Easy Guide to Making Ghettos: a Dispatch From the Nybro Action Team

The Nybro Action Team consists of Hjalmar Sveinbjőrnsson and Alex Bejerstrand, two under-employed roommates living in Nybro, a small industrial town in southern Sweden. Hjalmar is a chef; Alex takes woodworking courses. Today, they write about the riots that swept Stockholm and other Swedish towns last week. We have lightly edited their post for grammar and punctuation.

This article might anger a lot of people, but I don’t really care, because most of the time, the truth sucks.

Last week riots have sparked in Sweden, started by a fatal shooting of a 69-year-old Portuguese immigrant in the suburbs of Stockholm. Police states the man was wielding a machete in the middle of the street. I have no further information about the machete man, but the devastation that has followed speaks in volume, something has gone horrible wrong.

But this didn’t start last week, it started a long time ago, when the Swedish government accepted a large number of immigrants coming from war-torn countries without having a proper infrastructure to deal with a promise they made to give a human being a second chance on a normal life. To take people in need and help them get back on their feet, welcoming them with open arms, teaching them the language and embracing their culture while they take in the local one.

But riots like this is nothing new, it happened in: France, Italy, Germany, USA. And now I am just talking about large-scale—protest and hunger strikes are daily thinks for immigration offices around the world.

There is nothing wrong with helping people, but there is something seriously wrong when the government put a large number of people into the same area, same large group housing, don’t provide jobs or proper education, parents go unemployed, children watch their parents rot from the inside while they themself don't have the help to catch up to the native kids in school, they group together with other immigrant kids.

Group that understands each other, they become adults, raised with out hope, as outcasts, having kids of their own in the mini-country they have formed inside their host country, a ghetto. This is not the truth for everyone, but the people I gotten to know in the last three years, most of them have immigrated or their parents, they all tell the same story—bad schools, secluded, and hard time “fitting in.”

I am a immigrant, but a very lame one, I moved here from Iceland, so I am Nordic, I have white parents, come from a white family and thus I am white. I am used to the Scandic language and share a lot of the same culture. I hate admitting it, but being white is privilege in many countries, just one of those warning lights that should tell us that there is something seriously wrong with humankind, but we don’t care, we don’t really care any further then we can toss our wallets beyond that point our reality ends.

But when I moved here, I got the chance of studying in the immigration system or SFI (Swedish for Immigrants). The courses were free, we were handed photocopied study material for 8-10 year old, and told to discuss it between each other, totally unorganized. We did have a teacher, though she was more of an “assistant” than “teacher." I had to go to the unemployment office to sign up as unemployed, I am sure the ratio was 1/10 Swedish, rest was immigrants, and a lot of them just trying to get jobs in the field they educated themselves in; doctors, computer technicians, engineers, lawyers. Only to end up with minimum paid jobs for the uneducated.

This riots have been boiling up for a long time, not the first one in Sweden and not the last one, if the government is gone help refugees and take in immigrants they need to be able to do so.

I hope I didn’t come off as a nationalist, I don’t consider my self off any nation but of this planet, but I guess I am just fucked in the head, wanting equality and rights for everyone, stupid me.

[Photo via Gettypremium]