... That's how it is.
10:05 August 7, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
23:46 August 6, 2011 by underskyofsweden

First, it is not my boss in the USA. I wrote about what is in their Constitution, because it is quite complete and I thought it would provoke more debate in an already dying one.

Second, I have always thought like you, that freedom of speech has a limit: common sense, decency. In the name of freedom of speech, you should not insult or make racist comments at all. You should not make cartoons insulting Mahoma like the ones published in the Jyllands Post of Denmark. You should not portrait Mahoma like a dog, like the pseudo Swedish artist did for selling his crap.

Third, the problem, as I see it, is that freedom of speech is something that is looked through the colour of different glasses. There is no consensus, real consensus in its meaning. But let us put ourselves, you and me, for a moment in the tram driver's shoes.

Would we have thought about not trespassing the freedom of speech, when being harassed by the sweet and tender teenagers? I promise that I would have been really mad and I do not know what kind of language I would have used against them. What about you? Would you not have lost your temper in a similar situation? If you say no, congratulations, because you are just one of a kind.

01:28 August 7, 2011 by Njal

People do integrate, if they let them. In Sweden, integration is just a myth. The government speaks, writes and "fights"(!) for integration. Swedes do not integrate with us foreigners. They do not want us. It takes more or less 7 years for an inmigrant to find a job.

I have lived in Sweden for more than twenty five years. I know what I am talking about.

In Canada, if they need plumbers, they let plumbers to go into the country. If they need MD, they do not hesitate in allowing them to work after going through a serial of tests.

Ten years ago, I managed to send to Canada an Estonian MD who was willing to stay in Sweden and requested political asylum because he was persecuted by some Russian authorities down there. No chance, but with the help of the Costarican ambassador in Sweden, Costa Rica granted him and his wife Ursula, political asylum. From Costa Rica, it was quite easy to send them to Canada. The Canadian Embassy there was extremely helpful. At the present time, Johan and Ursula live in the USA. He is working at a huge hospital and she is administrative manager at a bank. They could keep on moving in their lives, thanks to marvelous Canada.

Just recently, a friend of mine, a top female MD, received his Canadian nationality. Now she has two. But, she had to go through many tests and she has to work two years outside of the urban areas. One of our posters here, jacquelinee, is of Canadian origin. She would back me on this.
11:04 August 7, 2011 by Njal
@ J. L. Belmar : "People do integrate, if they let them"

- SOME immigrants integrate, but enough (most) do not that the very politicians who implemented/designed these policies have gone on public record worldwide saying that 'multiculture' is a failure. As I've pointed out before, this is an undeniable fact admitted to by people who are in a position to accurately comment upon the subject.

Also, you won't find too many Canucks who've got a problem with immigrants from Europe. Why? because they come from a way of life/value system close enough to our own that they don't seem to have too much trouble integrating. The same cannot be said of others, (African man recently/knowingly infects 5 Canadian women with AIDS, 2 of whom are now dead, absolutely no remorse, and the muslims have been trying to pass Sharia law since they got here, or perhaps the sikhs who willfully glorify Sikh bombers in their cultural parades, who killed innocent Canadians, even tho' the Sikhs know that they are not supposed to put the pictures of such men on their floats in their parades).

Glad to hear about your friend's positive experience, but again, allow me to remind you that Western leaders (and the majority of their naturalized populations), do not agree with you. Did you notice it in world headlines when many Western leaders admitted to this fact?
11:08 August 7, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ Njal

I do back you up 100% I am Canadainof Scottish/French origin. As a Canadian, I grew up in a totally integrated culture (don't believe Canuk) Of course you get the odd extremist, raicist, nutcase, you will find that anywhere. Most Canaadians though just view all cultures as.... French Canadian, Irish Canadian, Chinese Canadian, Korean Canadian, Ísraeli Canadian, First Nations Canadian, Somalian Canadian, Iranian Canadian etc etc etc.

When I first came to Sweden, I sort of flew under the radar for a bit as I am blonde, but when I began to get a bit more comfortable and a bit less shy and opened my mouth, then I reasised I sure was not in the club. I went to SFI and found that I, and a blonde woman from Germany were treated far better than many other students ...because we were blonde, Still we were not in the club anyway.

I have been hung up on, had eyes rolled at me, backs turned on me, negative comments made, lost jobs,ignored at functions, had people in Government jobs (who speak English) deliberately speak high level Swedish to me to make me feel stupid and like an outsider (it worked) I am amazed daily at the racism and bigotry here. I am amazed daily at the brainwashing here.Example? The continual malpractice and disfunction of the medical profession, it's blatent disregard for patient safety (ambulances!) But when you try to speak to a Swede, they you at you like you are crazy and say "We have the best medical care in the world" and they actually believe it...even with the truth staring them in their own faces. I know what good health care is, Canada has good health care. Canada has great doctors from a myriad of countries. Doctors in Canada need more than some piece of paper (betyg) that says " I AM A DOCTOR" they need EXTENSIVE in depth education and exceptional grades. But that is another story.

Integration here is like most things in Sweden. Movie sets. You know in those movies where you see the big beautiful mansion and it looks awesome, but in actuality it is just a cardboard facade with nothing behind it. WEll, that is integration in Sweden.

11:28 August 7, 2011 by Njal
@jacquelinee- I hear what you're saying, maybe you should come back home then, we'd love to have you. But as for the Swedes, I kinda see where they're coming from. They're fed up, so unfortunately non-Swedes deal with the fallout, even if that 'fallout' may be fairly attributed to a few groups of immigrants (i.e. non-Westerners).

I know that any Swede who comes to Canada will NOT be treated that way (if it were only for their hockey prowess), but seriously, our experience with immigration has not been quite as sudden as that of Sweden's experience. I wonder if back in the 1980's before all the BS in Sweden began, would you and your friend be treated the same way? One can only wonder, with their current immigration, what it may otherwise have been like had such policies not been implemented.

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences with the Swedes, but with all the confusion going on these days, perhaps it's hard to blame them. If it's too much, come on home.
13:15 August 7, 2011 by underskyofsweden

Roger that!

I believe that here is no cultural integration anywhere in the world! People who migrate have their own culture and attitudes. By migration, we just face with a new world with totally different culture and totally different people. Of course, We take effect and change in life style or change some of our attitudes(positive or negative) but the culture is not a thing to be changed and there should not be such a expectation from government!

By migration, we learn how and to what extent we can live near each other peacefully and tolerate our nature differences. This is the real democracy and this is what the people expect! We do not expect for integration and we are not heading to it because we know that it's not possible at all as Jacquelinee mentioned we finally(and mostly hidden) label people like French Canadian, Irish Canadian, Iranian Canadian and etc
14:59 August 7, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ underskyofsweden

I may need too clarify what I meant by ....

" French Canadian, Irish Canadian, Chinese Canadian, Korean Canadian, Ísraeli Canadian, First Nations Canadian, Somalian Canadian, Iranian Canadian etc etc etc. "

What I meant was that, although we are all viewed as Canadian citizens, we recognise our heritages as well and we embrace the amany other heritages too. There is so much you can take from each culture to enrich your own. The First Nations Canadians have a deep and powerful appreciation of the natural world that it makes me proud to embrace as part of being Canadian. I love to walk through the Toronto " villages" and sample the differenet cultures, their food, their shops etc, to speak with them and experience their viewpoints.

Although I am not Italian, I lived in an Italian community in Toronto. I was embraced inspite of my total lack of knowledge of Italian culture.

At one time, my neighbours below me happened to be a black Jamacian couple with 5 lovely children. At Christmas I took them down some Christmas cookies and they invited me and my daughter to have New Years dinner with them. Their youngest son smiled and said "You are the first white people we ever had for supper". It was a wonderful evening with traditional Jamacian food (which I now can cook) and one I will treasure in my memory. It also dispelled their preconceived idea that white people were intolerant racists. We both were just people celebrating a shiny new year, full of hope and bright promise.

The closest church to me at one point was a black gospel church and my daughter and I went and were welcomed because we all knew God designs variety.

How boring life would be if the only flowers were red roses, if the only fruit were apples, if the only vegetable were carrots. How sad for people when they seclude themseves into a little sect and won't look past their doors. There is a big, wide world out there full of interesting histories, wisdoms, viewpoints, cultures to share that enrich our lives, OUR cultures, our humaity.

Intolerance is an ignorance, a disease, a cancer, which actually has very little real effect on the despised party except perhaps to make life a little more challenging.

But that cancer eats away at the intolerant one creating more darkness and more hatred as it progresses (as all cancers do) Bigots including Swedish ones, deprive themselves of so much by remaining so near sighted. You CAN understand, interact, make your own life richer and learn from those different than you and still maintain your own heritage, nationality and identity.

Sad that narrow minded people are so small they can not see. I have heard people say "Your eyes are the first thing you go blind with" but I believe it is your mind.
16:53 August 7, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
14:59 August 7, 2011 by jacquelinee

Once upon a time, the ambassador of Botswana and his wife (Alfred Duve and Mrs. Duve), who, at the time were my tennis students, decided to throw an open house at the embassy's residence in Lidingö. Well, they prepared everything to receive their neighbors for more than two years and guess what. Not one of them came to the residence. Not one.In spite of the fact that tons of food and drinks were at their disposal. One of the nice "neighbours" told Mrs. Duve: "We do not like blacks in the area".

You cannot say that Swedes were racists. Not at all. They just did not like the colour of their skin. They do not like black. They love blue and yellow.
18:56 August 7, 2011 by Streja
They should have invited Swedish students instead. They love free food. ;)
20:04 August 7, 2011 by Migga
All this talk, about Swedes being racists and that Sweden is the most racist country in the world, makes me wonder who the narrowminded ones are.

There are 8 million Swedes in the world, think about that for a sec. Can Swedes interact, enrich and teach others who are different from them? While they are still allowed to maintain their heritage, nationality and identity? Or are Swedes just ignorante bigots and racists that should be ignored because they live in a shitty, small country in the north?

The hate against Swedes and Sweden on this site is horrid.
21:05 August 7, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ Migga

You may want to go back and read through a lot of the posts. The hate against immigrants on this site is even more frightening.

As I said in my post #59, Bigots, including Swedish ones, deprive themselves of so much by remaining so near sighted. I am not saying all Swedes are bigots. They are not. I married a Swedish man and he is as fair, unpredjudiced and as just a person as you could ever meet.

There are bigots everywhere. They are born from fear and ignorance. I am not saying they are stupid or they are ignorant, but they have ignorance towards others. It is very scary to be surrounded by people speaking a strange language that you do not understand, as I myself discovered when I moved to Sweden. The fear is born from misunderstanding. My husband and I have spoken a lot on this. That lack of being able to understand another because of language barriers is often the foundation for so many problems between peoples and nations.

If you are trying to say that there is no discrimmination or predjudice or racism in Sweden from Swedes, you are sadly mistaken. I know first hand you are sadly mistaken. And there is also from the non Swedes. It is a sad reality.

Sweden is a beautiful country and a good one for the most part, not a perfect one and definately one that needs some upgrading in certain areas i.e. medical care and education in order to remain in the forefront in these areas. And yes, other peoples can learn a great deal from Swedes. The cleanliness and maintenance of buildings, infastructure etc is exemplorary when compared to many countries. The taxation is high, but a great percentage of it does go to help the country and it's citizens. Although the government is often criticised and sometimes, rightly so, it is not a terrible corrupt one as so many are and Sweden can be very proud of that. Sweden has much to share AND much to learn. That is the part that I feel Swedes lack. They are brainwashed into a false sense of perfection in many ways. They see other cultures as interlopers and threats instead of realising that they have elements that can make Sweden and it's people grow and evolve into a better Sweden, NOT an extinct Sweden or a destroyed Sweden.

We will never end bigotry. There will always be those who build themselves up and make themselves feel superior by trying to put others down and perceive them as inferior. That won't change, in any culture or demographic. Yes there are Swede haters here, there are homophobes, and islam and muslim haters. There are those who hate the whites and the blacks and the feminists and on and on. That won't change. But if one opens ones mind and sees PAST the crap, there is the possibility to share ideas and perhaps find a way to help change things fot the betterment of all of us in Sweden.
21:25 August 7, 2011 by Migga
@ jacquelinee

Oh there definetly is hate on both sides, no question. And I agree that racism is born from fear and ignorance. Education and peace is a start. Then we have to talk about it, on both sides. But as you say it won`t ever go away, hopefully we can contain it.

The key, which I think you touched upon, is that we need to show that it can be found on both sides. That`s when people will see that we have alot in common and aren`t different. Even when it comes to predjudice. Hopefully then we can, as you say, see past it and hit the real issue.

Things like this case won`t help that disussion.

P.S I can`t help to be amazed that the positive things you, even after being married to a swedish man, take with you from Sweden is its cleansiness and high maintenance of buildings and infrastructure found here. Wow, I guess.
21:36 August 7, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
18:56 August 7, 2011 by Streja

And Swedish journalists and foreign correspondents, too. They love it.

20:04 August 7, 2011 by Migga

Where do you get your facts? Must be in the Jurasic Park Encyclopedia. Eight million Swedes in the world. Sweden is not the main racist country in the world, but Migga, I (I do not know about you) live in Sweden. I do not care how racist they are in the States or in Germany or in France. That is irrelevant for me. I live in Sweden.

21:05 August 7, 2011 by jacquelinee

It is not hate against immigrants jacquelineee. Do not generalize. It is dissatisfaction against certain groups of immigrants that are destroying this magnificent country, step by step.
21:48 August 7, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ Migga

You must understand. I am not sure if you are Swedish or another nationality, but, as I said, I come from Canada. It is a very beautiful and very BIG country. A good country with many positive things. However, when I came to Sweden I was amazed how well kept it was. In Canada, there are good areas of the cities and bad areas. So often in tthe "bad areas" the buildinngs are streets are a disgrace, run down, poorly maintained, broken, dirty etc. Not everywhere, but in places. Here even the areas thought about as the bad areas are clean, cared for ...lovely actually. I have driven on roads in Nothern Saskatchewan that looked as if the concrete had been laid over a mine field it was so full of holes and cracks. You will not find that here. When you use a public bathroom in Canada or the rest room in a gas station you often have to hold your nose and pray as you pee that you don't catch something. Here they are very clean.

You must understand these things make an impact. In places in Canada there are people begging and sleeping on the streets A LOT of them. You will not see that so much here.

My husband is a lovely man, as I said. He is not my first husband. My first husband was Canadian and he was NOT a lovely man. That does not mean all Canadian men are pri-cks or that all Swedish men are lovely. Just the luck I have had.

Sweden has it's shortcomings and its pinnacles as does Canada. I was just stating some of the ways the Swedish government needs to be praised for the way they keep this country so beautiful.
00:21 August 8, 2011 by underskyofsweden

I understand what you meant. You recognize yourself as a French Canadian or Irish Canadian and this means that you respect both your origin and heritages and also the society which you raised or learned from.This is nice and every non-racist people support this kind of ideology.

But the problem or the main challenge is the sick minds and as you call them "near sighted" people who think that you have occupied their living space,took their jobs or threatening their future! Unfortunately, these narrow minded people are not little around us!

I do agree that Sweden is a model country in many aspects but you know what these sick people thinks about most of foreigners! They do not recognize them in a nice way that you recognized yourself! You are honor of yourself but they use these words in a racist style in order to make a distance between themselves and you! Yeah...It's sad to say but it's the fact in most parts of Europe!

Thanks to the current anti-racism laws, they mostly fear to express these ideas in public but it exists in their sick minds and they hide it and maybe "The Local" is a good place for them to get rid of! However,the future belongs to smart ones!
14:01 August 8, 2011 by fahimfmr
I just read many of your comments and it is interesting to see the difference in views. I have lived in the part of gothenburg where most immigrants are.I have also lived in the part where no immigrants live.But i am a student and asian and may be most swede consider us immigrants too then may be i am one of the few "immigrant students" there. I have seen the common occurence of holding bus doors on both place and by white,blacks,asians,indians,persians etc. Once my friend pressed the stop button to held the door and the bus driver told her that dont press stop if you do not want to get down.once a group of student came to play in the partille cup and they were shouting and the bus driver saud its not a zoo. I think all were very normal.but to stop the tram and then telling them to get down and then announce on the microphone a racial slur is really out of bounds.they both are bound for slowing it down.once i saw a tram driver call the police and they took the teenagers down.he did not say a word he just kept the tram waiting for the police. he could have done that.we all have racist in us. but it is upto us to control it.
14:03 August 8, 2011 by Streja
undersky, there are only like two or three Swedish posters on this site. Most posters are immigrants from the UK, US, NZ, Oz and Canada.
14:13 August 8, 2011 by Horace
I think this situation is quite simple. The tram driver works and is providing a service. The teenagers pay for that service and are the customers. Customer service representatives deal with customers with bad attitudes everyday, but still have to maintain their cool. That's why they get paid, because their job isn't easy.

I don't think the tram driver should get fined, since he didn't break any laws. But losing his job is quite fair, especially since the situation painted västtrafik in such a poor light. As for the bad customers, the teenagers in this case, they walk away just like any other bad customesr with poor manners, maybe with an even more confirmed stereotype on teenagers or their race.
15:15 August 8, 2011 by underskyofsweden
@ Streja

It seems you are quite new to here or not follow most of the posts! How you are saying 2 or 3! Just put more time and check out some other posts here.You will hug more and more!
19:26 August 8, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
14:03 August 8, 2011 by Streja

underskyofsweden is completely right. You just do not read properly or maybe something is wrong in your understanding of the English language.

Where did you get that "Most posters are immigrants from the UK, US, NZ, Oz and Canada."?

You sound like nem & isis. You are twisting and inventing whatever comes into your mind.
06:43 August 9, 2011 by johnoleson
Now let me get this straight, in Scandinavian countries you can murder 90 people and face only 21 years in prison. What would be an equitable punishment for insulting a youth? Would five years be about right? I'm sorry but I just can't relate to the over harshness for bad manners and under harshness for mass murder. The once proud Viking heritage is almost dead.
07:28 August 11, 2011 by bells on the knight
as far as i understand, talking to elderly swedes who were smacked in school in the 40's and 50's and agree that it did them good to be disciplined, you will today lose your job as a teacher for disciplining brats in school who may later become less respecting to society at large later on in life
20:41 August 11, 2011 by Icarusty
The racist says that the "blackheads" are the reason why the train is delayed for so long. No, they only wasted a few seconds of you and the passengers' time. It was the racist who purposely delayed just so he could fulfil his prejudices of getting rid of non-whites off the train
15:08 August 13, 2011 by bells on the knight
i asked a swedish friend what the most common derogatory remarks were:

"lappjavel" but no one seems to go to prison for that huh?
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