Does Denmark Have a Race Problem?

April 2, 2014  //  By:   //  DISCUSS, Featured, OFF CAMPUS  //  109 Comments
Race in Copenhagen

I grew up in the Whiskeybelt, north of Copenhagen. On Friday afternoons in spring, old women in mink coats strolled along the park and Filipino nannies wheeled toddlers around. There was kartoffelsalat, and øllebrød, and Disney Sjov på DR1, and before bed we would steal the salted licorice Mom kept in the cabinet and wonder if she’d ever notice. My childhood could have been a Danish Norman Rockwell painting (Nordmand Stenbrønd?). Except, Norman Rockwell never painted two Asian kids with white parents.

I was adopted from a South Korean town called Masan when I was three months old. I was two when we flew to Seoul to adopt my little sister. That’s the full extent of my Asian heritage, really. I’ve never “felt” Asian (whatever that means). As a kid, my race was a weird concept to wrap my head around: that I was treated as different though I’d never felt that way; that someone could dislike or dismiss me based on something as arbitrary as the shape of my eyes. Particularly in primary school, where kids roam unbridled by political correctness or human decency. Every day was like a fucking chapter of Lord of the Flies. I used to think that if Satan felt like Hell needed a re-brand, Kildegård Privatskole would be the perfect name. I was eight the first time I got beat up. He was a few years older than me, twelve years old, I think. I’d never talked to him before. He slid my face along the asphalt and broke my glasses and asked me how I was gonna see out of my chink eyes now. When my parents informed the administration, they were politely told that racism was not a factor at Kildegård Privatskole, and to please stop pestering them. I was nine when I moved to Copenhagen International School.

And there, I was happy. There were children from America, and China, and Germany, and there were even a few Danish kids, too. My mother told me, on the way to my first day at school, that if anyone tried to bully me because of my race, all the other Asian kids would come to my defense. And though, sadly, I never witnessed a WestSide Story-style racial gang war between toddlers, I was never bullied. I learnt that it was okay to be Asian, to look different. I learnt that being Asian and being Danish were not mutually exclusive. I was happy. I was sheltered.

A few years later, an acquaintance from a nearby Danish gymnasium (high school) assured me that, no, racism didn’t exist at his school: he went on to tell me about the sole black kid in his class, named “The Nigger” by his fellow classmates, and explained very matter-of-factly to me that he was “a person, like anyone else.” The irony, of course, being that people are usually called by their first names, not a racial slur. It made me really sad to think of that kid, having to accept being debased like that on a daily basis. There was no one who could relate to him, no one willing to put their neck out and go against the grain for him. They didn’t see anything wrong with it.They’d told themselves that “Oh, no, he’s one of us, even if he is black,” and felt that was good enough for them to treat him as they pleased.  Maybe he’d even convinced himself of the same. I got sadder just thinking about it.

People of minority descent confront this sentiment daily. If we object, if we ask people not to address us in a disrespectful manner, we’re told to grow a sense of humor and that we’re being oversensitive. We’re told that political correctness is one of the evils in society, supposedly created by Satan and globalization-crazed Americans to enslave us and rob us of our freedom to insult who we want. We’re told that, since there is no ill intent behind racial comments, it’s our fault if we happen to find them offensive.

In country where 90% of the population is of Danish ancestry, the perspectives of ethnic and racial minorities are largely unheard, and not well understood. The problems that we, the minorities, face are often marginalized or ignored. Our concerns about race are often brushed aside or attributed to oversensitivity on our part. But the fact is that racial minorities do experience life from a different point of view. We are reminded of our “otherness” every time we step into a room. Being different is a decision made by others on our behalf. And there’s a great sense of frustration in being defined and categorized as an “other” when you’re not.

I’ve been told that if I have a problem with race, it’s my own fault, that it’s all in my head. I have been told this exclusively by white people. The reason is obvious, and, at heart, no fault of theirs. They can’t relate to those frustrations, because their race is invisible to them. They’ve never been told they did not belong because of how their eyes looked. They don’t hear racial remarks slung at them on a night out. Discrimination and microaggressions are terms they read about in textbooks, not experience on a day-to-day basis. The alienation and frustration that comes with being non-white in Copenhagen is inaccessible to them. On a rational level, yes, I think most people can understand the pain that casual and overt racism causes. But to empathize is another matter entirely, and the unfortunate fact is that in general the racial majority in Denmark has no way of relating to that kind of pain, nor an inclination to understand it.

The issue is further exacerbated by a cultural acceptance of casual racism. Our culture has never been particularly sensitive to race and is at times downright hostile to the idea of political correctness. We still bemoan the death of our right to call chocolate-coated marshmallow treats “Niggerballs,” as if it were some kind of divine right bestowed upon us by the Goddess of Free Speech. There exists a pervading sense in our culture that if there is no ill intent behind a slur, it cannot be construed as disrespectful: that it is a conscious choice to be offended. It seems to be a memetic thought, contagious because it absolves the hegemony from guilt and responsibility. It is victim-blaming nonsense, and, moreover, a self-righteous and arrogant notion. This kind of willful insensitivity towards minorities allows racism to be tacitly present in our culture.

I would like to close by saying that my intent is not to demonize Danish culture, nor am I trying to victimize myself. These are simply the facts of living as a minority in a historically racially homogeneous society. Part of living as a minority in Copenhagen is learning to accept that I will be subjected to ignorant behavior at times, and that few people will be able to understand why it upsets me. I’ve had to learn not to get jaded, learn to understand and accept where that ignorance comes from, learn to remind myself of the Danes that do understand. Most importantly, I’ve come to realize that ignorance is not always an expression of malicious intent. In fact, the opposite usually seems to be the case. It took me almost a decade to recognize that I could be both Danish and foreign-looking: it would be unfair of me to expect the same of others. But, it sure would be nice.


About the Author :

Philip is a third-year BSc International Business student at Copenhagen Business School, and in his spare time reads books by Hunter S Thompson, Dan Turéll, and Bob Dylan (separately, not co-authored).

109 Comments to “Does Denmark Have a Race Problem?”
  • Milani
    June 25, 2016 - Reply

    Still searching for the ONE country that won’t hate me because of the color of my skin. Based on the comments here, Denmark isn’t it.

  • Call us BLACK...PERIOD
    October 22, 2015 - Reply

    I wish one of u muthafukas WOULD call ME ANY fukn VERSION of NIGGER n the proximity of my hands to your fukn throat. And i thought these crackas over here n the US were bat sh*t. #Fuktards!

  • zaila
    December 4, 2014 - Reply

    Ahaha the first time you got beaten up was 8 years old? Maybe try 3 years old in my case. But that was in my country of origin a much less civilized place. And though primary school kids do tend to use racial slurs at most this is their excuse for their actions, same thing would have happened to you if you had an exceedingly large nose or just wore glasses anyways. Unless you mean to tell me no other kids in the history ofyour time at the school had the same treatment and you were specifically picked out solely for your race?

    The truth is that the danes are insular. This is only going to change slowly and to be honest looking at places like Marseille, malmo and wallonia where people simply let imported minorities walk all over them and bring their stone age bullshit values and violence and intolerance for other cultures such as franco-Arabs rabid antisemitism in france I much prefer danes strong reactions against the uncivllized and comparatively much worse acts of migrants.

    Unlike in some more “tolerant” countries, migrants in Denmark rarely ever walk around with the kind of attitude as in other countries and I think partially that’s because danish people don’t take foreigner’s bullshit well whatsoever. And you know what, its better that way. The ideat that all cultures are equal should be long dead- how can anybody think the uneducated mysoginistic, macho and violent cultures of many Muslim and african countries can possibly be remotely acceptable or equal to a progressive society like Denmark.

    Its true that being insular may cause collateral damage when boo hoo some migrants feel out of place, but if you avoid idiotic things such as those unofficial sharia courts in england or being so politically correct you can’t even help thousands of children from being sexually exploited because the perpetrators are all Pakistani men and that would thus be racist then I’m sure a few hurt feelings here and there are more than worth it.

    I’m endlessly thankful for all the privileges and benefits I received from living in Denmark and I would hate it if I remained stuck within a microcosm of the backwards society in my homeland within the borders of the state my parents moved to like what happened to so many that moved to england and Sweden. Immigration with integration in a progressive western country, be it forced or voluntary is always preferable to immigration without for both the immigrants future generations and the original inhabitants. To force integration you have to have some degree of backbone and impose your values on migrants regardless of the political correctedness and punish socially for a lack of a better word those who don’t fit in. This could for example take form in a conservative Muslim mother not getting jobs due to her veil abandoning it eventually- a good thing overall. Or a teenage girl from a conservative society (be it china or an african christian or whoever really) arguing to be let out to hang out with her friends or go to parties, partly the motivation being so that she may fit in of course.

    Do you see the benefits of being a bit insular, unwilling to bend over to minorities most often ridiculous and backwards customs? Being insular is not being racist- if denmark was really racist immigrantswould go elsewhere eventually. A racist comment heard once a month or so at a bar is completely different to having to ride at the back of the bus. Its a side-effect, a little bad to take in with all the good. I find some other fellow immigrants entitlement rather suffocating and furthermore I also find danish white bleeding heart liberals who think living in backwards cultures like Indian Chinese and Muslim cultures as all fun and games and worthy of respect incredibly offensive. What would you know? Nothing is the answer really. As much as racists shouldn’t comment on others cultures, neiher should liberal perpetuate incorrect “positive racism” as I call it or also overwhelming political correctedness.

  • 2i's open
    November 24, 2014 - Reply

    Anyone,equating ,corny,throw away racist,jokes and calling,people neger,or slanty eyes ,or

  • Justice Soldier 1972
    June 17, 2014 - Reply

    Denmark is an institutionally racist and very corrupt country.

    Definitions are important, as they allow the identification of the criteria used to make a judgement.

    In the UK, ‘Institutional Racism’ was defined by Sir William Macpherson (retired judge) as follows:-

    “Institutional racism: the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin”.

    I have written an expose as part of my blog regarding Danish state Institutional racism and sexism against fathers in the following article link below:-

    “Justitsmord” Cover-up : Are Statsforvaltningen & Ankestyrelsen Familieretsafdeling Corrupt, Racist & Sexist Against Fathers?

    http://www.avisen.dk/blogs/justicesoldier/justitsmord-cover-up-are-statsforvaltningen–ank_44313.aspx

    Justice Soldier 1972
    Twitter: @JusticeSoldier1

    • The truth
      December 11, 2015 - Reply

      Then don’t come to Europe. They have their rights to preserve their country as many others. Don’t think Denmark as a free fucking country like America. Speaking of racism I’d say Africa is beyond corrupted considering the fact your country is so poor that Europe came all the way to provide homes for you savaged animals. I on the other hand pity those Europeans for contributing to such people. You don’t deserve to life the European life, and if you think they’re so racist then let alone visiting or migrating to the country. From what I’ve gathered I’ve experienced way more discrimination especially from black people than whites. Now you can kindly fuck off now

      • EB
        July 30, 2016 - Reply

        “Foreigners” have the right to come to Europe. Millions of Europeans occupy many continents including the the Americas and Africa. Don’t forget that the majority of North America And Australia are Europeans. Europe came the way to Africa to steal and enslave Africa and distabilizing the whole continent. It is still happening. Without Africa you were not as rich as you are. Your Queens castle and many others were built with money earned on slavery. The living standard and progesss in Africa was on the same level as Europe before you start to burn agricultuaral lands of Africa. Certain places in Africa were even more advanced than Europe.

        So we will fuck off when “you fuck off from other continents”. It is people who don’t want the truth to be told come with answers like “Fuck off”, “leave our country” if you don’t like it”

        You are upset about victims of racism raising their voice. Don’t forget that it is part of democracy. Most Danes have some rigths today because past Danes advocated for equality. Otherwise, you will not have the rights you have that. So it was good they didn’t fucked off.

        Fortunately, not all Danes think like you.

  • Edgar
    April 16, 2014 - Reply

    You do not have to be from another race to be discriminated in Denmark. I have come to study here and I have experienced this attidude several times. Above all of them stands a situation where I could not get into a bar where I was clearly told that non-danes are not welcome. I have less work in my job because my employer tells me that a dane is coming to overtake it. I fully regret that I have spent almost a year at home country to learn this language and come here. I will be glad my studies are going to be over.

    • An ignorant dane
      April 21, 2014 - Reply

      Keeping people out of bars because of their ethnicity is incredibly illegal. You should report them.

  • An ignorant dane
    April 13, 2014 - Reply

    @Annabella who said that Neger was a negative term.. Maybe you remember a popular little diddy from 1970, “Jeg har set en rigtig negermand” – which was even sung by a child.. and written by one of the more popular recording artists of the time.

    http://w0.dk/~chlor/jeg_har_set_en_rigtig_negermand.html

    In this both Native American Indians, Chinese people and Negroes get an equal treatment, and yet the song ends with the following:

    “Jeg tror alle folk sku’ males blå,
    for så blev de nemlig sjovere at kigge på.
    Så ku’ sort og rød og gul og hvid
    være sammen i en verden uden strid.
    Så spør’ jeg ej, hvad er du da for én,
    jeg ved vi alle har de samme sære ben.
    Så ler vi blot og si’r så disse ord,
    og ordene fortæller hvad jeg tror:
    Lad ej farven på mennesker spiller ind.
    Vi må mødes med et godt og ærligt sind.”

    Freely translated, sorry I don’t have the time to do it properly, it goes:

    “I think everyone should be painted blue,
    because that would make them more funny to look at.
    Then black and red and yellow and white,
    could be in a world together without strife.
    Then I won’t ask: “what are you?”
    because I know we all have the same weird legs.
    Then we’ll all just laugh and say these words,
    and the words reflect what I believe:
    Don’t let the color of people matter.
    We must meet with a good and honest mind.”

    The section of the lyrics dealing with Negros is the following;

    Jeg har set en rigtig negermand,
    og han var så sort i ho’det som en tjærespand.
    Og han sa’ så mange mærk’li’ ting,
    og i næsen havde han en kæmpe ring.
    Jeg spurgte ham, hvad er du da for én,
    hvorfor har du smurt sværte op ad dene ben.
    Så lo han blot og sa’ så disse ord,
    af ordene forstod jeg ikke spor:
    Fidlihak-olatom-rassi-gassi bom,
    sorte Massa var fra Umblagidarum.

    Again freely translated:

    “I’ve seen a real negro man
    and he was black in the head like a bucket of tar.
    And he said so many strange things,
    and in his nose he had a giant ring.
    I asked him, what are you,
    and why have you put tar all over your legs.
    To this he just laughed and said these words,
    of the words I understood nothing at all:
    Fidlihak-olatom-rassi-gassi bom,
    Black Massa was from Umblagidarum.”

    Given that artists are usually the first to follow through with political correctness, I highly doubt that any word that could be viewed as a negative would have been used at the time.

  • Erik Larsen
    April 13, 2014 - Reply

    Before reading the rest of the article (and maybe even the comments), let me correct a severe mistake, since we discuss racism here.
    In danish, nigger is a relatively new word we’ve got from american english. Meaning same as in US. Neger is more like the original race-describing word negro and mostly means “black person”. Negerboller should not be translated to niggerballs, but to negro buns. Nowadays they are sold as flødeboller (cream buns), eventhough this is also the name for a certain pastry style bun with whipped cream in it.
    I personally prefer to call people og african heritage negroes, since it’s way shorter than “people of african heritage” and more correct than “africans”, since I have no chance on Earth to know if they are actually born on that continent.
    I also prefer to be called “white” rather than “caucasian”, since I have no relation to that geographic area.

    • a non dane
      October 9, 2014 - Reply

      The way the word ‘negro’ was used through history doesn’t make you feel uneasy about using it?
      You could maybe open your eyes to the fact that it can be (and will certainly) be choking to the person who is being called one.

    • Jette Møller
      December 10, 2014 - Reply

      No, Negro is not the original word for a person of African descent. It has never been used in Africa, but originated from Spanish, where ‘negro’ means black (not Latin, as many people claim). It was used about SLAVES.
      In the USA the term Negro has been offensive since the late 1960s so perhaps it’s about time that the (white) Danes stop insisting on using that disgusting word.

      • Ana
        March 17, 2015 - Reply

        Isn’t the word only disgusting if the person who used it had this intention? It is hard to change a word from one day to another, from being normal (without racist intention as it has been used even during the 90s in Dk) to being racist, and then expect everyone to use it properly. Many people, especially elder generation, use the word neger, also those voting for left wing non-racist halal hippie parties. Before you get upset, try to understand what they wanted to say with that word.

  • Another Ethnic Dane
    April 10, 2014 - Reply

    Well written article.
    The solution is to ignore the ignorant Danes. They will get all confused and when they realize what is going on, it will be too late.
    My point is, the ignorant national is everywhere, but is dull and yesterday.
    The future lies in the international mindset. It is already happening.

    • Dinkervank
      April 11, 2014 - Reply

      This “international mindset” is already coming under huge pressure.
      Nationalist movements are in general gaining momentum, not just in europe, but in many other places in the world as well. The resistance towards multiculturalism and globalization is rising.

      You live in a fantasy world of candy canes and corn syrup if you think that your cosmopolitan utopianism will dominate the future.

      • Minnie
        August 31, 2014 - Reply

        I’m not wothry to be in the same forum. ROTFL

      • Minnie
        August 31, 2014 - Reply

        I’m not wothry to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  • Racist Dane
    April 10, 2014 - Reply

    if danes are so racist, then what are all you foreigners doing there??

    • Dinkervank
      April 10, 2014 - Reply

      Does social welfare and 1. world country living standards ring a bell?

    • Mike
      October 15, 2014 - Reply

      first of all english NOT there but here :)

      Denmark is not the best country to live it for sure – its just wealthy country where you pay bloody tax thats while you get some services :))) i understand that been in living small country makes you feel special and it makes this attitudes that we danes are unique but its not. what people are doing here it is there business as you are part of EU. What is written in this article i totally agree even now when this person who has been born and raised in denmark and speak fluent danish telling about her problem – you need to learn to understand and listen – but unfortunately in denmark are living people with empty hearts who are pretending thats they are so open minding and love foreigners :) joke

      mostly when you say about some problem in denmark – that you might feel not comfortable – the TYPICAL danish answer – so what are you doing here ;)

      • The truth
        December 11, 2015 - Reply

        Denmark is beyond open minded and tolerable compared to Africa. It’s funny how it’s always the negros whose trying to play the victim card when racism is backfired towards them. I’m From Asia and countries like Somalia is very unacceptable. Why not make a background check on yourself before spewing a list of nonsense? Cuz you sound hypocritical to me

  • Joshua
    April 7, 2014 - Reply

    Very well written and on the money! Should be an article in a big Danish newspaper though (no offense to cbslife intended)

  • Mo Kheir
    April 7, 2014 - Reply

    Thank you Philip for this honest reflection on your society. I am an African who has grown up in Italy, and I can identify with many of the situations you have shared in this article. There are differing levels of racism or prejudice. One of the main issues, however, is that nobody sees themselves as racist or evil. They think that everyone else is on the wrong, including the recipient of offensive or violent behaviour. The other issue is, as you mentioned, the one of political correctness. Countries like Italy, and I imagine Denmark, who are new to the concept of a mutlicultural society, have not yet developed behavioural standards that favour mutual respect and coexistence. As hypocritical as the word sounds, political correctness is actually important and does have a role to play in our society. These same people who claim that it represents a restriction on their freedom of expression are frequently being hypocritical. If one of those who gladly use racial epithets and insist they are not racist, would probably react angrily if they or their mothers were insulted. It is highly unlikely that they would appreciate it’s sense of humour or respect the freedom that it provides to the offensive individual. This is not to say that people living in politically correct societies are necessarily more tollerant. I don’t think there is a correlation between them necessarily. The US has a great deal of political correctness. It would be wrong to conclude that racism does not exist there because of this. Ultimately, I think its a question of time. When more white Danish kids will mix and grow up with a growing number of non-white Danes, they will begin to become more sensitive and, hopefully, more respectful. The problem is that many of those who will be spared this treatment growing up, will do so because people like you (the front-runners) will have absorbed a lot of that ignorance and perhaps stupidity.

    • Dinkervank
      April 10, 2014 - Reply

      “As hypocritical as the word sounds, political correctness is actually important and does have a role to play in our society. ”

      I really hope that you are wrong. PC is about one of the worst inventions ever. And still you admit that PC is the norm in the US, but that this standard in no way has reduced racism.

      So the logical conclusion would be that PC simply doesnt work, but instead you conclude that we need more of what really doesnt work. Go figure.

      Perhaps PC doesnt work because multiculturalism doesnt work. Multicultural and multiracial societies are in general less well functioning, since ethnic competition is extensive and all pervasive.

  • An ignorant dane
    April 7, 2014 - Reply

    Honestly, none of what you write, is something I would consider racist. You’ve experienced trauma in your childhood, both from being an adopted child and from your experiences at school.
    Given that you grew up where you did, I am going to assume that you come from a very wealthy family and have been given all opportunities in life.
    How you come out of that, without a bigger reserve is unfathomable to me.

    Many people in school have a hard time.. I myself suffered in school during my youth, despite being very, very white and Danish. Kids will, and can, make fun of anything. The fact that they made fun of your slanting eyes, is simply because it’s the lowest hanging fruit. The same can be said of the drunk/ignorant people you experience in your adult life.

    I don’t know anyone who is racist. Racist in my eyes is hating anyone with a particular complexion. That’s it.

    So yes, I will inflate your argument, and say that you ARE probably being too sensitive, and that you should know better from having grown up in Denmark. You really should. Maybe you’re also feeling the effects of Danes being increasingly sick of having to bend over backwards to please non-danes. I have certainly seen a large shift these past ten years, so it’s pretty safe to assume that you’ve noticed it too. We like our country, our culture and our relaxed and cheerful way of handling big issues. I would hope you would respect and enjoy it as much as we do.

    To the person who said DF was a nazi party.. go jump in a river or something. Those claims are entirely baseless and without any justification. You also went nazi/Hitler connection way too early in the debate.

    • Mo Kheir
      April 7, 2014 - Reply

      I am very sorry ignorant dane, but dont you think that denying someone the right to feel offended when insulted, also a restriction on somebody’s freedom of expression or thought?

      • An ignorant dane
        April 7, 2014 - Reply

        I am not denying anyone anything, merely stating that I believe him to be overly sensitive.
        I think a lot of what is viewed as a lack of sensitivity by Danes, is simply a lack of caring about it. I discussed this article with a few friends today, all of whom weren’t born in Denmark. None of them shared the authors’ views, although several of them have friends who keep insisting that it’s the truth.

        I don’t care if you’re black, yellow, green, red or a damn space alien. If you respect me, my country and the values that has made it the happiest nation on earth, multiple years in a row, then you’re welcomed with open arms. If you do not share in those values, if you can only find fault with us and keep trying to shame us in to being something that we aren’t, then I take offense to that.

        Isn’t it a restriction on me, to have people from other cultures or people with different values to come to my home and tell me how to act?

        In Denmark we have a saying: “Skik følge eller land fly.” Essentially it means Follow the local customs of a country, or leave it. (I wish more Danes would respect this when travelling abroad, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

        I am so tired and exhausted of having to be PC, having to apologize for wanting to have Christmas, for having a Christian cross in our flag, for wanting to sing psalms in schools, and all those others things that I have grown up with. Mostly though, I am tired of being ashamed for being proud of OUR heritage and OUR culture. And all this because some people who come here, automatically get the right of way because they are a minority, or because their skin complexion is different than mine.

        If not for all the lovely immigrants I know and count among my friends, who do share my love of this country, I would probably have broken down completely for the constant wants, demands and threats of some of the immigrant community.

        Too many new Danes and immigrants pull the racism card, either to justify their own shortcomings or to lay blame on others.
        I had a wonderful teacher once, who went before a review board because three second generation kids claimed he was a racist for failing them in his class. I happened to be in the class, and could tell anyone who would listen that they were failed for not doing the work, and for knowing absolutely nothing about the subject matter, because they were too busy with anything else they could think of.

        The victim mentality is not an endearing trait, and the author is swimming in it.

        I too have suffered from racial slurs on nights out, primarily by Muslim youths who apparently hate me simply for being a “danskersvin”. (Danish Pig)
        The only way to avoid these situations is to shrug and walk away, because they tend to have more people in their group than you can readily see, and they very frequently carry knives as well.
        The only problem I see with the author having experienced being subjected to racial slurs whilst out on the town, is that no-one objected. That seems highly unlikely to me. Usually when something like that happens, people are quick to step in. Unless of course it’s immigrants throwing around the racial slurs and threats, then no-one dares interject for fear of being sent to hospital or the morgue.

        If people with a different race than Caucasian were habitually hunted and beaten up every day by roaming gangs of foaming wild men, I could understand if the Author feels that Denmark does nothing about “casual racism”. But the Author describes nothing at all like that. It’s not exactly a page out of Mississippi burning.

        I know most of you reading this will likely think that I am just another ignorant white guy who knows nothing of your struggles, and that’s fine.. I just felt I had to defend my country, as I am tired of seeing this same tired argument.

        • Mike
          October 15, 2014 - Reply

          Sweetie you country already not the happiest in the world its already to number 3 :) i know whats mean happy person YOU are not happy trust me :) look at your faces every morning, complaining every time not enough SU or something this is not happiness for sure.

          • Daniel
            March 17, 2015 - Reply

            That is because you interpret it from another perspective, your own cutural perspective. First of all, there are different ways to express happiness. True happiness is not about running around laughing or having a colgate smile on your face. It’s about what you have inside, that other stuff is just superficial. Everyone can smile, also people with a severe depression. It has nothing to say about happiness. Of course Danes complain, as do all other nations. The time spent on a full time study in Denmark is/should be the same amount of hours spent on a full time job (8-16 everyday). This means no time for work to pay your bills. This is where SU becomes very important for a full time student. And the fact that Danes pay 46% average in taxes makes them expect certain benefits that they have actually paid for! :-)

          • The truth
            December 11, 2015 - Reply

            Why not look at your country first :) I’m pretty sure Africa is suffering from starvation and violence. I know what it’s like to feel jealousy against Europe. You don’t respect our principles then we won’t respect you. Speaking of racism in South Africa more than 100000 immigrants are murdered every year. And how many immigrants in Europe had died from assaults and genocide? Obviously far less significant compared to South Africa, now you can put the weed down

            • Galactic Flux
              July 14, 2016 - Reply

              Africa is a continent, not a country, and has all the myriad social and political aspects of any continent full of countries.

    • Dinkervank
      April 10, 2014 - Reply

      “Ignorant dane”, Good observations.

      I was also for a period bullied in school, even very severely. Although I am ethnic danish. There are probably several reasons why this happened. But no one is crying me a river, since I cant really play the “minority card”and thereby gain sympathy.

      The author strikes me as some what oppotunistic, since he knows that in this day and age he can muster attention and sympathy just by stating that he is a oppressed minority.

      I also agree concerning the guy who stated that DF=Nazis. This strikes me as a clumsy attempt at derailing the conversation, as he is either willfully lying or very ignorant.

      • An ignorant dane
        April 11, 2014 - Reply

        Thanks man, very well put yourself. :)

  • Morten
    April 6, 2014 - Reply

    I’m a Dane. I agree with a lot in your post.

    For the record:

    Nigger balls is by NO MEANS a correct translation.

    Just to be fair in an otherwise great post.

  • immigrant
    April 5, 2014 - Reply

    I am not surprised that people are ignorant, Danish gov is also ignorant toward EU or anybody else. That’s common for Danes. At other side, don’t expect from people to accept so easy that they are doing something wrong. People have always excuses.

    So, there is colonial racism and there is economic racism. Colonial racism has roots from the middle age, and it is common for Britain, France and other colonist countries, even today they attack other countries under this or that excuse but all wars are about money and racism is part of war propaganda. Economic racism is connected with labor market. The both types of racism are developed by government, secret service and their journalists, after that cops and other repressive departments participate in all of that. It is so in the US, not only in DK, even slavery is abolished on the paper, it is not so in reality. All people know what is situation for Afroamericans and Latinoamericans in the US, but nobody want to speak what is bad in his own country. Danes especially adapt themselves in society, it is forbidden to be different and if you have 20 good people and one racist, all this 20 will support this one racist, because they are Danes and they must be united. It means 21 become racists. But the most important point is: the sense of racism is economic exploitation and no help for exploited people because majority, cops and judges too, participate in discrimination. Strawberry workers in Sweden, or some other workers in DK, many are exploited and got smaller salary or no salary even they worked several months, police protect domestic citizens, immigrants are deported back to Asia and they don’t have money to pay lawyer in DK.

  • Dear Philip; this is a brilliant piece – observartions from the European centre of denial – please continue to use your obvious gifts bringing appreciation amongst your peers.
    Best regards
    Sune Skadegaard Thorsen

  • Casper
    April 5, 2014 - Reply

    Denmark does not have a racist tradition in the international sense of the word. The problem is more that Danes like to exclude everything that seems different or foreign. When Dane number one and two are together, they like to say bad things about Dane number three. This is not really linked to skin colour, but may also happen to a Jutlander in Copenhagen or a Swede in Jutland.

    Seen in this context, your piece is relevant critique. I also think you have a good point that the seemingly rich and well-educated northern suburbs of Copenhagen can sometimes be the most bigoted and intolerant part of Denmark.

    However, in recent years a more outright racism also exists in Denmark. But xenophobia is a bigger problem. Usually mastering the language without an accent is the criteria for being a ‘real Dane’, not your skin colour.

    Also, the school you went to is probably not a typical example. Some schools will always blame the victim.

    There are a few misleading translations in your text: The Danish word ‘neger’ does NOT translate to nigger, but to black or negro (in the pre-1970 sense of the word). It is still the common word for a person with African descent. Except when people are afraid of being perceived as politically incorrect, then they say ‘sort’ (black). But the transition to saying ‘sort’ (black) is not unproblematic, because to the older generation, ‘sort’ may sound more racist than ‘neger’. ‘Sort’ has been used as a slur.

    Also, the chocolate trait with a fluffy filling has not been called a ‘negerbolle’ for many years. I am born 1975 and although I knew the former word, we always called it ‘flødebolle’ (cream bun), and the packing also used that word. If you check with a lingustic word collection such as http://ordnet.dk/korpusdk , then you’ll see that already in 1990, the word negerbolle was much less common than flødebolle. ‘Negerbolle’ does NOT translate to nigger ball, but rather ‘negro bun’, again, in the neutral sense of ‘negro’. It does not mean a testicle, and not at all a black person’s testicle.

    (While not part of the debate on Denmark, may I also remind you that in the US there are actually still some old black people who insist on registering as Negro in censuses, because they don’t regard the word as racist. Just an example that it takes a lifetime to change the connotations of a word. And the word ‘neger’ is not likely to slide out of the Danish language very soon, although it is slowly yielding to ‘sort’ (black).)

    Nobody should be named with a nickname that disregards his personality and sees him only as part of a minority, but this is often the case. I don’t think being called The Negro is any worse or better than being called The Swede, Femi-Bent or Homo-Henrik, but such derogatives exist.

    Denmark has actually become much more international for the last couple of decades,, but is still insisting on a sort of provincial insensitivity or tactlessness. I think this is the real problem, and racism is not the correct word to use, at least not in all these cases.

    Especially to Americans, racism has a very special meaning, and when they read about racism in Denmark, they will most probably misunderstand it.

  • Ola
    April 4, 2014 - Reply

    Доброслав, Denmark coldnt invade Faroese islands :)

  • Bashy Quraishy
    April 4, 2014 - Reply

    Dear Philip
    My name is Bashy Quraishy and I have lived in Denmark since 1970.
    For the last 32 years, I have worked with racism, discrimination, Islamophobia, anti-Roma and also anti-Semitism in Denmark and EU.
    I have also written many books on the issue of Danish culture and the official policy of segregation of non-white minorities. Since 2011, I am also making Shadow Reports on racism and discriminatory practices in Denmark with each word very well documented and proven. You are welcome to Google my name and can see much more on the subject.
    The reason, I am saying this is not to impress or paint my own picture but to let you know, that I have first hand knowledge of the issues and that racism and discrimination exits in all fields of life in Denmark but most Danes prefer to not see it, acknowledge it and worst of all love to deny it.
    The latest example is the report made by the Commissioner for Human Rights from Council of Europe, in which he criticized strongly Denmark and its practices.
    Here is his statement;
    “In an interview with the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, I underscored that in my report I welcomed the guidance provided by the Director of Public Prosecutions on the implementation of criminal law provisions against hate speech and hate crime. I said that I encouraged the Danish authorities to pursue their efforts to combat hate speech, and in particular islamophobia, which continues to be widespread in public and political debate, according to numerous national and international reports and information I have received from an array of sources. The Danish authorities’ comments to my report provide precise data on the number of prosecutions, sentences and fines due to hate speech.

    The Danish authorities have undertaken steps to counter this phenomenon, including awareness raising activities, both for the public at large and the police. This is an important acknowledgment of the long-standing problem and a welcome approach to addressing this issue in media and political discourse in Denmark, which is not just a matter of legislation and its implementation, but also of responsible communication.

    In my report, in fact, I stressed that though freedom of expression is a fundamental right, which must be protected, it is not an absolute right. There are limits, which apply to freedom of expression, in particular with regard to hate speech. As the European Court of Human Rights put it, “tolerance and respect for the equal dignity of all human beings constitute the foundations of a democratic, pluralistic society. That being so, as a matter of principle it may be considered necessary in certain democratic societies to sanction or even prevent all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance”.

    This means that although freedom of expression of politicians and political parties deserves a high degree of protection, the latter cannot justify racial discrimination nor fuel racism as this goes against the fundamental principle of democracy”.
    He is not the only one. Amnesty International, ECRI, FRA, ENAR, UN Committee on Human rights and many other international organisations have soberly criticised Denmark.
    Unfortunately, many politicians, a vast majority of media and most Danes live in a fantasyland and they do believe that it is a fairyland. May be it is but for white, Christian descents of Vikings and certainly not for non-white, non-European people who live and work here.
    I can send you a PDF file of 2011-2012 report made by me for ENAR – Brussels.
    Kind regards
    Bashy Quraishy
    Coordinator-ENAR Platform – Denmark
    Chief Editor – MediaWatch – Denmark
    Board Member – Institute for Human Rights -Denmark
    Chairman – Ethnic Debate Forum – Denmark
    Mobile; 0045 40 15 47 71
    Phone; 0045 38 88 19 77
    http://www.bashy.dk

    • An ignorant dane
      April 7, 2014 - Reply

      Bashy, you are great at showing yourself in a favorable light.. but there is a reason why you’ve been banned from so many places, there is a reason that people don’t pay you any attention. It’s because you’re a massive hypocrite and a huge racist.

      Your constant calls for Muslim states to boy cut Denmark, your constant endeavors to undermine us internationally as a nation.. well it does not go unnoticed.

      I sincerely hope, that anyone who believes this load of garbage you spew on a regular basis, have the common decency to at least Google you, and discover exactly the kind of person you are.

  • Cecilie
    April 4, 2014 - Reply

    I am sad to say I recognize what you say, especially about the Danish hate towards political correctness. And this is something I hope your Words here, as well as many other Words, repeated many times, may change before my children grow up. (My children will grow to be women, and this hate of political correctness is affecting their lives too.)
    A small thing; Jannik, with whom I generally do NOT agree, is right about the interpretation of “negerboller”. I don’t think anyone perceived this candy for children as a sexual or derogatory term, when I was a child – and not so informed as I am today – I called them so myself, and not even the people who feel that the world is left without smiles and fantasy because of politically correct candy woul accept the term “niggernosser” which would be the term, if your translation were correct.

  • Cecilie
    April 4, 2014 - Reply

    Sad to say, I recognize what you describe. (Being Cis-dane myself). It is well written and to the point.
    One small thing though: I was a bit chocked by your perception of the candy term. The term used for the chocolate covered candy was actually more like “negro buns” rather than “nigger balls”, which makes the insult a good deal milder, but the point still stands.

  • Grethe Hansen
    April 4, 2014 - Reply

    Du kan ikke oversætte ordet “negerbolle” til “niggerballs” just saying. Fnis.

  • Доброслав
    April 4, 2014 - Reply

    So much drama,so many victims and suffering in a first world country,apparently people without real problems are trying to invent them. I feel sorry for you hurt people but I have to say that people will be mean to each other for no good reason and being different is such a case,now the fact that you victims are eating well,sleeping,well and drinking clean water,taking a bath,having a roof tells me that you live better than roughly 80% of planets population.And the non ignorant Americans that are also not racist,I got only one thing to say-Denmark didn’t invade Iraq and Afghanistan and committed genocide and call Arabs rag heads,although Danes participate and even bomb Libya.And at least in Denmark people are not shooting in schools and having a firearm is not a common thing,so much for Americans not being racist and aggressors,may I remind you,no one is bound to live here,it’s not North Korea,you can always go to better places like AMERICA

    • Jens
      April 4, 2014 - Reply

      …and the lowest kind of ignorant finally spoke.

  • Hope
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Very well written, so perceptive, and it would be as you know your subject inside out!
    I lived in Denmark, in Copenhagen, for 4 years. A white of african birth. As soon as I opened my mouth to speak a Danish of sorts I was marked as different. I came to experience the reaction as a lack of acceptance and at times racism. Having grown up watching whites being aggressively racist towards black people I finally judged Denmark to be a country where difference is not acceptable nor understood. I agree that ignorance underlies the natural racism that was daily on view in Denmark. It was shocking and surprising to experience it as all that I knew of Danes before ignorantly becoming a resident was their benevolent and liberally minded development work in my home country. I am saddened to think of the daily grind that comes with looking different in Denmark

  • Giajenthiran Velmurugan
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Dear Phillip
    Thank you for a well-argumented and written post. I agree with most of your points however, there are some points I wish to make/clarify.

    A little about my background: I am 24 years old, born in Denmark raised in a little village where my family was the only foreign family, my parents are from Sri Lanka an island south of India. I consider myself Danish because I was born in Denmark and raised here. I also consider myself Tamil because my parents are from Sri Lanka and the Tamil population, and they raised me in their own culture. People who do not see how my name is spelled (which has been cut down to Kalle by my friends) often think I am adopted.

    In my personal life I don’t mind these “black-jokes” even though technically I am not black, I am Indian, Asian and Tamil, however in everyday interaction I am “the black dude”. I even use these jokes myself sometimes, asking people if they did that just because I am black (which I often know is not the case), mocking my Danish friends for being too pale, or when they are sunburned etc. I do this and accept the jokes from my friends even though I know these jokes reproduce certain discourses that frame being black as something less than white, or sometimes I reframe the jokes stereotyping white as not so pretty as black (with jokes calling my friends pale). Now the real question is, even though I know these jokes reproduce certain racist assumptions why am I perfectly fine with them, and why do I not consider them racially offensive? The answer is because I am not only Danish. I am also Tamil and these jokes I see as a way of accepting my ethnicity and heritage without them meaning anything offensive, because it is a joke.

    Now is my point, that you or people who feel like you should do the same? Of course not. You have come up with some good arguments concerning why not. We all know that Danish people have the freedom of speech, which they defend higher than the existence of God. What they often do not realize is that the people they speak to have the freedom of interpretation. Stating that it does not matter how something is “meant” if it offends the person, you are doing it to, you should stop doing it, and accept their freedom of interpretation. My advice to you would therefore be to tell people that you know it is their right and you know they probably don’t mean anything bad with it, but you get hurt each time you hear it, and it doesn’t matter how it is meant you will keep getting hurt every time you hear these jokes, and you know you can’t stop them from saying it, but now they know how they affect you, and they have the choice not to say them again. In some aspects it can be compared to when you joke about short peoples height some are fine with it some are not. Or if you joke with women being women and men being men, some are fine with it, some are not.

    • Dalia dark
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      HI Giajenthiran Velmurugan. It is so nice the way that you explain and the way that you take life. When you have good friends arround, life is easy and jokes are just jokes. I come from Latinamerica, I have not born in Denmark, but luckily I have many good friends and even they do all kind of jokes about my backgound our relation is not baced in this jokes. They are not racist and I’m not their laughingstock. Unfortunately there is also jokes or coments loaded of ignorance and racism and I can feel clearly when. And it is very irritating when people try to be funny or smart with that kind of comments and they are not it at all.
      All kind of ignorance that is mix with arrogancy is dangerous. It is important to debate about it all over the world. We have to keep developing as a humans in the wisdom of understanding and love. It will take us a little time to learn, but we are on the way. The best for you guys, we will never stop to learn.

  • Magnus
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Is it racism that Brøndby fan beats one FCK fan? or what about a man who beats his wife? is that racism? or when three Arab boys beats a jew on Nørrebro?
    Does Denmark have a problem with football violence, domestic violence and religious violence?

    • Christian Prip
      April 6, 2014 - Reply

      What is your point, Magnus? That there are many problems in Denmark?

    • 2i's open
      November 24, 2014 - Reply

      No,it’s 2 supporters,from rival clubs,fighting.Plus,he is a wife beater,etc…Do you need a definition for racism…Or are you,just high…dummy..

  • Name_Changed
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    The reason why all racism and hate happens, is the immigrants that do not want to adapt, all others have to suffer. Never seen so many people having no common sense at all then in Denmark ( I am talking about obvious immigrants).
    No, it is not okay to spit everywhere in the most disguisting way. No, it is not okay to scream when you are on your phone ir your own language, especially while in bus or a train. No, it is not okay to act as a gangster(while looking as a loser), and think that all danes are stupid, and walk in packs while frighting people.

    I am very happy to live in Denmark, and I try to adapt to social morals/unnoficial rules that are normal ways to act in a certain country. People do not appreciate the chance given for them (war refugees for example) in such a way, it is even hard to understand.

    Everyone should be proud about their origins, but the minority(sometimes maybe even a majority) of people prevent others to do so.

    • Mike
      October 16, 2014 - Reply

      what the bullshit!! everyone can speak their own language on the phone!!! what a shy, arrogant and with complexes nation

  • anni
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Ive lived in dk for 7 years now, before i had lived in the US and let me tell you danes are more racist than any american ive ever met. The problem is you have a bunch of ignorant people with their strong opinions and 9th grade education thinking they have a right to say whatever they want to anyone and if you look non danish at all they think its funny to “make joke”or comment about your appearance. The worst ive seen are middle eastern people here calling themselves black or nigger cause i guess they are so used to being called that by ethnic danes.

    • Jannik
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      No middleeasterners are not usually refered to as “blacks” or “niggers” by ethnic danes. Usually just “2. generation immigrant” or “muslim”, or if less kind, some more specific ethnic slur.

      The “nigger” identity has been imported from the american gangsta subculture.

      • Christian Prip
        April 6, 2014 - Reply

        If that theory sticks, Jannik, it is interesting that an identity from beyond the pond has been imported instead of the far more advantageous, prevalent identity, namely white Danish.

    • The truth
      December 11, 2015 - Reply

      If you think they’re so racist then why come to Denmark in the first place? It’s hypocritical the fact you’re blaming Denmark for racism when other countries or continent like Saudi Arabia and the Middle East has a worst case in tolerance. People like you expect too much from Europe

  • The man of the North
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    I don’t think the problem is coming from another country. Even Danes from east and west hate eachother.. hell people even hate people from the other regions in Copenhagen. People will always be “careful” or even “scared” of the unknown or different. Speaking danish with an english accent, looking different, even have a weird danish dialect will be enough to call it “racism”. I’m from Norway myself, and have been called many things including “dog”, and even been beaten to a bloody pulp with a broken nose just because I was a norwegian. Norway and Denmark are just as brothers, or so we want to believe. The truth is, they are just as scared of a blond norwegian than a asian looking person.

    I don’t think this problem can only be seen in Denmark, I think it is all around the world! Can’t blame a whole nation because of some bad moments here and there. I certainly have had my ups and downs.. but I’ve had the same issues elsewhere as well.

    In the end, even if I did get beaten up in the street, and do get called bad things from time to time, I still live here. I have many friends, meet a lot of interesting people and enjoy my time here. I’m a positive person, so I don’t go around getting all the negative things cloud my everyday life.

  • Mark Wiess
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Yeah, that is really said. Unfortunately such behavior will happen in any country you live in. It can be even in the US, where most part are white but the country is predominantely a huge mixed race, black, indians, mexicans, etc.
    You need to be stronger than all of this and have a huge sense of humor. The immigration has widely grew in the past century. If you look behind, there has never been such kind of mix of races in modern times like we are facing right now, so people is still getting used to it. It is normal to outstand against the difference but people need to have in mind that things are and will always be like that, a huge mix of races. As Darwin would agree, that’s why we evolve.

  • Jannik
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    “We still bemoan the death of our right to call chocolate-coated marshmallow treats “Niggerballs,” as if it were some kind of divine right bestowed upon us by the Goddess of Free Speech. ”

    The author of the above article is either ignorant or dishonest. “Negerboller” does not translate to “niggerballs”, but more likely to “negro buns”, but there really is no straight forward translation.
    Except for the “neger” part, which directly translates to “negro”. And historically this term did not contain racist connotations. So the author is really exaggerating the “racist” aspect, with a faulty example.

    • Christian Prip
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      Alright. Let’s say you are right in claiming that. Does the entire weight of the above piece rest on that one statement?

      • Jannik
        April 3, 2014 - Reply

        No offcouse not, but I still think it is a valid objection.

      • Alexander
        April 6, 2014 - Reply

        Yep. Because when you claim that the lone negro student was called “the nigger”, and go all “WHAT A FUCKING TRAVESTY!!!!”, thats flat out false. He was called a negro. A black person.

        And we call blacks negroes, because the colour black, sort, has negative connotations relating to death and night in danish. Negro, or neger, is a proper fine term to use. Just like caucasoid for whites, is fine.

        You are making a fuss out of nothing. Get over yourself, social warrior.

    • Again, Jannik, you are wrong. “Negro” was once the politically correct term for a person of color in America and used by African-Americans themselves (cf. e.g. NAACP). It certainly no longer is. “Neger” has always been a word White Danes used to describe someone different to them and has for decades had very negative connotations. So its English counterpart IS actually “Nigger,” which is similarly negative. According to Den Danske Ordbog, a synonym of “Neger” actually is “nigger” (http://sproget.dk/lookup?SearchableText=neger). So Phillip using that example is not only correct, but an extremely good point.

      • Jannik
        April 3, 2014 - Reply

        Well why dont you compare it with what the wikipedia article says:

        “Ordet neger kan sammenlignes med engelsk negro i den ældre og relativt neutrale betydning. Det stammer ikke fra det engelske nigger, som typisk er et nedsættende ord.”

        But you claim that:

        “So its English counterpart IS actually “Nigger,” which is similarly negative. ”

        So the danish wikipedia article directly contradicts your claim.

        And it is contested whether the word “neger”, historically was used in a derogatory sense as you claim. Or just as a descriptive term since it literally is derived from the term “black”.

        So it actually seems like you are quite wrong Morten.

        • I’ll let the fact that you rely on Danish Wikipedia as your primary source speak for itself.

          • Jannik
            April 3, 2014 - Reply

            Just keep in mind that you just recently referred an article to me from wikipedia Morten. So why suddenly the doublestandard?

            But here is another non-wikipedia source from videnskab.dk:

            “http://videnskab.dk/sporg-videnskaben/hvorfor-ma-man-ikke-sige-neger”

            As Jørgen Schack says who is “seniorforsker i Dansk Sprognævn” states:

            “Op til 1970′erne var der ellers overhovedet ikke noget galt i at bruge ordet ‘neger’, siger sprogforskeren. Det var en neutral betegnelse, som folk med afrikansk oprindelse foretrak at bruge om sig selv.

            For eksempel kaldte Martin Luther King sig selv og sine tilhørere for ‘negroes’.

            Ordet blev først sparket ud til højre, da den sorte borgerrettighedsbevægelse efter Martin Luther Kings død lagde afstand til det og i stedet begyndte at kalde sig selv for ‘black’.

            »Borgerrettighedsbevægelsen skiftede ‘negro’ ud med ‘black’ for at signalere en ny racebevisthed, og der skete en afsmitning herhjemme: ‘Neger’, som er den danske variant af ‘negro’, blev politisk ukorrekt, og i dag står man bedst ved ikke at bruge ordet, fordi mange opfatter det som nedsættende,« siger Jørgen Schack. ”

            Linguist Schack expicitly states that “neger” is the danish equivalent of “negro”, not “nigger”. And that “neger” has just in recent decades become un-pc due to american influence.

            If you have the balls, you will just admit that your assertion that neger = nigger is just false.

          • Well, as to the Wikipedia thing, I referred you to a page about a book, but you referred to a page with unscientific claims about a word. I like the reference you make above way more in terms of, let’s call it academic accountability.
            The Jørgen Schack quote you are referring to also conflates “Negro” and “Neger”. That is wrong in my opinion. In US a relatively large portion of the population has always been Black. As such, when they “agreed” on a word to describe themselves, this was THEIR prerogative. Obviously not all Black Americans can or could agree on a proper word to identify them, but at least they had a quasi-formal leadership, comprised e.g. of MLK, who could decide what word the majority were most comfortable with. There was no such kind of leadership for Black people in Denmark – “Neger” was a word decided upon as acceptable by White Danes and as such it is one inundated with White power per definition (not the skinhead kind of White power, but the cultural and political power of White people). As such, the comparison between “Neger” and “Negro” as two equally neutral words is false.
            But even if I did agree with Jørgen Schack (who might know a bunch of stuff about linguistics and words, but obviously is a novice when it comes to race relations and that language is actually just another means of the majority’s authority), he also says that since the 1970s “Neger” HAS been politically incorrect in the Danish language as well. What Philip Pfeiffer is referring to is Danes who still, in 2014, are offended that they are not allowed to use “Negerboller” to denote “flødeboller” and his point stands because in 2014 (and, I would argue always) “Neger” = “Nigger” in terms of it being a word with negative connotations. However, the degree of negative connotations do differ, for example, because “Nigger” is so heavily associated with the slave-master-relationship etc., but that “Nigger” is a worse word than “Neger” does not make “Neger” a good word.
            PS: I have no idea why you feel a need to invoke my balls or lack thereof.

          • Annabella
            April 8, 2014 - Reply

            Well, here is a good source, if you read Danish, showing the Danish n-word has been used in a derogatory manner for more than 100 years: http://ordnet.dk/ods/ordbog?query=neger

            I think you’re right that the English n-word carries more baggage from slave times, but also that it is the best translation for the Danish n-word. Bottom line: they are both offensive to black people and are used to offend.

  • Lailla
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Dear Phillip,
    Thank you for the article, I must say I can really relate to it. I came to Denmark perhaps a little over a decade older than you – old enough that I have another culture to compare it to, yet young enough to be able to say I have grown up here and am in many ways more danish than brazilian – but I must say my experiences were somewhat similar. I had a couple of years in danish schools before I myself made a choice to go into the international system, not because I was bullied, but simply because I didn’t feel like I belonged. I felt much more comfortable in an international environment, although i must say the differences were still there. In every different class i was in there was a closed group of danes who stuck to their group and insisted in always speaking danish, and there was a clear difference between the danes that had lived abroad and therefore had the experience of being foreigners themselves, and those that had simply chosen an international education. I went to normal danish high school (Birkerød) that so happens to have an international side too, so the biggest issue was that between the 2 sides. I watched through the years i was there the relations between them become worse, til the point where it didn’t even matter if you were 100% danish and happened to choose an international education – you were an outsider because you studied IB. New danish students would start in the summer and on their first day they would be told by the older students assigned to welcome them to stay away from the internationals – we were freaks, nerds. Unfortunately, this has only resulted in the fact that after 11 years living in Denmark I have as a defence isolated myself with only international friends, despite considering myself more danish in some ways than brazilian, which i consider a rather sad consequence.

  • Erin G
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    The janetloven is alive and thriving in Denmark. I moved here from the US about 8 months now because I married a Dane. I came from Detroit so racism was pretty prevalent, and I am shocked at how “forward” and “social” thinking people can be so racist. It isn’t even outward racism, it is passive aggressive racism to anyone, and I mean anyone who isn’t Danish. At least in the US they are upfront about it.
    My son has Down syndrome and that gets me some of the worst looks ever. Like I should have “fixed” the problem before hand. Like my sons genetics will screw up the gene pool. Here in DK there is a 95%+ of termination for DS babies, in the US it’s only 67%. I’m not trying to promote the US either because everyone knows the problems there.

    • Jannik
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      Your analysis strikes me as wrong. You chose to birth a child with down-syndrome, even though you had the opportunity to abort the child.
      In a country based on the nordic type welfare state, everyone knows that it is the average taxpayer who will pick up the bill, and collectively pay for you handicapped son.

      So I am sorry to inform you that many people will, perhaps unfaily, judge your decision to have a handicapped son, as amoral.

    • Christian Prip
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      Erin, you touch on my point. Because Danes are pretty progressive. (I may be wrong, but it would seem that many agree).
      In spite of their progressiveness Danes still promote racism–unintentionally. But what we would do well to remember is that most Danes are unaware of their racism. This does not absolve them of their contribution to a harmful discourse, but it means that it is important not to demonise Danes and, instead, promote awareness of the racist practices which pervade a(ny) Dane’s daily doings. Philip’s piece is a step in that direction which is why it will hopefully be an important contribution to that effect.

    • sangerinde
      April 6, 2014 - Reply

      Erin, I can’t say I know what I’d do if I were told I were carrying a child with Down’s–but if I decided to raise my child, sure as hell wouldn’t want dreadful people like Jannik telling me my child was a leech on society. I don’t really have much more to add here, but I couldn’t move on without throwing some weight on the compassion side of the scales for you and your (undoubtedly) very loved and wanted child.

  • Доброслав
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Yes indeed all of that is true Phillip and the rest of you overly sensitive people,being white male is not the issue,being foreigner is,although Phillip grew up here,I my self encountered unfriendliness and discrimination many times since I moved to Denmark,it taught me a lesson though,cause being a white Bulgarian male,I was making fun of the Gypsies and Turkish minorities in Bulgaria not recognizing it as an insulting behaviour. Anyway,even being discriminated,I live better and have more rights and options than in Bulgaria and I’m not even Danish citizen Phillip.Now think of it like that,wouldn’t one be discriminated if one is born different in Africa or Asia and I think you know the answer to that question.Think also what would’ve happened to you if you wren’t adopted and had to live in poverty and struggle everyday. I’m saying not to make you swallow the bitter pill,but just because poverty and misery are in a much bigger scale problems than racism is,of course I bet you can’t relate to that issue? When that guy rubbed your face in the ground you must have punch him back and be a man.

  • Rosemary
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story- I am also an Asian-looking woman living in CPH. I so much agree with how you concluded- ”part of living as a minority in Copenhagen is learning to accept that I will be subjected to ignorant behavior at times, and that few people will be able to understand why it upsets me. I’ve had to learn not to get jaded, learn to understand and accept where that ignorance comes from, learn to remind myself of the Danes that do understand”.

  • Daniel
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Great article. I am from New York City, and have been living here for about 6 years. The latent racism in Danish society bothers me on almost a daily basis. It is, as you described, not born out of malice, necessarily — but more out of a privilege that comes from never actually having to have experienced being a minority. I think this article is a really important step in what will necessarily be a long process of “reprogramming” — where in the end, hopefully Danish society will become a bit more balanced, and a bit more pleasant for foreigners and people who look different to not have to suffer similar experiences to those you describe in the article. Please keep sharing your voice, as it gives hope to others of us who doubt whether we actually want to live here long term, in these types of conditions

    • Jannik
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      “reprogramming”? Thanks, but no thanks. There is already enough “anti-racism” brainwashing going on in the western countries. And I am really not interested in more of the americanized PC brainwashing. Cultural marxist PC reprogramming is both degrading, hateful, anti-european and based on lies.
      So I am really not interested in more american fastfood diversity propaganda. Please keep it to yourselves.

      • Christian Prip
        April 3, 2014 - Reply

        Jannik, what Philip so eloquently reveals to you is his experience of Danish society. But not just his, many others’, too. If so many people share that experience, how can you so easily (narrow-mindedly, one might say) refuse both the premise and the conclusion?

        Isn’t it about time you started taking seriously the sentiments expressed by marginalised Danes who happen to look different? (Note that I do not even have to say what they look different from–you automatically know who isn’t different!)

        • Jannik
          April 3, 2014 - Reply

          Well I am actually not dismissing any of it outright, although I do have some reservations. The author is describing his experience of his upbringing in DK. His experience is by definition subjective and anecdotal.
          I just dont think that his type of experience is particular to Denmark. Perhaps with the possible cultural exception, that danes are very uninhibited when it comes to making fun of ethnic, sexual or religious minorities. But this norm is preferabe to outright violence or hostility, which is the norm in many other parts of the world.
          I think that it is a universal experience, that a person will feel marginalized and psychologically estranged when one is ethnically or racially different from the majority.
          I could bore you with all of my negative “racist” experiences from my stay in Tokyo, but I wont. Suffice it to conclude that the japanese have very few “anti-racist” inhibitions, and dont have a problem calling you a “round-eye” straight to your face. So I am quite convinced that this phenomenon is universal.

          Besides, you have to take into account that the author was transracially adopted, and therefore, in all likelihood, is riddled with all kinds of identity issues. Which he also, at least to some degree, admits himself.

          But no matter what, I am staunchly against any kind of totalitarian “re-programming” of the population. This will not change anything, but will instead result in increased animosity and resentment.

          • Christian Prip
            April 3, 2014 - Reply

            An enlightened reply (no sarcasm!).
            I agree that humour > violence. I agree that microaggressions > macroaggressions. But, surely, you must agree that non-aggression > any-form-of-aggression, right?
            The conclusion being: Danes are not the worst–but is being not-the-worst our ambition as a people?

            No doubt that people are not blind to certain physical differences when communities are largely mono-ethnic. And I agree with you that the individual perceiving his/her own difference can influence the degree to which a person feels exposed to racism. And that’s why an isolated testimony of Philip’s kind could perhaps be dismissed. But Philip is far from the only one to speak out on this subject in this way. It has to be taken seriously, and many have think about how to alter their behaviour. Not because of brainwashing, ideologies, or anything to that effect. Rather, the change has to come because it is the decent thing to do.

            I think that “re-programming” wasn’t intended to be understood in a Clockwork Orange kind of way. The phrasing is potentially unfortunate, and I do not recommend Death Camps of Tolerance (cp. the South Park episode).

          • Malte
            April 5, 2014 - Reply

            I’m sorry to say this Jannik but you are a racist – and presumably a neoconservative to. The science you claim as a form of metaphysics to rule the social carry no thinking but only the marked logic of western rationality and economy. I actually get quite scared reading your cynical view on the world but never the less you prove the point: a lot of danish people are unintentional racist -which to me is just as bad as being it intentional. The biology you speak of is crap by the way: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91653-race/

          • Dinkervank
            April 10, 2014 - Reply

            This is addressed to the user “Malte”, just below me.

            “I’m sorry to say this Jannik but you are a racist – and presumably a neoconservative to.”

            Oh so now I am supposed to quiver in fear now that you have put me in place with your “racism” accusation?
            Your childish accusations are sadly totallly lost on me, I simply dont give a ….

            Neoconservative you say? You know apparently nothing about me, and I suspect you dont even have a very good graps of what “neoconservatism” means.
            But let me assure you that I not in the least adhere to this doctrine.

            “The science you claim as a form of metaphysics to rule the social carry no thinking but only the marked logic of western rationality and economy.”

            This is all wrong. And your marxist theoy doesnt explain, for instance, why the medieval arabs considered east african blacks as inferior, and in large numbers castrated them to avoid their proliferation in the arab world. The arab traders and intellectuals described them in the most disparaging racial terms.

            So much for the theory about the evil european enlightenment.

            “I actually get quite scared reading your cynical view on the world but never the less you prove the point: a lot of danish people are unintentional racist -which to me is just as bad as being it intentional.”

            No this is not my point. Danes are not special in this regard. All human populations of the world have racist tendencies to varying degrees.

            But you are very right on one count. My outlook is very cynical, since I dont believe in the multicultural utopian fiction. My perceptions are grounded in empirical reality, not wishful thinking.

  • Andy
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Very nice article Philip. Thanks for speaking out in this way.

    As a very multi-cultural, yet very much white caucasian West-European, I can really relate to what you say here. My experience of living and studying in Denmark (Copenhagen & CBS) shares many features of what you discuss here, especially those feelings of “otherness”.

  • Alejandro
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    I think that the situation you describe can be made in any country in the world, not only in Denmark. This is human nature not danish society. I have lived in 5 different countries so far and I can tell you that the feeling is the same in any society you move into. Fortunately danes are much more open than other societies, maybe you are not able to compare yet.

    I was beaten for the fact of being a foreigner at an old age, not as a kid, in a easter european country. That is just a small example of how the world is.

    • Dear Alejandro. I can assure you that racism is not human nature. Race and racism are social constructs. And while racism might be more ingrained and/or overt in other countries that does not lessen the severeness of Danish racism. Racism most Danes prefer to stay willfully ignorant about, which is why Philip Pfeiffer’s first-hand account of the insidious way racism works in Denmark is so very important and great.

      • Jannik
        April 3, 2014 - Reply

        What a load of BS. “Racism” is all pervasive in every single region of the world, and has practically been so for all of history. Your claim that it is “socialy contructed” is just plain false and based on marxist ideology.
        If you dont believe me, you should start reading some world history, instead of the usual discouse analysis trash that they usually serve up in academia.

        Ethnic nepotism and the dark side of the coin, racism, is deeply rooted in human nature. Whether you like it or not.

        • Christian Prip
          April 3, 2014 - Reply

          Jannik, your quotation marks around ‘racism’ imply that you do not believe racism exists. I hope that is not the case.

          The fact that racism occurs all around the world is not proof that it is not socially constructed. Surely, you must be able to see the other possible interpretations of that fact. (I am not sure if it is a fact–but for the sake of argument I accept your claim that it is).

          • Jannik
            April 3, 2014 - Reply

            Yes I do believe that there exist examples of racisms. There are just many instances where I doubt if they are genuine. In this day and age there is a racism hysteria going on in all of the western world, a cult of victimization if you will. It is therefore not uncommon that a person or group can garner sympathy if they succesfully achieve oppressed minority status. I therefore choose to adopt a skeptical stance towards racism charges.

            It is a hallmark of any good theory, that it is empirically verifiable or falsifiable . If racism has been pervasive through all of human history, regardless of location, then the social constructivists need many ad-hoc narratives to explain all the different instances of racism.
            The usual strategy employed by social constructivist is usually to claim, as Rane below me, that all these instances throughout history, are really not instances of racism at all.
            Instead they claim that racism is a uniquely european idea originating in the enlightenment, and which was spread as a result of european colonialism.
            The problem offcourse is that they need to explain why all these non-europeans, especially throughout most of human history, were not really acting racist at all.
            Their arguments are in my opinion not very convincing when examines the facts.
            And no amount of definitional weaseling will sort out the problem.

            I on the contrary, claim that racism is inborn and natural. And using ockhams razor, this is also the most simple theory that explains the historic and social facts.

            Now I am not passing moral judgement here, although I probably dont adhere to a very rosetainted theory of human nature. But so be it.

        • Rane
          April 3, 2014 - Reply

          Ethnocentrism, maybe, but not racism. In the Byzantine Empire, e.g., it was perfrectly acceptable for, say, a black person and a white person to get married – provided they were of the same religious denomination. The divide was along religious lines, not racial or ethnic lines. Modern-day biological racism is a result of colonialism and slave trade. European social superiority led people to to believe that certain types of behaviour and modes of thinking were inherent in people’s biological make-up. It was a reversal of cause and effect, so to speak.

          • Jannik
            April 3, 2014 - Reply

            Thats all wrong. Both arabs and egyptians depicted blacks with negative stereotypes during antiquity and the middle-ages. And yes, these depictions were racial in nature, not just ethnocentric.

            You are confusing the issue when you claim that there is some steep definitional divide between the ethnic and the racial, when there really isnt. Racial differences are really just ethnic differences written large. And no, people in the ancient world werent that stupid that they couldnt spot racial differences. This phenomenon is as old as mankind itself.

            “Modern-day biological racism is a result of colonialism and slave trade. European social superiority led people to to believe that certain types of behaviour and modes of thinking were inherent in people’s biological make-up.”

            Well you can call it whatever you want, but there for sure also existed ancient biological racism, just without all the scientific baggage from the early days of biological anthropology.
            Evil colonialist europeans did not invent the phenomenon from scratch, but instead, more or less, tried to explain it with scientific jargon.
            You need to critically examine the post-colonial theories, they simply dont hold up to scrutiny when compared with the historic sources.

            You are aware that most religions are tribal in nature, that means that they are based on kinship ties, and therefore common descent. Even the abrahamic religions started of as a tribal jewish religion.

            And i also highly doubt that african blacks were very common in the byzantine empire during the middleages.
            This would have been a novelty, not a regular diversity parade as you would like the readers to believe.

            And the encouragement of race mixing is really not any indication of any belief in racial or ethnic equality. The spanish colonial empire encouraged marriages between the indiginous and conquistadors. But still they regarded the mestizoes as some what inferior. Keep in mind that this is before the era of “scientific racism”. And the fact that the mestizoes were christians didnt make any difference.

            Another example is the chinese merchants interaction with the portugese during the age of exploration. The ethnic han chinese described the europeans as smelly, “round eyed, hairy white monkeys” , this depiction was made without any help from the evil scientific racists.

            Post-colonialism and the “social-construction of racism” should have been empirically demolished a long time ago. Unfortunately it has been strengthened by the prevaling zeitgeist.

        • What you are (very angrily) saying, Jannik, is simply not true. First off, I appreciate that we probably have similar end-goals in mind – eradicating racism and discrimination based on race (as well as gender, sexuality, and so on). The evidence that there is a kind of biologically determined racism, as you say, however, is highly inconclusive (cf. e.g. http://gawker.com/is-there-a-biological-reason-for-sexually-preferring-a-1507424247) Similarly, race-based slavery in America, for example, came about not because of a preconceived notion that Africans were inferior to Englishmen in all ways, but because White Englishmen were no longer interested in being indentured servants and Africans then became _the_ source of cheap labor needed for the labor-heavy agriculture in the colonies, tobacco being the main crop. Thus racism, through discourse as well as laws was institutionalized and normalized to the degree that allowed for the terrible crime against humanity slavery was, became, and is. Obviously I am oversimplifying that process much here. For more on the subject of how race-based slavery and racism intersected in a vital manner, I refer you to, for example, Edmund Morgan’s seminal work on slavery in Virginia, _American Slavery, American Freedom_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Slavery,_American_Freedom)
          That you reject any argument simply because it sounds like Marxism is your problem, not mine. A discussion is impossible if you outright reject any point simply because it can be traced back to Marxist thinking.

          • Jannik
            April 3, 2014 - Reply

            Well I am not so sure that we ultimately share the same endgoal. If racism to some extent is inborn, then there are certain limits as to how much racism can be socially alleviated. Eradication is certainly out of the question.
            And I wont endorse some semi-totalitarian re-programming of the population.
            The Soviets already tried creating a “new man”, without any nationalist or religious sentiments. And look how wrong that went.

            I wont deny that most of the transatlantic slave trade was based on economic opportunism. In fact I believe that it was the main motivation, as opposed to some wet dream of oppression for its own sake.

            And offcourse it is rational to demand cheap slave labour as opposed to workers from the homecountries. This is really just economics 101.

            That some specific racial discourse was institutionalized at some point in history, doesnt really undermine the claim that racism is inborn to some degree. After all the slave owners initially didnt have any problem importing the slaves under horrible conditions.

            In fact there are credible scientific sources that verify that racism is inborn to some extent:

            “http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050525105357.htm”

            Even toddlers exhibit racist tendencies, that is before any social programming has occurred.

            I am not completely dismissing marxist inspired research, but I am very critical of it. And in my experience ,it is very difficult to engage in a constructive debate when the debaters involved rely on very different theoretical first principles.

          • Jannik,
            First of all, thanks for being nice and debating this topic in a sober and reasoned manner. I’ll try to reply in kind.
            I should perhaps amend my former statement. I agree that it may be impossible to fully eradicate racism once-and-for-all in every single person in Denmark or the world. And indeed after doing some research (i.e. mostly googling) I can see that many biologists do argue that prejudice, based on “race” (in quotation marks because race IS a social construct; skin color and other physical markers is not, however (or they may be, but that’s a whole different and even more complex discussion), which many wrongly conflate with race) or any other difference, might be genetic (e.g.: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evolution-of-prejudice/). However, the science also seems to suggest that biologically determined prejudices are relatively easily removed by simply pointing out how a person has, what the article referenced above calls, “automatic prejudice”. And in any case, this kind of automatic prejudice is the racism of the individual. Not the structural racism this post is about and which is what primarily concerns me (although individual racism is ugly as shit as well, and should be sought to be pointed out and shamed whenever it happens, too) As I see it, individual racism, which is the only racism (possibly) determined by biology, is not the main problem. What I want to eradicate is the structural racism that allows for, for example, the casual racism Phillip Pfeiffer and other POC (in lack of a better term) experience on a daily basis in Danish society. That is NOT the biologically determined racism, but rather the racism that comes from, for example, news media bombarding us with the idea of us-and-them (Ekstra-Bladet employs this filthy rhetoric most egregiously, but it is all over the Danish media), but also much more complex issues such as the unequal representation of non-White Danes in popular culture, a lack of non-White politicians etc. etc. I don’t agree that, for example, race-based slavery was founded on inborn racism – rather that this inborn racism was ONE aspect among many that made structural racism so powerful and made it last to this day in the US as well as in Denmark (who, btw, also benefitted economically from slave trade and so had an interest in manufacturing and maintaining the concept of race as a marker of difference). It is as if this “automatic prejudice”, which is only one slight aspect of how and why structural racism and race as a concept came into being, is so central to you that you’re unable to look beyond that “fact” (I put this in quotation marks because the factual nature of that claim is still much disputed in the scientific community) and makes you unable (or unwilling?) to see the many other and much more insidious aspects of structural racism.
            In other words, even if (and that’s still a big if to me) racism as we know it today is to some extent biologically determined, I don’t think that should preclude us from looking and critiquing also and actually even more so the many other aspects of it. I think these non-biological, but rather structural/cultural aspects are way more important than “automatic prejudice” in making structural racism so pervasive in Denmark and Western society as a whole.

  • Caroline
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    That’s a nice fairytale, (Hans) Christian (Andersen), but personal experience and Denmark’s immigration policies tell a different story.

    • Christian Prip
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      The operative word is ‘intentionally’, Caroline. If Danes were intentionally racist, they wouldn’t as sincerely claim not to be.
      However, I agree with your implied point that Denmark is a structurally and institutionally speaking racist country. Still, in order to not demonise an entire population (which cannot be said to be a constructive approach) I believe it is important to avoid blaming non-intentionally racist people for the racism which is, granted, so ever-present in Danish society.

      • Annabella
        April 8, 2014 - Reply

        I would also agree that Denmark is structurally and institutionally a racist country, but as for personal racism, intention is a red herring. If someone acts in a racist way towards Philip, that person is racist. His or her intention is irrelevant, and pretending that intention plays a role in the moral discussion about racism is exactly why institutional and structural racism is so bad here. When one makes the excuse (But I didn’t mean it in a racist way), one does not somehow magically eliminate the racism.

  • Christian Nielsen
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Its actually a bigger percentage. Danish people have the idea that if we make fun of it, it’s not racism. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that as a non-dane that its ok to be made fun of and its essiential that you as a foreigner¨can accept that. (i’m half asian)

    • Christian Prip
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      My point, Christian, is that the ‘bigger percentage’ you speak of is not intentionally racist. As such, they are not to blame individually.
      It is, however, quite alright to point to their current enabling/reproduction of racism and suggest ways in which their behaviour might change to more accurately reflect their intentions.

      • Stuart Prior
        April 5, 2014 - Reply

        I’m not a Dane, but my wife is. We live in London but I’m always bemused by the level of naive racism that I see in Denmark and Danish culture.
        It’s not unsurprising though, a lot of Denmark is very homogeneous and rural. And, as with most white, rural or suburban communities, there’s little actual exposure to people who are different.

        • Christian Prip
          April 6, 2014 - Reply

          I agree with you on both cause and effect there, Stuart. Many of the people who vote for structural and institutional probably never saw a person of different ethnicity than Danish with their own eyes.
          All they know is they don’t know, and that makes them scared. If, and God forbid it doesn’t, that turns to hatred, then we have intentional racism.
          Let’s see if we can constructively work towards enlightening people of their harmful ways.

    • Patience
      August 31, 2014 - Reply

      That’s a skillful answer to a difulcfit question

  • some1
    April 3, 2014 - Reply

    Christian Prip, u a dane? Small percentage you say, huh. Perhaps you prefer staying blind to the truth…

    Philip, very well-written indeed! Sadly, pretty true too…

    • Christian Prip
      April 3, 2014 - Reply

      Yes, some1, I am a Dane. Some say I look foreign, though. Where are you going with this?

      The operative word is ‘intentionally’. See my reply to Caroline below if you’re interested.

  • Christian Prip
    April 2, 2014 - Reply

    Dear Philip,

    First, let me begin with this disclaimer of sorts:
    Like you I wish to emphasise that only a very small percentage of Danes are intentionally racist. The vast majority are profoundly nice people with all the right intentions.

    Secondly, you have no idea how excited I am that you wrote this. For a long time I have had to discuss this topic with friends, acquaintances, and loved ones telling them how they do not know what it’s like–to which has been so often and, technically, correctly, “Nor do you”. You provide strong, vivid, and eloquent testimony for me to use in my coming rounds of discussion.

    I hope naïvely that you will never in the future have reason to write a similar feature. I also sincerely wish you the best of luck and thank you for sharing your perspective.

    Cheers,
    Christian Prip

    • Christian Prip
      April 2, 2014 - Reply

      Moderators, feel free to add a ‘replied’ after ‘correctly’ and, subsequently, delete this post.

    • Jolandeh
      April 6, 2014 - Reply

      The problems are bigger then you think. In Denmark when things though, we tend to makes some humor out of it.. Some time this humor becomes norm.. FX.. Every international friend of my.. knows that DF is a nazi party.. Not like the old german killer nazi.. but pure and simple racial social nationalistic.. But in when i confront any danish person with it.. They will refuse and try to make the problem seem like smaller. This is also one of the reasons that people keep voting for that party in this country.. I dont think Denmark i worst the Austria.. In that country i start sweating just getting on a public bus..
      I can feel their eyes on me..

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