"So is the problem with the Danish birth rate really that Danish people aren't having enough sex? Because it's possible that they are having plenty of sex and are using birth control because they don't want to have kids right now. Are children more likely to be conceived on vacations because the Danes just aren't getting it on enough in frosty Denmark, or is it because people are more likely to forget birth control when they're not following their usual routine?"
I'm not saying I support it, but the view is quite the opposite with regards to Muslims in Europe. "Non-integration" is a political issue for a substantial minority of the voting public, and political parties everywhere are making hay.
"To recap, a Canadian and an American have now decided what the Danish ad, targeted at Danes and populated with a cross section of Danish people is really all about, and the Swedish&Danish people in the thread should STFU? Am I getting this right now?"
"Man, this thread at the same time as the MetaTalk thread is just sad. Looks like "international" still means "American", one post is generalised into "Nordic style nationalist assumptions", which I guess we all blindly submit to... perhaps people should take a quick look at that thread I linked, hm?"
"Danish humor is similar to British in that it uses a lot of irony and likes to play things out, even the absurd, with a completely straight face. I found when I lived in The Netherlands that this type of humor wasn't very well received (if spoken in non-Dutch) as Dutch speakers would generally thing the ironic was genuine."
The real reason why the centre was packed on Wednesday night was that Copenhagen's large immigrant community had summoned a crisis meeting.
The topic was a controversial law on immigration that is now passing through parliament with the backing of 60 per cent of the Danish people. The legislation, introduced by the new centre-Right government that won power last November, will be on the statute book by mid-summer.
Its aim is to do something very "unDanish" - shut down national borders to more foreigners and slash their welfare payments, in some cases by over 30 per cent.
Requirements for asylum are being tightened, funding to ethnic minority organisations withdrawn, the waiting period for permanent residency extended from three to seven years, rights to family reunion curtailed, and rules put in place banning marriage by Danes to foreigners until the age of 24.
The laws - justified by the government on the grounds that Denmark has been too liberal and generous for too long - are causing inevitable resentment and confusion among its 300,000-strong immigrant community, 70 per cent of whom are Muslims.
"This is our home," said Ousman Sawaneh, a Somali with Danish citizenship. "But they are doing their level best to get us out."
Voices on the Danish Left are outraged by what they believe is a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that has spun out of control, but they are outnumbered. "People still have a perception that Denmark is a country that respects human rights," said Kamal Qureshi, an MP from the Socialist People's Party. "It is simply incredible that the international community has not noticed what is going on. Here in Denmark we are passing extreme legislation that Jorg Haider [Austria's far-Right populist] couldn't even dream of."
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, that it cannot be construed as disrespectful, and that it is therefore a conscious choice to be offended. It seems to be a mimetic 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.
"It certainly could. Telemedicine and robots performing basic tasks with on-call assistance for more complex tasks are both within reach and will further multiply the ability of young healthy workers to provide for old sick people. And that's just the stuff we know is coming."
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