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Not OK for Swedish police to say 'Negro'

Clara Guibourg · 9 Mar 2012, 13:01

Published: 09 Mar 2012 13:01 GMT+01:00

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"Generally speaking, the expression 'neger' is considered to be an obsolete, offensive and negatively charged word," wrote the Swedish National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) in their decision.

"Nowadays the word is so strongly connected with derogatory values that it ought not to be used within the Swedish Police."

The policeman has received an official warning, but charges will not be pressed against him.

The incident occurred at a police station in Gothenburg, in January 2010. The policeman was asked by colleagues to guard the woman while they left the room.

Whilst speaking to the woman, the policeman used the term "neger" several times. He also used the expressions "blå neger" (blue Negro) and "svart neger" (black Negro).

According to the policeman himself, these expressions have no negative or derogatory meaning for him.

Story continues below…

The woman, however, questioned his use of the word, and felt insulted by it, according to the National Police Board's statement.

"It's obvious that you have not acted politely or respectfully in your conversation with this woman, nor in a way that instills trust and respect," concluded the board of the policeman's actions.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

13:59 March 9, 2012 by BritVik
And yet these people can use whatever phrase or name they like against anyone that does not have their skin colour. The world appears to have let this PC nonsense get the upper hand.
14:15 March 9, 2012 by sergisr
Does the expression "potatisgris" contain any derogatory meaning for this potatisgris?
14:44 March 9, 2012 by Grokh
but okay for an Iman to say "death to coverters" on the swedish radio...

15:28 March 9, 2012 by Challie70
I am an immigrant so forgive if I mess this up, but I am taking the last part of my swedish for immigrants at this moment and time. Would not the word neger be plural for negro and are the not negro? So I think maybe his grammatik is in question...or is it african american here also? Isn't calling someone who appears black to us a black person? I believe this 'wrong' too. So if someone calls me white can I bitch about it? If someone calls me euro because I have blue eyes and pale skin is that wrong? Holy crap people it's called life put on a helmut and deal with it!
16:06 March 9, 2012 by Central European
Grokh : try to feel offended by word whitey in this century :)

In my country group of youngsters was shouting to family of white natives "whitey swines" before they beated them and robbed them.

Police refused to admit it as a racist attack too :(, Only commit robbery.
16:12 March 9, 2012 by Saxifraga
Us "palefaces" or "longnoses" have a hard time, these days. But it was coming to us. Our ancestors were haughty colonists, and they did many evil things.

When I was young, the use of the word "Neger" in German just meant that someone had a very dark skin and curly hair, and, perhaps, was just a little uncultivated. And we had "Negerkuss" (negro kiss), a delicious dome of chocolate filled with sweet creme. Nowadays, the word "Neger" is frowned upon in German. We speak of "Farbige" (coloureds) or "Schwarze" (blacks), but we still know exactly what sort of people we are talking about. Not much has changed, except the word. That is Political Correctness for you. An invention from the US, I suppose, where hypocrisy abounds.
16:44 March 9, 2012 by colombianska_tjej
Saxifraga: Same with spanish, up to this day. Negro (yeah, like in english) is a person with a very dark skin, usually from african descendant. And your negerkuss is called "beso de negra" (black woman's kiss) in my place. And I can guarantee not a single spanish speaker black person ever felts offended. Ever.

Some people use it as derogatory term, but no one complains. Because is just a word.

Actually, if someone wants to offend them, there are plenty of universal derogatory terms in spanish hehe. And the person can use the same ones in his/her defense ;D.
17:38 March 9, 2012 by calebian22
Blå neger? Blue nigger in English is a derogatory term for an Amish person. What is that in Sweden, since I haven't seen too many Amish here?
18:36 March 9, 2012 by insect

In humanity, there is no black or white, just different shades of brown.

Now why do you have to call anyone black or white if you know their name? And if you dont know their name why cant they just be referred to as caucasian, african, asian etc and avoid all these unnecessary debates about the n word? just wondering
19:41 March 9, 2012 by johan rebel
Well, a negro is not necessarily African, and not all Africans are negroes, that's why!

In Dutch "neger" is perfectly acceptable, but trust the Swedish to try to set another world record in linguistic PC.
19:45 March 9, 2012 by sureiam

20:03 March 9, 2012 by kiaat
@calebian22: to answer your question in afrika there are diffferent shades of people.. just like in usa.. some brown, red or yellow, some black. in middle afrika where the sun is strongest, e.g. congo. you have blue black.. someone so black they look blue. this is different from black afrikans from the southern cone of afrika, e.g. namibia, s afrika, etc. also those on the east coast are lighter in colour than the central afrika blacks. there are also different face types, hair, etc. even within one ethnic group there are many variations.. so blue black and black black is very possible....
22:10 March 9, 2012 by wxman
The word negro is not a prejorative. It may be outdated, but in the US there is a reputable organization known as the United Negro College Fund (started and administered by blacks) designed for black students to access quality education. What's the big deal?
22:27 March 9, 2012 by ramshead
In America they have been called Negroes, Colored, Black and currently African Americans. So just what do they want to be called in regards to their race?
01:15 March 10, 2012 by TheWatchman
I am quite against the word itself, and would prefer if people called black people "black" or if they know their names, call them that. The irony here, is that this man gets a warning for this, but yet I bet Muslims in any position within Swedish society can say 'All the Jews are filthy zionists and must die' and 'Swedes are disgusting filth and all of those who do not follow Allah must be slain.' No one within the media would object nor say a word, because that's how it is now. It is Sveristan, not Sverige. :(
01:56 March 10, 2012 by Tanskalainen
Just call them "Jiggaboos" they love it.
02:56 March 10, 2012 by phil23456
who cares?
05:56 March 10, 2012 by Frobobbles
calebian22 Blå is the old swedish word for the dark color of mid-african people, like bantu. They used to be called blåman.
06:42 March 10, 2012 by Smiling Canuk
Well at least the Swedish cops didn't call them niggers, spooks, jigaboos or spear chuckers. :-)

Seriously however - The word "negro" is quite outdated and definately not politically correct these days. Its hard to keep up with political correctness, but the most correct word to use these days is "black", unless that's changed since the last time I noticed.

Sort of like me. It's not PC to call me an Indian any more. Nowadays its native or aboriginal. LOL!!
08:58 March 10, 2012 by Kevin Harris
Maybe it's just me, but I like being called a honky.
10:19 March 10, 2012 by anonymous4
These "anti-racism" terms have gone too far. A caucasian (white) can be called "honky, cracker, blackwannabe" any derogatory term and get away with it. Hispanics can be called "latinos" and sometimes "spics" with no repercussions. Yet...call a black anything other than he or she desires and all HELL breaks loose! It appears the only solution is to address each other as "Sir and Ma"am" and hope you don't get nabbed for calling a transsexual and homosexual the gender "it" does not desire.
11:10 March 10, 2012 by bobbysingh
Those guys can say anything or do anything they want. Watch out if we do something or say something, then they feel offended, they want to go for human rights bla bla grrr lets hope Sweden does not become like France, Holland or Germany! I bet the intellects here know what I mean
14:59 March 10, 2012 by DavidUK
Complete and utter rubbish! Why is the policeman in the news for his remarks and not the person who has committed a crime? The world has gone crazy!

The human rights farce will be the downfall of all law abiding citizens.

You can do anything in the UK and get away with it because of the human rights law!

A man was let off a prison sentence because he claimed in went against his human right to a family life. Needless to say he went on to commit another crime, what about the victims humans rights, when will the powers that be WAKE UP!!!
19:46 March 10, 2012 by johan rebel
Holland celebrated "negerdag" (negro day) yesterday.
22:00 March 10, 2012 by SergioSver
Why for instance, German press is currently avoiding the use of word "Führer", after all it means " a leader" in German.

Many people are insisting on German leadership in current economic crisis in Europe, nevertheless when you are reading German newspapers, you somehow see that this word Furher is being avoided.

I have not heard that any German newspaper asked from ms Merkel to become a Furher of Europe.

I do not know why they are doing it, but somehow they prefer not to use this word. Can not even guess why.

Ah.. Yeah almost forgot to finish my post with usual ending. This is all the fault of the US. Severe winter in Europe- fault of the US, Hot summer- American fault as well, this is their fault that Sweden has higher prices on food, crimes in Malmo their fault. and i can go on down the list.
18:46 March 11, 2012 by klubbnika


21:59 March 11, 2012 by Jannik
On technical matters i usually refer to people of african sub-saharan ancestry as "negroids" or a person of "negroid ancestry".

This term is probabaly just as un PC as "negro" is. But it is still more precise than "black" since a person from for example south India, can be as black skinned as a black african.

So i will stick with the term "negroid", when discussing issues in biological anthropology. It is simply more accurate than the term "black"

The policeman in question was probably trying to be as precise as possible when using the term "neger". Dont see any problem with that.
22:56 March 11, 2012 by MIDAZ
Use judgement Say that in The USA to a african American person see how long you have your teeth
02:38 March 12, 2012 by Los Lubricano
New terms have to be invented.

Illegal Mexicans that have invaded the USA without firing a shot do not like

to be called "Greasers" so to get aroung their complaints

the new term is Lubricanos. Political correctness can be the

mother of invention. For our friends from the Middle east, Camel Jockeys

or Rug Riders is good. Catholics are called Bead Rattlers. ect.

Nobody is spared.
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