Here is the English-language newspaper's version of what is going on in Denmark right now. Immigration Minister Søren Pind (yes, he is another one of those mouthpieces for the Danish Folkeparti's toxic politics) has a new proposal related to who can and cannot come to DK as an immigrant. Some might ask me why I am not happy about the fact that my homeland appears on his "WE WANT YOU" list, but anyone who knows me at all would know that the creation of such a list makes me sick.
Søren Pind believes that if a Dane wants to marry a person from the US, Japan, Canada and Australia and then bring said immigrant to live in Denmark, he/she should be allowed to because folks from those 4 countries will "have a much easier time INTEGRATING into Danish society because they are more like us with relation to values and education". He also says that those foreigners should not have to jump through all those hoops and point-systems that the government has created for other immigrants because "we want to make it easier for them to come here". Thank goodness most in our government (and society) believe that Søren Pind has completely lost the few scruples he had when came onto the public scene. Even folks that would typically be politically aligned with with DF stands for truly believe that Søren Pind has crossed a line that he cannot cross back over.
I have read so many posts and commentaries from foreigners about this issue. I have also seen so many interviews and debates from Danes about this issue. So today I have decided to weigh in. Here is what I have to say to Søren Pind and those that think his idea has merit. (NOW those of you who continually write about me and my "rose colored view of life in DK" should pay close attention...you are going to love this part!)
A foreigner's ability to integrate into Danish society, well ANY society for that matter, HAS NOTHING TO DO with the lettering on the front of his/her passport.
Please do not make a list that lumps all Americans into one category saying that we will all have an easier time integrating into and contributing to Danish society because we are Americans. (feel free to change American to Canadian or Japanese or Austrialian... Det er lige meget.....)
If you want to make a list of immigrants who have the EASIEST time integrating into Danish society and then making a MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTION to that society, you have to look much deeper than the front of their passports. You have to look at their hearts, their minds, and their spirits because you see Mr. Pind, there are CRAPPY immigrants from EVERY single country represented here in Denmark.
There are immigrants who choose to moan and groan about how awful Denmark is and how every bad thing in their lives is the fault of "the Danish way" and guess what... not all those CRAPPY immigrants come from what you deem to be crappy countries.
At the SAME TIME there are INCREDIBLE immigrants from EVERY single country represented here in Denmark whom you don't even recognize as "outsiders" anymore because they have made Denmark home. There are immigrants who choose to find the way that they personally can FIT into Denmark because that "way" looks different from person to person (regardless of ethnicity) and guess what... not all those INCREDIBLE immigrants come from what you deem to be incredible countries.
I do not want to be on your CHOSEN ETHNICITY /GOLDEN CHILD list because I am an American. I want to be on your list because I wake up every single day SATISFIED to be living in the country that my husband and I have CHOSEN to call home; a place where I can get up every single day and make my contribution in MY way...
When I walk through the doors of Herning Gymnasium every single day, it does not "look" like school as I was used to for so many years and I am surrounded by Danish language and Danish systems that I don't yet fully understand, but I can assure you that I am a PART of Denmark because I CHOOSE to be.
When I walk through the doors of Føtex to do my grocery shopping each week, I am not always pleased with the selections I find (and yes, I do groan about the lack of JIF on your shelves), but I can assure you that I am a PART of Denmark because I CHOOSE to be.
When I walk through the doors of Herning Erhvervsrådet to serve on the board of the International Society, I am sometimes tired from a long work week and not sure if I have anything left to give in the way of volunteer hours, but looking at the faces of those with whom I serve the foreigners of our area, I can assure that I am PART of Denmark because I CHOOSE to be.
And when I walk through the doors of my little rækkehus on Haraldsgade in Herning each afternoon and see my Danish husband there, waiting for me, I can assure you that I am not here because I HAVE to be or because HE asked me to be... I am here and a PART of Denmark because I CHOOSE to be.
And finally you should notice that I don't use the word "choose" in past tense because that only relates to what I did on June 17, 2008 when I boarded that plane in Dallas Texas... I use the PRESENT TENSE of the word because each and every day I CHOOSE to be a PART of DENMARK. It is a conscience decision and one that I will continue to make for many days, many months and many years to come. So Please take me off that list that smells an awful lot like something from South Africa in the 1950s.... and put me on the list of immigrants who CHOOSE TO BE A PART OF the Denmark you claim to love so much. I promise you that is the list where I belong.... regardless of what my passport says.