“You Need a White Cock in that Mouth” – Emails from My Haters

Do you like my blog and my ideas? Not everybody does.

The experience is new to me since I haven’t been attacked like this before and it’s a different thing knowing about people’s prejudices and to experience them first hand.

A response on Facebook to my blog post “Can I like this page if I date Arab men?” told me I should keep in mind that whites are probably the least racist in the world. I asked the person – no first or last name and the profile picture was the Swedish flag – to back up the statement with some verified research, and received the following answer:

That’s not needed. We let all nonwhites into our country. And now the original population in all the immigrated countries starts to grow tired of the ungratefulness we are given in return. We have the right to become angry and complain. Same thing as if you would receive a guest who didn’t liked the food you cooked and he/she should just demand a lot from you.” (The original population in Sweden is not whites but Sami, but Mr No name might not have been very attentative during his school years.)

Another commenter, self-proclaimed American, found our Arabic-Swedish network’s Facebook group and only the idea of our network seemed to drive him nuts (he’s not the first one). He posted a hateful message on the wall on how Sweden could let in Arabs, which I as a moderator removed. Immediately the reactions came in private emails:

So much for free speech (sic). Fuck you too! 89% of the rapist in Sweden are Arab. Shame on you and all ARab women. No self respect!

Answering and explaining why I had removed his wall post only exaggerated his anger, part of it steemed from the belief that I too am an Arab (one part is translated from Arabic written with Latin letters):

All people living in America Turkish Malay Indian Pakistani Persian… only Arab bastards cause trouble. Also why do you people FORCE your daughter to wear hijab? You can’t teach them modesty first? No wonder they go out and keep boyfriends on the sly. Arab bitch… Are you Lebanese? All Lebanese are bitches Your mother too is an Arab animal. You need a white cock in that mouth. You wish you were white and worship us whites.” (Who was it that was supposedly a rapist by the way?)

So this is obviously the kind of comment you can receive if you belong to an ethnic group not everyone seems fond of. What else could you face as a minority if this is the response I get on my according to me quite harmless commitment?

My reply to the man before I blocked him:

Hello Mukhter! I am 100% white and I suggest you find other people to share your ideas with as I don’t find hate very appealing:)

More comments like these are surely to come, but I won’t let hate set the agenda.

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Two White Women Buying a Table from an Iraqi Family

On a rainy November evening a few years ago, me and my flatmate took a bus to the other end of our city to buy a second hand couch table we had seen an ad for online. We were scraping together to buy things to furnish our flat going all over the city to collect second hand furniture from richer people that traded off their old stuff, and we were happy to finally afford a table for our living room. It was a long way to go to this neighborhood, where small houses replaced the rental flats in our area, and we searched for a while before finding the house. A pretty little brick house with an accompanying garden, was supposedly the correct place according to the address we had been provided with.

As we rang the doorbell a small boy opened. “My mom is coming” he said, then adding, unasked: “She only speaks little Swedish.”

A woman dressed in a black abaya appeared in the doorway, introducing herself in broken Swedish. We realized it was an Iraqi family that we had come across. It was obviously not one of the Baghdadi families, liberal in the urban kind of way – it was a conservative, religious family we could tell from the woman’s appearance and the religious scripts on the wall. We were surprised, then felt stupid being surprised. Why couldn’t a conservative Iraqi family stay in this upper middle class area? Here we were: two white women still buying second hand furniture because we couldn’t afford the new things, still sharing a flat in what someone could have called a “socially deprived area” where water leaks in the house made our flat smell of mold, and shootings was such a regular happening it hardly made headlines. Your own prejudices can have a way of coming back and slap you in the face sometimes.

The woman introduced us to the tables they were selling off and we chatted a bit. It turned out they were from Diwaniya, a city in Southern Iraq, and had arrived to Sweden a few years before. Selling all they had in Iraq before fleeing the escalating violence, and her husband starting to work as soon as they had arrived, after a while buying a small candy shop, had made them being able to buy themselves the house and put their children in nearby reputable schools.

Her husband and his brother came home, we agreed on a table on a price, then it was time for us to go. The woman started to propose that we had to drink tea first, we must be tired from the long bus ride. Or maybe eat something before leaving? We explained we were in a hurry and that we had to call a taxi to transport the heavy table to our place.

“Taxi?” the man asked. “You don’t have a car?”

“No.”

None of us actually even had a driving license, but we withheld that so as not having to lower ourselves even more in the eyes of the sellers – we had already told them the area we lived in. Without further discussion the man and his brother carried the table to their car, announcing they would bring us home.The woman kissed us both goodbye and, when we declined tea or dinner a second time, welcomed us back anytime. None of the people we had bought our furniture from had been that nice.

We squeezed into the car (damn, it was even a Volvo) with the brother of the husband and the big table, and at our house he helped us to carry the table into our living room. When he had left we looked at each other, baffled. It had been a trip of surprises, not only over who stayed in the house, but over the ride. None of our fellow Swedish countrymen would ever have done us that favour.

Photo: Copyright Sweden and the Middle East Blog

Party with the Different

Party

Last weekend me and some friends threw a party at my place to celebrate an achievement, it was real fun thanks to my friends bringing foods and hookah (water pipe), even a small baby that everyone could grab and cuddle with, so that I could focus on trying to wear my new heels and look good (hey, I’m being honest). I happen to have ended up with friends and acquintances that ranges from very liberal to very conservative and I invite them all. Someone who believes in the clash of civilizations probably wouldn’t think my parties was a great idea.

But not all of my friends drink alcohol and they show up anyways, the hookah keeping them busy. Not everyone eat pork so we skip that, just so that noone will eat it by mistake. I also have friends from different religions and people sometimes hold biases, but I can’t let that come between an invitation. Very few are free from prejudices (including myself) and I just let people meet and figure out who that other person is for themselves. Ofcourse I don’t put up with everything: if you are too judgemental on a woman wearing the hijab and therefore is surpressed; being a Jew and therefore hate Arabs; being an ignorant Swede who doesn’t like foreigners – I get exhausted. But I’ve also seen persons change and reconsider their stereotypes – it’s sometimes painful to realize what you have been thinking, but it can also be a wonderful feeling to let go of your prejudices (sometimes prejudices contains a lot of anger).

I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s sometimes a mine field and many times I become sad by the force in how much some dislike each other and try to convince others to follow. But so far I haven’t caved in when it comes to the parties at my place. I believe in people.

Photo: Copyright Sweden and the Middle East Blog