It is striking how often those who claim to be worried about polarization in society are also those who make a living by polarizing. In Sweden, the Swedish Democrats have turned into experts in the discipline.
In the tabloid “Aftonbladet,” Swedish Democrat Henrik Vinge expressed concern about developments in the U.S., claiming that the organization demonstrating about recent shootings — Black Lives Matter — is racist.
It is not just the speeches from the demonstrators that are criticized: “The belief has been backed up by sensationalistic media coverage, especially in connection with some publicized shootings.”
So what is meant by “sensationalistic media coverage” in this case? Videos released showing how black Americans have been shot dead by police, seemingly unprovoked? Perhaps he means the reports about Philando Castile, who was stopped because his taillight was broken, and was shot when he reached for his ID at the policeman’s request? Maybe he is referring to the pictures showing the last few minutes of Alton Sterling’s life, when he was shot repeatedly after being wrestled to the ground.
The demonstrators’ demands for an investigation into these cases are completely valid.
To be a police officer in a country where anyone and everyone may be carrying a gun cannot be easy. It is also unlikely that making rational decisions in stressful situations will get easier, following the murders of police officers that have hit the country in recent days. However, excessive use of force and violence cannot be tolerated.
Those looking for racists in the Black Lives Matter movement are likely to find it, just like in many other organizations. Henrik Vinge and his party have plenty of experience of their own in this regard. However, to demonstrate under a banner with the message that black lives matter is not [simultaneously] saying that other lives don’t. Similarly, making a remark that the lives of police officers are important is not reducing the value of other lives. That is obvious.
Vinge finishes his article with the powerful message that there is no law of nature to say that people should be divided by skin color. This is exactly the message used also by the Black Lives Matter movement, for those willing to listen.
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