Today on my birthday the snow has come back to Malmoe. As I write these words the snow flakes are falling outside the window and I see a few bikers and a car struggling in the snow on the street below. The park opposite my house is anew clad in a carpet of cold whitewash and I think of what I shall do on my birthday? Later this weekend I will celebrate with a few friends, and I expect a few greetings today from some of my relatives. I think of how I was attracted by this city because of its multicultural mix already when I moved here in 1995. My background, my academic studies and my longlasting dedication since the age of 12. Then I realised what racism and prejudiced notions can be, and what it does to people and already back then I decided that I wanted to do something about it. These were some of the reasons for me to move to Malmoe in the first place. The picture above I took during a manifestation here in Malmoe a few months ago in remembrance of the Crystal Night. What I love about this city is the mix of people, and a now mostly warm atmosphere, even though there are tensions and hatred between people as well.
In a way Malmoe can be seen as a kind of micro-cosmos. Here we have all kinds of people, young, middle-aged and old, men and women, boys and girls. There are ordinary Swedish workers, craftsmen, people with academic background and people with different views, ideas and perspectives. People have come from all over the globe, some are adopted but grown-up in Sweden, others have one or both parents with immigrant background, but are born here themselves, others again have recently arrived. Malmoe is in that way a wonderful mix of people, of the world as a whole.
To live in such a marvellous combination of human variety isn’t always easy, even though it enriches us with new insights and a possibility to learn from each other in many ways, if and when that co-existence is used for a good and peaceful purpose. Tragically enough the reality sometimes isn’t always that positive, because of the frailty in how we sometimes react upon each other. A few days ago a report came that said that many hate crimes remain unsolved because of the lack of competence within the police, but also the lack of co-operation between the judicial authorities and how to deal with hate crimes. Jews are still often attacked, a couple of Jewish women in Rosengård have been threatened and harrassed several times, and other Jews too are annoyed and scared because of how they’re treated. Many times the culprits are young people with Muslim background, but Swedes with Nazi tendencies, people on the Swedish extreme left, anarchists and communists, also have a long tradition of antisemitic tendencies. That is something that I never ever will tolerate. Muslims and others must learn to accept and respect the Jews and just let them be who they are. Then again, the way Palestinians are treated both in the Middle East and here for example is just as horrendous. Some of the hate crimes are aimed at Muslims, women wearing hijab or niqab, Muslims in general. They are scolded, mocked, harrassed, hated. The mosque in Rosengård has been attacked several times and that is neither acceptable. The attacks have to stop, immediately.
To deal with different people with various background is no easy matter, since we think and live in different ways. Sometimes we feel more comfortable with people who have exactly the same background. In private most people use to like being with people like themselves, a natural phenomenon. But there are always different sub-groups. Maybe you divide people according to how wealthy they are, if they have fancy cars, fancy clothes, lots of money etc, and do not care about the others. Then racism isn’t the main problem, but negligence and often disrespect of less fortunate. Other times again you might hate people who don’t share your own religion, your political views and your own agenda. From my perspective I often see this spite and hate aimed in different directions. It could be a “class hate”, workers blindfolded hate against rich people, rich people’s just as unfair spite and cruel treatment of the poor, but also a spite and hate of Sweden and Swedes among many immigrant groups. This spite and hate of Sweden and Swedes has in my eyes also contributed to the worrying success of the Swedish Democrats. Now they have 12 % of the sympathies. Because of the Nazi background this is a sign that leads us back to what society looked like in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Swedish Democrats now call themselves Social Conservatives. What is Nazism an abbreviation of? Answer: National Socialism. If we want to get a warmer climate in society we ought to consider what mechanisms contribute to a country and a world in hate and war. Therefore I believe it’s very important that we find ways to co-operate in peace. I love Malmoe and I love the world we live in. Why can’t we just find this balance and accaptence of our fantastic blend of people? Take a look at the sign below: “A Malmoe for everyone, against hate and violence” it says. Let’s try and reach that goal.
Anders Moberg, January the 15th 2013