The New Nativists
August 13, 2019 5:41 AM   Subscribe

The Global Machine Behind the Rise of Far-Right Nationalism (NYT): How foreign state and nonstate actors have helped to give viral momentum to a clutch of Swedish far-right websites.
posted by adrianhon (11 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm, incognito mode on Chrome (on Android) is no longer sufficient for reading NYT articles :(
posted by eviemath at 7:12 AM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

psst, this works perfectly:
posted by bitteschoen at 7:34 AM on August 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

This article is so thorough and detailed, it's really a gift. Also an incredibly depressing an awful gift.

For an example of the influence this anti-immigrant campaign has had right here on Metafilter, read this AskMe question from July 2017: Just exactly how dangerous is Malmö? (Answer: not much at all.) I don't blame the question asker, they'd simply heard some stories on the news and were considering traveling and were asking in good faith. Fair enough. But the idea that Malmö would be dangerous, it's just crazy. This NYTimes article does a great job explaining how that kind of idea is generated and infects literally the entire world.
posted by Nelson at 8:20 AM on August 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

I remember being in Victoria, BC earlier this year on a cruise with my family. They wanted to head back to the cruise ship after doing our group activity, while I said I wanted to walk around a bit first. She immediately turned to the owner of the shop we were visiting and asked him if it was "safe". Victoria. Goddamned. British Columbia.

She's not even that deep into racist conspiracy theories or anything, but even local TV news (thanks, Sinclair) will rot your fucking brain and convince you that stepping out of your car anywhere "downtown" is an instant death sentence.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:01 AM on August 13, 2019 [8 favorites]

Along similar lines, also from the NYT: How YouTube Radicalized Brazil
As his time on the site grew, YouTube recommended videos from other far-right figures. One was a lawmaker named Jair Bolsonaro, then a marginal figure in national politics — but a star in YouTube’s far-right community in Brazil, where the platform has become more widely watched than all but one TV channel. Last year, he became President Bolsonaro.

“YouTube became the social media platform of the Brazilian right,” said Mr. Dominguez, now a lanky 17-year-old who says he, too, plans to seek political office.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:19 AM on August 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

tobascodagama: She's not even that deep into racist conspiracy theories or anything, but even local TV news (thanks, Sinclair) will rot your fucking brain and convince you that stepping out of your car anywhere "downtown" is an instant death sentence.

I don't even think it's a Sinclair thing, as much as the "If it bleeds it leads" mindset in local news. Stories about violent crime get eyeballs, eyeballs mean higher ad rates, higher ad rates mean more profit. You don't have to be owned by Sinclair to realize that.
posted by SansPoint at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

"Nativists" my ass. They're white supremacists. They're only too happy to court foreign influence if it comes with the right skin color.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:49 AM on August 13, 2019 [7 favorites]

Sweden Democrats, a party undeniably rooted in Sweden’s neo-Nazi movement.

And even if you have a program, you can't tell which are the actual bad guys.
posted by sammyo at 10:05 AM on August 13, 2019

Fueled by an immigration backlash — Sweden has accepted more refugees per capita than any other European country — right-wing populism has taken hold, reflected most prominently in the steady ascent of a political party with neo-Nazi roots, the Sweden Democrats. In elections last year, they captured nearly 18 percent of the vote.

My emphasis, above. As someone quoted in the article says, the Swedish government didn't really know how to do a good job of integrating all these refugees into the country. To be fair, I am not convinced any government would. The problem is that no other party, particularly not the governing party at the time, wanted to talk about refugee-related issues. Including the fears that Swedes had, and I am plenty willing to say some of those fears were racist (because as far as I can tell, virtually everyone is some kind of racist or bigot, myself included, and because Swedes are guilty of plenty of racist behavior, recently and historically. Like the rest of the world).

I think those fuckers in the Sweden Democrats party have been successful partly because they were willing to talk about refugees when the other parties were afraid to, and took advantage of voter resentment. The other parties were afraid to sound racist, so they said nothing. Which pissed off a bunch of voters who were relieved that the (totally racist, totally Nazi) Sweden Democrats were making noise about refugees. It was easier to vote for the SW too after they had cleaned up their appearance and approach sufficiently so their new supporters could do the, "I'm not racist but ..." thing.

This is a great, if depressing, read. Thanks, OP.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:27 AM on August 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

the idea that Malmö would be dangerous, it's just crazy.

It might be safe for most people, but Malmö is notoriously hostile to Jews, and the Chabad rabbi there has been attacked more than a hundred times. The Jewish community there has shrunk by something between half and a third in the past decade; and if you're a tourist, visiting the synagogue on Shabbat requires submitting a request three days in advance, accompanied by a copy of your passport.

Sweden is actually one of the scariest European countries to be a Jew: a recent report showed that 28% of Swedish Jews witnessed an antisemitic attack in the past twelve months (versus 20% of European Jews generally); that 78% of Swedish Jews avoid wearing clothing or other items that could identify them as Jews in public; and only 21% of Swedish Jews (versus 78% of Danish Jews) felt their government tried to combat antisemitism.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:16 AM on August 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

For what it is worth, one of the frustrations for me in moving to Sweden was the seeming difficulty of meeting Jews (that may sound odd so TL;DR: in the Bay Area, a bunch of my friends were Jewish, queer, or all of the above. Was hoping to make similar friends).

Thank you, Joe in Australia, for helping me better understand why Jews may appear to be so assimilated here in Sweden. Also: I had no idea. Clearly, I need to educate myself. Fuck the assaults on Jews here and elsewhere.

It just never ends, does it?
posted by Bella Donna at 7:13 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

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