Selective hatred and racism know no master

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales has written on a number of occasions about how intolerance and discrimination are a direct threat to our society since such social ills eat away at our values and thereby undermine who we are. We have demonstrated how anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) use selective hatred to ensure their followers that they are strengthening not weakening our values and society.

How is this possible? How can one socially exclude others and uphold Nordic values like fairness, respect and social equality?

Selective hatred is one of the big political  sells that anti-immigration and far-right groups use to drive home their message of hate. In simple English it means that I can socially exclude and discriminate against any group I please and relegate it to third-class membership and keep my country and values simultaneously.

Any sensible person understands that selective hatred cannot work since it means living in a dilemma. It would be something like accepting and living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Some anti-immigration party politicians are such opportunists that they believe that you can keep racism on a short leash. To our horror, Anders Breivik proved to us on 22/7 that this was hogwash.

    Is it possible to live in harmony with Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll if you master selective hatred?  Anti-immigration parties think so. Source: ENGLISHOŠACA.

Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987), a Swedish sociologist and economist, highlighted this conflict in his famous study An American dilemma about race and equality of blacks during the Jim Crow era. The study was published in 1944, eleven years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus on December 1, 1955.

Myrdal was asked in 1938 by the Carnegie Corporation to study the “Negro problem.” They wanted a scholar who was a foreigner and neutral to study the problem.

Here’s the question Myrdal posed:

How could a people who cherish freedom and fairness also create such a racially oppressed society?

One of the important points made in the groundbreaking study was the consequences of living in state of conflict with one’s values.

He wrote:

When people try to deny, to the outside world and to themselves, that they live in moral compromise and that they ceaselessly and habitually violate their own ideals, they are customarily brought to falsify their perception of reality in order to conceal this from themselves and others.

It’s clear that living in such a conflict creates a dilemma, which doesn’t strengthen but weakens your society.

Myrdal’s thesis is applicable to any country, even Finland, which are culturally and ethnically diverse.

Just like Myrdal, we can ask the same question of  Nordic politicians and parties who fuel the “dilemma” by compromising our values such as social equality, tolerance, fairness and respect.

When we hear anti-immigration politicians from Nordic parties like the PS, Danish People’s Party, Sweden Democrats and the Progress Party of Norway, the question is if they are weakening or strengthening our values as a society. It’s pretty clear that the former is the case.

Understanding the short- and long-term impact of our intolerance is crucial if we want to avoid undermining our successful Nordic way of life and values with “dilemmas” that Myrdal highlighted in his groundbreaking study.

One important point that Myrdal made was that all those who give simple remedies for complex problems like ethnic relations and cultural diversity “were not to be trusted.”

One of the problems with anti-immigration parties in the Nordic region and elsewhere in Europe is that they don’t even have simple remedies.

They only whine their broken-record sound bites.