Trump points to Sweden’s problems with migrants. Then they riot, again.

Summary: While America grapples with its irrational debates about immigration, Sweden grapples with the consequences of massive immigration from failed states. Their experience is rich with lessons for America, as Sweden seems unable to see — let alone understand — what is happening. This also provides another example of how the US press automatically declares Trump wrong, even when there is some truth to what he says.

Aftermath of riot in Rinkeby, Sweden
Policeman at aftermath of riot in Rinkeby, Sweden on 21 Feb 2017. © TT News Agency / Fredrik Sandberg, via REUTERS.

Slowly Trump’s performance as president becomes clear, how he handles the complex multi-dimensional aspects of the role. Uniquely he has become our Court Jester. Much of what he says is entertaining nonsense. But occasionally he says unmentionable truths that we need to hear. Such as the recent chatter about Sweden’s open borders policy, which reveals much about our inability to clearly see the world — and our push-back to news about it that disrupts the approved narrative.


The reaction was swift. Automatic mockery from the Left, and an interesting response from Sweden’s official Twitter account.

Reality quickly pushed back, hard, with stories about a new riot in an area of Stockholm with a large migrant population — with notable riots in 2010, in 2013, and 2016. See “Police intervention in Rinkeby was followed by riots and looting” in Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers (see Wikipedia).

“Unrest in Rinkeby in northern Stockholm intensified Monday evening, when the police fired warning shots. It started just after the clock 20 with the police detained a person, followed by throwing stones at police patrols, car fires, rioting and until midnight even looting of shops.”

Also see “A photographer beaten in Rinkeby“. An op-ed today in the Expressen by a local elected official gives additional context to these riots.  Benjamin Dousa is deputy chairman of the Rinkeby-Kista City District Board (see Wikipedia). The Expressen is a major Swedish newspaper (see Wikipedia).

Benjamin Dousa

“On average, we have a riot per month, a car fire per day, and the most shootings across the country. …A journalist beaten, stones {thrown} at police, and looted shops are unfortunately not unusual where I live. I hear the police helicopter every few days. …For us who live in Järva this type of crime has become part of everyday life. On average, we have a riot in the month, a car fire per day, and most shootings across the country. {Would it have} been accepted on the street where the prime minister lives?

“… in 2013 I saw the brave police officers who took off their helmets, laughed and greeted the children, even though the gangs moved in nearby. Then as now you can see both the worst and best in people with this type of events. The best of the public safety personnel who sacrifice their own safety for others and the worst of the young guys that puts a whole neighborhood in horror. Are you old enough to throw one kilogram heavy paving stones at police, then you are also old enough to be in prison.

“On Järvafältet with areas of Rinkeby, Tensta and Husby there are between 800-1000 professional criminal youth. Despite that, we have far fewer police officers per capita than almost any other similar areas in other countries. In addition, penalties for violent crime are far from severe, especially if the offender is under 18. …The gangs know that the probability that they will be arrested for serious crimes is small and they become well that’s hardly a deterrent.

“…one must remember that the Rinkeby-Kista offers all young people a summer job, has the most employees Democracy coordinators, youth hosts and civic hosts, and more recreation centers than other neighborhoods …

“We have big problems with unemployment and welfare dependency, which ultimately lead to despair and crime. It is mainly the second or later generations of immigrants, not new arrivals, who are involved in violence. It pinpoints the catastrophic integration policy Sweden has brought in twenty years …

“I do not understand how it can be so controversial to talk about expectations and requirements in Sweden. It is {a} creator of welfare dependency and passivity. More police, severe punishment, tighter benefit systems, and orderliness in suburban schools are the way forward.”

People Blinders

The US press reports the riots

Fox News: “Rioting erupts in immigrant-dominated Swedish suburb“. The Chicago Tribune: “Riots erupt in Sweden’s capital after arrest, just days after President Trump comments.” RT (Russia Today) provides several videos: “Dramatic footage shows cars ablaze in Swedish riot“. The Washington Post, as usual, was exceptionally aggressive in defending the narrative:

“In 2015, when the influx of refugees and migrants to Europe from Africa, the Middle East and Asia was highest, Sweden took in the greatest number per capita. By and large, integration has been a success story there, save for incidents such as Monday night’s, which have taken place in highly segregated neighborhoods.

“…The newspaper Dagens Nyheter analyzed crime statistics between October 2015 and January 2016 and came to the conclusion that refugees were responsible for only 1 percent of all incidents. That has done little to assuage the perceptions, even among Swedes, that foreigners are culpable for the crime that does happen. A Pew Research Center study conducted in early 2016 indicated that 46% of Swedes believed that ‘refugees in our country are more to blame for crime than other groups.’”

Got to love the sneer at the foolish Swedes, who don’t understand events in their own nation. Why would the government lie? Before answering, see the Big List of Lies Told by US Officials. Naïveté is an expensive luxury for citizens, if they wish to remain in control of their nation.

“Keep Sweden Swedish”.

Poster of Sweden Democrats

News from Sweden that challenges the narrative

Leaders of the Sweden Democrats, Sweden’s third largest party (see Wikipedia), are a source of many stories about events in their nation not well-reported by their press (much as Americans learn about our government largely from leaks and the UK press).

“Sweden Democrat Tobias Andersson {national spokesperson for the SD’s youth organization} …has helped to create the image of the United States of Sweden as a country devastated by mass immigration. With articles on the site Breitbart, he has linked the increased migration of gang rape. …{they} actively worked to spread an image of Sweden that has been destroyed by what party leader Jimmie Åkesson on several occasions called ‘uncontrolled mass immigration’.

“Tobias Andersson wrote in the last two articles on alternative news website Breitbart that until the US presidential election was led by Steve Bannon, now president of Donald Trump’s chief strategist. In an article on the European Breitbartsajten {Breitbart website} linked Tobias Andersson refugee policy together with the gang rape. It became so read that it also ended up in the US the main site and became one of the most read articles there as well.”

Update: “Police defend warning for solo women in northern Sweden” from (Swedish news agency that publishes in English). Note the horrific response by Sweden’s leaders, treating women as collateral damage of their policies.

“Officers in Östersund first advised women not to walk around on their own at night, during a press conference on Monday, explaining that there had been at least six reports of violence against women in the area since February 20th. “Now the police are going out and warning women against travelling alone in the city. We have seen a worrying trend,” regional police chief Stephen Jerand told Swedish media. “This is serious, we care about the protection of women and that is why we are going out and talking about this.” He explained that the recent reported crimes included an attempted rape in the centre of Östersund over the weekend. Police later added that they were also investigating the alleged molestation of a 10-year-old girl at a bus station.

“However the force’s recommendation that women should avoid being alone at night swiftly prompted criticism in Sweden, a nation that prides itself on promoting gender equality. “The solution can never be to not go out because of such a warning. We have very many women who work in home and social care at night for example. What are they supposed to do?” the city’s mayor Ann-Sofie Andersson told Swedish broadcaster SVT. The politician, who represents the government’s Social Democrat party at a regional level …”

Blindfolded people


These reports allow only tentative conclusions. First, combined with other reports (see below), it is obvious that Sweden is experiencing problems with the massive flood of immigrants resulting from its open borders. Second, we cannot reliably assess their size or severity. Third, since these migrants have not been there long, these problems might be just the early phase. Fourth, and perhaps most important, the push-back from Sweden’s people against this open borders policy is growing rapidly — and empowering its far-right political factions (since the mainstream elites fully support it, giving people no other alternative).

Only guesses about the future can be made. I believe that the Swedish people have had placid lives in their little backwater. Now people from more Darwinian societies have arrived, people who have no respect for or allegiance to the codes the Swedes live by — wolves among the sheep. These people are there to stay. The only choices remaining to Sweden are to allow more in — and how to respond. The result will not be pretty, no matter how they decide.

Another example of Trump the teller of unmentionable truths

From an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, 5 February 2017.

O’REILLY: “But he’s a killer, though, Putin’s a killer.”

TRUMP: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think – our country’s so innocent?”

For More Information

Recommended:  “The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth” by james Traub at Foreign Policy — “Sweden has taken in far more refugees per capita than any country in Europe. But in doing so, it’s tearing itself apart.” Traub is a fellow at the Center on International Cooperation. Also see “Michel Foucault saw Europe’s current refugee crisis coming 40 years ago” by Stephane J. Baele (Lecturer, U of Exeter) at Quartz.

See these other posts about Sweden: Torching Utopia: Sweden tries mass immigration and Horrific news from Sweden about sexual assaults by immigrants.

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4 thoughts on “Trump points to Sweden’s problems with migrants. Then they riot, again.”

  1. Dear Fabius Maximus,

    I wonder how much of the “there is not a problem” attitude from the apparently offended Swedish parties is partly the effect of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I lived in Sweden a few times in the 90s (and some predominantly Turkish neighborhoods in Germany, in the late 80s/early 90s) and one of the things that I noticed was the segregation of the neighborhoods (as we have here, too). It’s not that immigrants lived in slums, because the places I saw were nothing like some of places you can see here in the US, but it was definitely it’s own place, distinct from wider Sweden and what’s considered Swedish. If you’re drinking coffee in Gamla Stan or sport a funny hat at a kräftskiva, you might be persuaded to think there is no problem, or a potential for one.

    We’re certainly not immune to these sorts of things in the US. If folks on the right start talking about getting tough on crime, those on the left will say that the crime rates are down, which is true in narrow, statistical way. What is the situation for particular neighborhoods, and whether they’re up or down, are they tolerable? The point is not to endorse particular policies, but to show that if a particular ideology is challenged on any side, defense of the ideology by the ideologue can consist of figuring out how to ignore underlying issues that would certainly be seen as a problem in a different context.

    For more on Sweden and it’s immigration policy and how it’s got the potential to get worse, see ominously-titled The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth at Foreign Policy.



  2. Though Trump’s tweet about “Swedish immigration policies going just fine.. NOT” has an important element of truth, it’s still an example of deflection. The original backlash was for his comment about “what happened in Sweden last night” when nothing newsworthy (in the immigration/Trump sense) had happened. Then, Trump tweeted that he was responding to a report on Fox News, though the tweet provided no detail regarding the alleged report. Finally, he deflected by making it seem as if the reaction to the original “last night” statement had been characterizing Sweden’s immigration policy in general. Trump is clearly learning much from Kellyanne Conway. Such deceptive deflection is right out of her play book.

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