Back in February, first at a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida, and then again at the CPAC convention, President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE had the temerity to suggest that Sweden—the quintessential liberal paradise—was “having problems” caused by taking in large numbers of Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees.
While perhaps not as artful as Marcellus in Hamlet, it turns out Trump had a point—there really is something rotten in the state of Sweden.
And that rot is multiculturalism.
Initially, Trump based his charges on a video shot by filmmaker Ari Horowitz and a subsequent interview of the videographer by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson—in which two Swedish policemen appeared to indicate their country’s violence and higher crime rates were due to ultra-liberal immigration policies and refugee-related crime.
The blowback was immediate.
First, the two Swedish police officers insisted the video was surgically edited and their remarks were taken out of context: “We don’t stand behind it (the video). It shocked us. . . . We were answering completely different questions in the interview. This is bad journalism.”
Horowitz denied any deception and intimated the officers, like all Swedes, were under intense pressure not to speak out about their country’s “open door immigration policy to the Muslim world. . . . They are incapable or unwilling to see the reality of what is happening in their own country.”
The condemnation didn’t stop there. An official tweet from the Swedish embassy chided, “We look forward to informing the U.S. administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies.”
Even Carl Bildt, Sweden’s former prime minister, joined the scrum, “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he (Trump) been smoking?”
Nevertheless, as if choreographed, two days after Trump’s assertions, riots broke out in Rinkeby, a highly segregated suburb of Stockholm (90 percent foreigners) and one of the capital’s reputed no-go zones. Nicknamed “Little Mogadishu,” Rinkeby was also the scene of unrest in 2010.
Quick to downplay the lawlessness—looting, rioting, burning cars, beating shopkeepers, etc.—Swedish politicians and law enforcement officials have all insisted that the massive influx of foreigners from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East has been a huge success story.
They trot out statistics that say refugees accounted for only 1 percent of all crimes between October 2015 and January 2016—all of four months—despite the fact that in 2015 Sweden accepted 163,000 asylum-seekers, the greatest number per capita of any country in Europe and twice the number it had ever accepted before.
They also say upticks in some crime categories (incidences of all “sexual crimes” spiked in 2015) were noted but are comparable to levels prior to the mass-immigration influx—and certainly not indicative of a major crime wave due to foreigners.
Tell that to the average Swede, who paints a different picture. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted during this same period, 46 percent of Swedes believe that “refugees in our country are more to blame for crime than other groups.”
This perception was underscored by British columnist Katie Hopkins — who was asked by Swedish women to come and see for herself. Visiting Rinkeby and other locations inside and outside Stockholm, what Hopkins found was disturbing:
- young Swedish women raped and assaulted by immigrants, with some attacks streamed live on Facebook
- migrant burglaries ignored by police, with the victims afraid to speak out for fear they will be branded as racists
- women forced to run home after work and not even able to defend themselves with pepper spray, as it is banned for fear of injuring rapists, murderers, and other criminals …
- hand-grenade attacks and car fires becoming a part of everyday life in terrorized communities, with emergency ambulances and firetrucks requiring police escorts. . .
- women of all faiths, ages, and circumstances simply trapped inside their homes, too afraid to go outside, especially after dark and especially if they are white and non-Muslim
- Swedish police being ordered not to include race, nationality, height or skin color in their official crime data, so as not to appear racist
Even Ms. Hopkins herself was confronted while visiting the Rinkeby Church community center in the aftermath of the riots—when she asked Arabic-speaking young men why they chose to hang out all day long, join gangs, and refuse to integrate into Swedish society.
Their response: “F*ck off, you white woman whore, go suck your mum,” followed by crude sexual gestures to show what they did to their “little white girlfriends.”
From these and many more accounts documenting the explosion of refugee-related problems, Swedish government officials grudgingly admit that the integration of refugees and immigrants into Swedish society has been troublesome, to say the least.
But what is even more troublesome has been the twisted, exasperating (and dangerous) moral relativism of Swedes to what they see every day and night all around them. It seems they would rather contend with murder, rape, burglary, violence and social unrest than be labelled a racist, xenophobe, Nazi, or, worse yet, insensitive and unsympathetic to Muslims.
Almost as if mandated to keep a nationwide secret, few Swedes want to admit, or accept, that multiculturalism in Sweden isn’t working; that letting in thousands of refugees and immigrants year after year and lavishing them with benefits hasn’t led to social integration; and that almost 100 years of leftist, liberal thinking has been a failure.
Unprecedented immigration has not led to a Nordic Shangri-La, nor will keeping silent and trying to keep up the pretense that it has—miraculously make it so.
As Hopkins was saddened to report, “This is what multiculturalism looks like in 21st-century
Sweden. I am stunned the moral bar has never fallen so low.”
So, is Swedish-style multiculturalism coming to America?
Friday, another attack rocked Sweden.
There are those who say that after eight years of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWe must eliminate nuclear weapons, but a 'No First Use' Policy is not the answer Building back a better vice presidency Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE’s collectivization of government, polarization of race, mobilization of a new immigrant electoral base, and establishment of a suffocating PC culture — it’s already here.
Russell Paul La Valle is an opinion writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, The Village Voice, The Daily Caller, and many other publications. He is a former contributing editor to the philosophical think tank, The Objectivist Center, and is a regular political contributor to The Hill.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.