Posted on August 29, 2020

How the Swedes Saw Katrina

Mikael Widmark, American Renaissance, December 2005

The coverage in the Swedish media of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina held important lessons, both regarding how biased and anti-white the Swedish media are, and how the taboo on racial differences disarms the right and plays into the hands of leftists.

Initially, reporting from New Orleans was surprisingly good (i.e. surprisingly honest). While the media of course did not explicitly say “blacks looted, raped and shot at rescue helicopters” they did report on the disorder. It was clear from the video sequences — which often looked as though they were shot in Africa — that it was blacks who committed these barbaric acts. At some point, however, media bosses must have decided this was likely to reinforce “prejudice,” and they shifted the focus to “white racism.”

The media started to report as fact the claim that the Bush administration delayed rescue operations for “racist” reasons, or at least offered it as a highly plausible theory. This was used as further evidence of how oppressed blacks are by racist, white America, and this in turn justified the looting.

Left-wing pundits quickly added that New Orleans has a high poverty rate, and since it goes without saying that the races are equal, this was obviously caused by brutal American capitalism and evil white racism. Because blacks have been condemned to poverty by whites, and since the racist white government was now trying to kill them by delaying rescue operations, it was perfectly understandable that blacks would react as they did. Many left-wing pundits used the worst black behavior as clear evidence of how oppressed they are. Since no civilized persons do what they did, and since the races are equal, blacks are clearly traumatized by racist-capitalist oppression.

It is worth pointing out that in Sweden, as in many other European countries, America is a symbol of naked, unbridled capitalism, where the poor have no social safety net. Of course, America has a welfare state and many other forms of government intervention, but that is what people think: America is the free market gone wild. Left-wingers therefore hate America and everything about it, while right-wing pundits love America. On the right, this includes love for multiracialism, since “conservatives” tend to favor open borders. The left therefore constantly tries to portray America as hell on earth, while the mainstream right insists it is heaven on earth.

The pictures from New Orleans were of course a great triumph for the left: Capitalism and limited government create the poverty and desperation that explained black behavior. Social Democratic Prime Minister Göran Persson even used this argument in a debate with the center-right opposition, saying that any reduction in welfare benefits would create the kind of problems plaguing New Orleans.

Right-wing pundits were obviously troubled by how the left used Katrina to argue for a bigger welfare state, so they stupidly began to deny that American blacks were poor. Capitalism, they said, had been great for blacks, who were now better off than Swedes. Needless to say, this strategy was doomed to fail. One right-wing blogger named Roland Poirier Martinsson wrote an op-ed article in Sweden’s second biggest newspaper, Expressen, in which he said the Swedish media were “anti-American,” and that the American poverty threshold of $39,000 is higher than the average Swedish household income. The American poor, both black and white, therefore have it as good as the average Swede. This article quickly became celebrated in the right-wing Swedish blogosphere, and nearly every right-wing blogger linked to it. The claim that American capitalism creates poverty appeared to have been soundly defeated.

A left-wing journalist named Anders Holmberg struck back with a reply in the same newspaper two days later. He checked the facts and found that, first of all, average Swedish household income is nearly 400,000 Swedish Kronor, which is more than $50,000. Second, he found that the $39,000 threshold is for a household of nine or more. For a family of four, the poverty threshold is $19,157, dramatically lower than average Swedish income levels.

The right was silenced, and the left got away with blaming American poverty and the New Orleans mayhem on capitalism and limited government. The problem, of course, was that the right has adopted the same view of race as the left. It was therefore unable to argue that the problem was not government — large or small — but black racial characteristics.

Japan’s welfare state is even smaller than America’s, yet Japan doesn’t have the same kind of poverty. When a powerful earthquake hit Kobe in 1995, there was only minimal looting and no rapes or attacks on rescue teams. Many people pointed out that poor white areas in Louisiana were also severely hit by Katrina but did not descend into chaos. However, since the mainstream right in both Sweden and America refuses to recognize racial reality, it cannot point to the real causes of black misbehavior. Americans are no doubt surprised to learn that at least in Sweden the aftermath of Katrina became an argument for even more welfare!