Defining Swedish white privilege #1: Case Björn Söder

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Sensible people in the Nordic region and elsewhere understand the threat of far right nativist rhetoric through mouthpiece parties like the Sweden Democrats, Danish People’s Party, Progress Party of Norway and Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)* that parrot their “us” and “them” racism. Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder offers us a good example of how Swedish and Nordic white privilege works.

Söder was quoted as saying on The Local that people who aren’t white and don’t assimilate into white Swedes should leave the country. Moreover, he said that the Saami, Jews and Kurds may have Swedish citizenship but they can never be considered “real” Swedes like him.

Read original Dagens Nyheter interview with Söder here.

Näyttökuva 2014-12-15 kello 10.04.51

Read full column here.


Apart from the fact that Söder probably failed Swedish history as one Migrant Tales reader suggested on Facebook, his comment about who is and who isn’t a “true” Swede highlights white Swedish supremacist and racist thinking to the tee.

Definition #1

Considering the neo-Nazi background of the Sweden Democrats that dates back to the 1990s and Söder’s definition of a “true” Swede, it’s clear that the Nordic region’s ever-growing cultural diversity is under attack.

Thomas Elfgren rightly states on a column (in Finnish) Monday that National Socialists don’t need swastikas these days to spread their racist ideology. Far right politicians don’t even have to read Hitler’s Mein Kampf to be National Socialists.

Isn’t it surprising how far right groups and politicians make extreme suggestions to minorities that they’d never suggest in their right mind to themselves or their perceived ethnic group?

The rise of the Sweden Democrat not only shows the failure of mainstream parties to challenge intolerance, but that white privilege is still king in Sweden. It also shows that Nordic people of all ethnic backgrounds should rise up against intolerance. Leadership is needed today more than ever.

What Söder doesn’t phantom is that the Nordic region is already culturally diverse. No matter how the likes of politicians like him kick and bitch about cultural diversity by longing for the good old days when Sweden was predominantly white on the surface, cultural diversity is unstoppable and the process moves on.

Most of Swedish society understands the latter but there are a few white Swedish supremacists who use the white privilege card to drive home their far right views.

The Sweden Democrats are a menace to Sweden and the Nordic region. So are other anti-cultural diversity parties like the DPP, Progress Party and PS. It is a good matter that in Sweden, mainstream political parties are aware of the danger that the far right party poses for the country.


The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

  1. Yossie

    Same broken record of Enrique Tessieri. Swedish identity should be open for anyone and stretched as wide and far as immigrants want. Yet, at the same time minority identities are exclusive. Native Swedish can’t start calling himself a saami but if a saami wants to be considered Swedish, he should be able to, according to fanatics in here. In fact, he can be both, whichever benefits him the most at given situation. Personally I consider this as an attempt to steal Swedish identity.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Yes, true, Yossie. People with low self-esteem or who have a superiority complex speak the way as the Sweden Democrat party secretary. Why should we do about people who have low self-esteem. Should we model the country on their fears?

    • Yossie

      “People with low self-esteem or who have a superiority complex speak the way as the Sweden Democrat party secretary.”

      So people who don’t see cultural diversity and multiculturalism as this fabulous thing either have low self-esteem or superiority complex? Emperor’s new cloths much?

      It is outrageous that you don’t let native Swedish to have the identity of their own. Minorities can have it. Roma, saami and all other recently immigrated can have their identity and culture. Yet you are not willing to let native Swedish to have their own! Everyone should be included into their identity.