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Integration

The far right has changed many words and phrases.

I’m in Sweden so I’ll be using the Swedish far right as an example but I’m sure the same is going on all over Europe and MAGA-land.

Once innocent phrases like “demographics”, “migration”, “justice system” have become their polite way to rephrase what this same group in the eighties used racial slurs to express.

Their biggest twisted success story have been the word “integration”.

It could’ve been the perfect anti-racist word. People coming together from all walks of life in one big kumbaya. Working together, living together. One world, one love. And, a lot of people still use it that way, but it increasingly has become a word claimed by the far right, who use it for Swedish customs and shibboleths and throwing out all shards of home, while living under completely different conditions, and never ever getting to really belong.

Put yourself in this scenario:

You’ve had to flee Sweden (you’d die if you had to stay) and you arrived tired and soaking wet to the shores of Frobnicia. And they’re like “Everyone must wear these special tall cone-shaped hats, that’s traditional Frobnician headwear. And you can burn those jeans, it’s illegal to wear pants here. It’s shameful to try to cover your genitals in public. If you wear jeans we’ll break up your home. Of course our traditional Frobnician food include rat-tails and lamb brains. If you’ve got any problems with eating that, you’re failing integration.” And you’re like “No, no, that’s all fine, I love Frobnicia, I want to be a Frobnician.” And they go “You absolutely need to work, here’s a bucket and a mop and an illustrated book about birds” and you’re like “yes, ma’am, I’m happy to put my hands to use” and they go “You can never become a true Frobnician. You’ll always be under surveillance, police and courts and even sentencing will be different and harsher for you” and they’re like “You need to learn Frobnician language, and need to teach your kids that language, and the grammar is VOS word order except on Wednesdays, with 49 cases and 812 prepositions, and only 10000 people worldwide speak that language, and every native Frobician speaks passable Frotz, a regional language with 750 million speakers worldwide, but you and your family need to learn Frobnician” and they put you in a neighborhood with only other Swedes but blame you for it and then every single day on the media (not from everyone, but, every day) you’ll hear “the Swedes steal our jobs” and “kick them out” and “the Swedes are criminals” and “the Swedes lie about their ages” and “the Swedes are rapists” and “the Swedes are prudes” and “the Swedes are stealing your pensions” and people spit after you on the street.

And then as a li’l poison cherry on top, the movement and party creating that messaging, that party is presented as “the only party that’s talking about integration”, “the party that owns the question of integration”, “the party that’s doing integration right” even though they’ve never proposed a single successful policy in their entire party history and is spending all their time and media platforms on alienation. They’re doing the literal opposite of integration!