Black Lives Matter Is Challenging Sweden’s Myth of a Post-Racial Paradise


    Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty It’s been four months since anti-racism protests filled Europe’s boulevards and parks, toppling statues of enslavers and colonizers like Edward Colston and Belgium’s King Leopold II, and prompting larger conversations around anti-Blackness on the continent. But even as the swells of crowds with raised fists have left the streets, the cause of the protests remains. Black lives still hang in the balance, and now activists are moving from marches to ideological battles in classrooms, boardrooms, and online spaces.In Ireland, that means shifting focus onto the need to dismantle Direct Provision. France has been grappling with not only police brutality towards Black and Muslim people but attitudes toward minorities from France’s former colonies in Africa and ideas on colonialism in general, including questions of returning stolen artifacts to former colonies. And in Sweden— which has traditionally seen itself as a post-racial paradise—the first step is getting the country to admit to its own racist structures, past and present.Since protests spread across Sweden in early June, ugly truths about its racialized history have been seeping into public spaces. Despite the country being considered one of the least racist in the world, police biases and Afrophobia are rife, and Sweden’s past involvement with the cross-Atlantic slave trade and racist pseudo-science is ignored or erased.Read more at The Daily Beast.


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