Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ultimate Discrimination


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!)


Mr. Pind,

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.

MVH,
Kelli Nørgaard 





40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.And as for the disclaimer,I support it 110%.I have had enough of those nasty expats with axes to grind who accuse honest people left right AND center of many things that are not true.Expats in Danmark who are not on the privelaged list should be considerate of the idea that those on the priveagled list do NOT have it easy and this is about how they are always pointed at as being the ^privegaled whites^.This reverse racism is as evil as true racism.TAK because you dare to say what many of us would say if we dared to but cannot due to fear of being dragged through the mud in debates that are one sided hateful and not helpful to ANYONE.

Amy said...

You are amazing my friend. So strong and such a wonderful teacher...not only in your school but to anyone who spends time with you, personally or through your blog. You teach us how we should be. You teach us what responsibilities we have and rights...you make us all feel equal and strong.

You are an American expat who doesn´t think they have a God given right to anything and everything they want just because they are American. Unfortunately there are those who would agree with this list and believe they truly deserve to have rights that others shouldn´t have just because they are American. Those people embarrass me and make me ashamed. When we accept that we all bring something to the table, we all have something to offer, we are all equally valued....then we have achieved something really great.

Thanks for being the voice I don´t feel I have but wish I had!

Big hugs from Me :-)

Internet Fan, UK. said...

""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.""

Ups!So you are saying that if S.Pind wants to keep the people out who ""won't intergrate"" (the ones you are calling crappy immigrants) he just has to identify which ones do not agree with how you think immigrants here should be?And that what makes a crappy immigrant is someone who is unhappy?And that people who CHOOSE to be here are the ones who should be allowed to stay?Despite your suggestment that you do not want a debate you have started a really good one for discussion.Debate opens people up and we can discuss it.The discussion on facebook and twitter is now what makes a ""crappy immigrant"" (thanks to this post) and who in the expat community is hateful.My friend is unhappy in Denmark for good reason,does that make him unworthy of his place here?Should we also deny his Danish wife her life here because she wakes up every morning thinking ""I do not like Denmark,I do not want to live in a country like Denmark,but I refuse to leave"" (credit to Mike Moore).Whose side is a person on when people are being called ""crappy"" because they cannot slap a smile on and pretend it is okay to dump their family for a ""choice""?Whoopedoop to you for having it all sorted out.Never mind those who aren't like you.They are just crappy and deserve to be driven to the border.Since when did Denmark become a place where only happy people are allowed.Soren Pind's suggestions are marginally less offensive than the ones you put forward.But of course you probably won't want to publish this comment because it disagrees with what you think.

I will now go over to XXXXXXX's website about her new life in Denmark and tell her she doesn't deserve to be here because she is unhappy about a lot of things.Only happy people who CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY (when they are in fact NOT) deserve to be here.

American in Norway said...

Eyes rolling over here... You just can't catch a break from the trolls can you Kell?
You have a wonderful point.. I think you are a wonderful, POSITIVE person.
I have been on both sides of the coin.. hateing my life here & thinking of everything I had to give up to come here.... Once I decided to make the best of it... accept the fact that this is where I am.. & this is the culture & not expect people to roll over because I am American.. life became much better. I can say I am happy here.. My children are happy here..

I am sorry that someone had to slam you everytime you have an opinion on something. You are a hell of a lot tougher than me...
Good on ya girl! xxx

Kirstin said...

Wow. I can't believe the gall of that man!

Your statement was great, Kelli. Makes me proud to be an American expat in Scandinavia!
I'm going to link your post on my blog, if you don't mind.
I've said many times that the fact that immigrants in Norway are either on one side of a fence or the other as far as their treatments go (based on what 'kind' of countries they come from) isn't fair or equal.
You have my support, from the similar Weegie boat next to yours!

Nuno said...

But Pind is Venstre, so we can't blame DF. Venstre is the party that has allowed itself to be used as vehicle for hate. They could have said no many times, but they have chosen to follow the DF line. In the end, you have to suspect that Venstre and DF are two sides of the same coin.

agger said...

Good to take a stand against discrimination, but why are you blaming DF? Søren Pind is Venstre and calls himself "liberal". He was appointed by Løkke, who is also Venstre, though hardly a "liberal" by today's standards. Venstre have become every bit as bad as DF.

Mads and Kelli said...

Internet Fan,
You must have missed something in what you read????

I said "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" referring to :

1) they blame all the bad things in life on Denmark...it's Denmark in general who has made their lives awful (never said a word about happiness being a requirement for immigration) and I never said a word about Denmark being free from responsibility... However Denmark and all the Danes are NOT the cause of every immigrant's problems. We cannot generalize our misfortunes and blame them on an entire group of people...

and 2)
That example was to PROVE that just because I come from the US it does not guarantee that I will be a GREAT immigrant and that just because I come from Somalia, it does not guarantee that I will be a CRAPPY immigrant.

Please make sure you read everything in its entirety before you jump to attack mode... make sure you fully understand what you have read.

Mads and Kelli said...

Agger,
You are so right.
The line between Venstre and DF (in my mind) has blurred so much that they seem to be one in the same...

So I PUBLICLY apologize... that was my own (albeit it incorrect) opinion.
Thanks for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

This is a really odd state of mind Internet Fan:

Quote:

"My friend is unhappy in Denmark for good reason,does that make him unworthy of his place here?Should we also deny his Danish wife her life here because she wakes up every morning thinking ""I do not like Denmark,I do not want to live in a country like Denmark,but I refuse to leave""

- Both are unhappy and the wife admits she doesn't want to live here and they continue to do so. Yes, they have a right to be miserygutses if they wish but why do that? That is totally beyond weird, unless one is a stateless person and can't travel.

I could think of nothing worse than living my life waking up every morning thinking 'I don't like this place, I don't want to live here' - and then continuing to do so!

Just explain, without being bitchy or tweeting the world to show how nasty you can be, but rather rationally, why someone would want to do that to themselves and then perhaps those of us who read what you wrote may begin to understand.

When being happy is just so important - no psychologically vital - to getting through the trials of everyday life, and is a state of mind we all (well obviously not all) strive to attain and maintain daily, why put yourself on the wrong foot before you even wake up and live in a place you absolutely detest?

I would love a psychologist's view of this.

Kingkeld said...

Kelli, never trust a man who can not master the art of quotation marks. :)Obviously, the splurger of quotation marks is either a troll, who misinterprets on purpose, or a moron. Just ignore him/her.
Personally, I enjoy your positive thoughts and love reading your blog. There are so many whiners in the ex-pat blogs and I believe the more you surround yourself with negative thoughts, the more negative you become. Your positive thoughts makes our lives more positive. I want to thank you for that.

CrappyImmigrant said...

Since you 'choose' to be a part of Denmark, why on earth don't you go the whole hog and write in Danish?

People don't 'choose' to be unhappy, the 'crappy' immigrants here are using their divine right of freedom of speech to enunciate the tone of the political scene in Denmark that is directed at them. You can 'choose' not to recognise this, but not retaliating to the often punitive actions of the government, will, eventually be deterimental to both sides. Being 'part' of Denmark, also entails the shitty bits, the ones you have chosen to invalidate.

Yours sincerely,

A. Crappy. Immigrant.

Mads and Kelli said...

Crappy,
Not sure what writing my blog in Danish has to do with this topic?? Since I do speak Danish at home and at work every single day, I think I have that criterion sufficiently covered.

I also experience the shitty.
I experienced it in Texas, the place I love more than anywhere on earth.
I experience shitty when I go on a 5-star vacation to a place considered to be paradise.
I experience shitty just as you do... all the time because that is part of the HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

The difference in the two of us is that my SHITTY EXPERIENCES do not create in me a SHITTY ATTITUDE.
That is not synonymous with INVALIDATION as you claim.

You and I have very different philosophies of existence...which is fine. Keeps the world colorful.

My whole point of this point was to say that I am CONTENT in my life in Denmark because of who Kelli Nørgaard IS and CHOOSES to be on a daily basis. I pick my attitude; I don't let society decide it.

And that contentedness does not have ONE SINGLE THING to do with the fact that I am an American.

You all keep blaming my "privileged life" (as you call it) on my passport.
That, my friend, is utter nonsense.

Poll all the other American passport holders in DK and see if they all agree with my attitude. I guarantee they do not because attitude is a CHOICE, not a BIRTHRIGHT.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to land Internet Fan into any trouble, but I do know something of the scenario and I know it can be said with no fear of the family being identified.

The man was married to another Danish woman before. They had a child together in another land and came to Denmark because the wife wanted to finish her education. They were supposed to go back after a couple of years. He chose to come to support her but prefered their child to be brought up in his original homeland, in his culture, near his family because his wife had no family alive in Denmark and her support network here was nil. Their marriage broke down. Obviously the marriage breakdown was a reason to be unhappy. When they broke up she discovered herself and started going out a lot and found a whole new lease of life in Denmark. It was acceptable to both of them that he became the main parent of their small child. The original plan had been that they returned to where he came from and the child spoke of missing her family in that land. He was unhappy with the options the child had in Denmark, and the increasing tension between he and his wife began to affect the child. During this time he met his now present wife, who was a Danish woman with residence in another land (I won't mention which) and was in Denmark to visit her family. They fell in love and started a long distance relationship. She then moved over because he couldn't move out. The child bonded with the new wife, probably because she spoke English to the child and was around. The divorce came through and the man eventually married the new wife. She is a Dane who would prefer to be somewhere else but fell in love. I don't know if the love was a choice. The rules of the divorce stipulated that the man could not leave Denmark with his child, nor could he relocate even from the city he is in. His exwife saw the child only minimally, on alternate weekends, and in between travelled a great deal around Europe.

Basically the end of this is that the man knows that the mother's minimal input means that the child suffers more than benefits from the spasmodic contact, that the child (who has a learning difficulty) would be better served in his country where resources are higher and he wants to go, but he can't. His new wife is trying her best and fully embraces the CHOICE she makes to stay with her husband and daughter (she is more of a mother than the original one)but at the same time, it is because the courts in Denmark have supported the Danish mother's rights that the rights of the child and her day to day family are being disregarded.

There are lots of people in Denmark who would like to leave and can't. Or rather they can, but only if they leave their children behind.

And what sort of parent leaves their children behind?Someone would have to be a very tough cookie to leave their child behind.

Keld said...

Mange af folk der føler sig ulykkelig, føler sig også fanget ved omstændigheder (f.eks p.g.a fælles forældreret, finanser usv)

Selvfølgelig, oplevelsen bliver bedre hvis de kan tilpasser sig. Intet debat om det.

I mine øjne, folk der er fortvivlet fordi de føler sig fanget (eller er jo fanget), bør handles med barmjertighed.

Der, uden Herrens nåde, gå jeg.... og de hele

Men, den er bare min mening om hvordan man skulle behandle dem som lider og det er hele i orden hvis folk tænker anderledes fra mig.

Anonymous said...

Crappyimmigrant you might barely have a point if we all didn't know this was a bitch-in and all of *you* are having a fine old time tweeting your venomous tweets around the country/world, gooing and giggling at 'how you've shown *her*' a thing or two. Grow up. There are people in this world literally dying because they've had the bad luck to have been born where they've been born and you're whinging over something you can actually take action on and make 'better'.

Denmark isn't perfect, but what country - in the EU or anywhere - is? Go on, tell us!!!!

You mock Kelli and yet you've yet to tell us how superior your are to someone who has gone all out to work out, get to know - and fit in - somewhere very different to where she came from. I can't help but feel you've not done anywhere as near as much.

Prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Kingkeld, couldn't agree more about the quotation marks!

Only in Denmark said...

Let me see. What is your definition of unhappiness?

Because I see you slamming people and calling them negatives JUST BECAUSE they're complaining about Danish politics - back then when you were still posting about windmills in this blog.

These people already knew how rotten Denmark is when it comes to politics when you were still in your honeymoon period here and thought everyone was a fool because Denmark can't be that bad, can it?

You are doing the same I see recently: complaining about Danish politics and how discriminating it is. So why on earth those people get labelled bad and negatives, and when YOU DO IT, it's completely OK - because you think you are positive.

No, you're not a victim of trolls, Kelli. You ARE the trolls who keep calling other expats negatives when they don't have anything against you integrating in Denmark. We think your hot dog post is ridiculous but we think it's good that at least one immigrant feels happy here. As long as we don't bite each other's asses, right?f

You don't have the right to judge others as much as we don't have the rights to have you. You have a nice life in Denmark. That's great to hear, but you can't discredit someone's bad experience in Denmark and call him / her negative.

And yes, there are people who get really badly treated her because of their skin colours, we both are stupid if we deny that fact.

It's fantastic to hear that you have great time in Denmark, but don't call someone negative or crappy when they're telling their experiences in their blogs for who are you really to judge?

Mads and Kelli said...

Only in DK,
how did this become a post about happiness vs. unhappiness????

Pretty sure that my use of CRAPPY was to equate it to Pind's view of which countries land on the CRAPPY list... never said that anyone who is unhappy in DK is a CRAPPY immigrant.

But since you are trying cite my definition of what makes a good/bad immigrant.... Guess you should hear it straight from the source.

An Immigrant has the RESPONSIBILITY to find a way to become a contributing part of the society in which he lives. I believe that about the Mexicans who come to Texas as well as the Texans who come to Denmark. It is not Texas' responsibility to change to accommodate the Mexicans by speaking Spanish to them or changing the way we do things when they get there to make life easier. It is the Mexicans' responsibility to learn the language, learn the system and work WITHIN that system to establish a life with which he can be content and satisfied.

SAME THING IN DK. Denmark had no responsibility to change its language or policies when I arrived. I had to read and research and LEARN ON MY OWN how I can find my place here.

I came here with almost 2 decades of professional experience but still had to start at the BEGINNING POINT in my field to FIT INTO THE DANISH WAY of doing things in that field. DK had NO responsibility to make it easier for me.

And this notion of a honeymoon phase is LUDICROUS when you speak about being an immigrant because the first two years are the HARDEST... so stop saying I was living with a honeymoon mindset. I worked TIRELESSLY to learn about this country, its people and the way of life... the windmill pics were for my own enjoyment...not as an indication of "all I saw in DK were the windmills and rapsolie fields" for the first two years.

You don't even know me, so please stop pretending as if you do.

Name and address supplied privately on request said...

"I would love a psychologist's view of this." ANON

Good morning. I hope I can help. In layman's terms, my view is that when people are deeply unhappy and environmental factors are contributing to that state of unhappiness it is important to consider leaving/modifying the environmental factors.

The tactics the author of this blog employs to stave off the blues of living in Denmark are successful and admirable. Being positive is the oldest trick in the book to being positive. That she chooses to malign those who just can't be positive about their lives in Denmark is causing a lot of friction. My view is that she is hurting the feelings of a lot of unhappy people who are unable to leave an environment that is toxic. Those who choose to malign those who CHOOSE to be positive about Denmark because they malign those who simply cannot be positive about Denmark are simply employing a 'tit for tat' tactic.

My view is that you must all remember that nobody makes anybody feel bad. Even in the worst possible case scenario for example during a violent attack or being in a gas chamber it is possible to find a happy place. This is called: "CHOICE". We all have it, and we all chose whether to use it or not.

I would like to thank all who contribute to the discussions about Denmark online as it helps educate others learn about a little known country. I have decided against taking up a position in Holland because in my line of research about what Holland could offer my family I chanced upon a whole clutch of blogs about life in Denmark - from the sublime (this blog) to the ridiculous (other blogs) and I must say, it's really put me off.

Anonymous said...

Oh, 'Only in Denmark', firstly, I have to tell you, you can't call someone a negative, it's grammatically impossible.

I don't think any of us deny Denmark has political...issues but name me *one* country that doesn't.

Go on!

You are just nasty people who are intent on trying (but not succeeding) in making someone's life a misery because she won't go down to your level.

Do you think your attitude will change the way those in power in DK think? Or are you (plural, shame English doesn't have De) the type of people who would not make a positive contribution to any society because you just want to get together and be nasty?

If you had sound views and good ideas of what could be done to make Denmark 'ideal', all of us would like to hear. But, bear in mind, Denmark, as Denmark, was Denmark long before we came here. And what gives *you* the right to think it should be otherwise.

-That's not being nasty, just being honest.

Name and address supplied privately on request said...

Interesting that you would say that about how it's not up to people in Texas to speak Spanish. Do you know a lot of integrated Mexicans in Texas? What are they like? Speaking as someone who is part Mexican I am interested to hear your opinion.

CrappyImmigrant said...

Crappy,
Not sure what writing my blog in Danish has to do with this topic?? Since I do speak Danish at home and at work every single day, I think I have that criterion sufficiently covered.

(my replies with apostrophes)

"To me it would seem perfectly natural to conduct one's life in Danish, if one is so totally immersed in the society one lives in"

I also experience the shitty.
I experienced it in Texas, the place I love more than anywhere on earth.
I experience shitty when I go on a 5-star vacation to a place considered to be paradise.
I experience shitty just as you do... all the time because that is part of the HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

"I was referring to Denmark, I am not familiar with your experiences in Texas, or on holiday, and yes, I agree with the human experience bit, I didn't come up the river on the last banana boat".

The difference in the two of us is that my SHITTY EXPERIENCES do not create in me a SHITTY ATTITUDE.

"If that is meant for me, then your perspicacity is faultless, and thanks for labelling my personality as having a shitty attitude, again your perspicacity is amazing...since you don't know me that is! Ignoring, other opinions even if contrary to your own is invalidation...IMO, I don't claim anything".

That is not synonymous with INVALIDATION as you claim.

You and I have very different philosophies of existence...which is fine. Keeps the world colorful.

"Agreed, variety is the spice of life..."

My whole point of this point was to say that I am CONTENT in my life in Denmark because of who Kelli Nørgaard IS and CHOOSES to be on a daily basis. I pick my attitude; I don't let society decide it.

"Bully for you... if you can ignore the vibes around you"!

And that contentedness does not have ONE SINGLE THING to do with the fact that I am an American.

"I nver mentioned anything about your citizenship, it is your business, and doesn't interest me"

You all keep blaming my "privileged life" (as you call it) on my passport.

"I never referred to your 'priviledged life' either".

That, my friend, is utter
nonsense.

"Invalid, I never made reference to it..."

Poll all the other American passport holders in DK and see if they all agree with my attitude. I guarantee they do not because attitude is a CHOICE, not a BIRTHRIGHT.

I am not interested in all the American passport holders in DK, that is not my motive, - that is something that you have chosen not to see.

Sincerely,
Crappy

agger said...

Anonymous: That is a sad story. If the contact between the child and the mother is so minimal, he could file for full custody (fuld forældremyndighed) in court.

If this is awarded to him (which it might be, if he can argue the case, though IANAL), he can move to another city w/o asking the mother. Even to another country. He could also file in court directly with the desire to take the child to his home country. In that case, he would have to argue this is in the best interest of the child. Getting full custody first might be easier.

Even in his home country there would still be mandatory visiting rights, but transportation must be paid for by the non-resident parent, in this case the mother. So, this person (of you know him) should contact a specialist in family law.

Anonymous said...

THE MEXICAN HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO INTEGRATE!

IT IS NOT TEXAS'S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHANGE TO ACCOMMODATE THE MEXICANS!

IT IS NOT TEXAS'S RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK SPANISH TO MEXICAN CHILDREN!

IT IS NOT TEXAS'S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHANGE THE WAY 'WE' DO THINGS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR MEXICANS!

IT IS THE MEXICAN'S RESPONSIBILITY TO WORK WITHIN THE DOMINANT SYSTEM TO FIT IN, BE TEXAN RATHER THAN BE MEXICAN.

are you aware of what you are saying and doing? how come you got into a position of authority in a school when you have such baseline opinions about race,culture and integration?



errrrm...are you aware of how a people are destroyed? It starts with making things very very difficult for them and denying their culture completely.

You need to watch this video because it is about what you are talking about.

You are racist against Mexicans by saying that Texans can sit on their huge big fat butts and that Mexicans have to bend to their will. What on earth? is this the stuff you are teaching your children?????????????????????????????????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeRkHn1Nr2k&feature=related

(Stop racism against Mexicans including the lack of sympathy shown above).

Mads and Kelli said...

Name and Address supplied:

YES, I know MANY, what you called "integrated Mexicans in Texas".

I have taught their children in ESL programs and I have sat in many of their homes, helping parents with their English.

I have helped them fill out job applications, sign up their kids for local soccer teams, and at the same time stood in THEIR KITCHENS as they taught me to make tamales as a "repayment" for helping them.

So yeah, pretty darned integrated...they work to be a part of the Texas "way"- in schools, in work, in spare time and at the same time, MAINTAIN the important parts of their own culture (much as I do.. related to food).

I cannot tell you that all Texans welcome the immigrants who come from the south, but I can tell you that I know many of them personally and am proud to call their families friends.

I am a Cajun Texan...They are Mexican Texans. We have things in common and we have things that make us different and unique from one another...

Mads and Kelli said...

Anon--
I should have known you would pick up on the example I used about Mexicans coming to Texas as a way to accuse me of something totally incorrect.

I used that example to SHOW that I have been on the "receiving" end of being the "country" that has immigrants coming in... Texans are not completely OPEN to or APPRECIATIVE of or for that matter, always NICE to Mexican immigrants in their community, but I have seen it from BOTH sides....

Texans ASSUME they will not integrate, but I know WAY WAY WAY More that DO try to than those that don't. I am sure they are frustrated with the system the same way that folks in DK are....

however, I have interacted with family after family (all from Mexico, living in North Texas) who work tirelessly to maintain their cultural identity while at the same learn to be a part of that new world they live in called Texas.

Texas is as strange as Denmark.
Texans are as strange as Danes.
And immigrants have to work just as hard in BOTH places to fit in.
TO learn the language.
To learn the systems.
To meet the people and become a part of the society.

The point I was making was that I know what they go through and yet so many of the families I worked with in the late 90s felt just like I feel today in DK... they felt lucky to be where they were and they were committed to remembering the CHOICE they made long ago to move there.
Texas was not the promised land they dreamed of any more than Denmark is my promised land...

but Texas was home to them.
home because they chose to move there and be a PART of it.

So please do not accuse me of being a racist or lumping me in a category that I do not belong in...
I NEVER said that " Texans can sit on their huge big fat butts and that Mexicans have to bend to their will."

Where on earth did you read that?

If you are trying to start a debate, you really need to get your facts straight about who I am and what I am saying.

Diego said...

Within the comments it looks like the topic of the post had been forgotten.

My point is:
There are 5,5 billions people in the world, and probably there will never be 2 persons which are exactly the same. Generalizations cannot be done, how come Søren Pin can say that people from a country can find it easier to integrate in Denmark comparing to others?!?!?

I have my idea, it is simple and clear:
There is no perfect country in this world, everyone has something to complaints about his own country/land.
The fact that Danes leaves abroad shows that Denmark is not perfect at their eyes.

I decided to come to Denmark from Italy and I am very very happy of that. When I will feel unhappy of staying in Denmark, I'll evaluate if moving back to Italy or somewhere else.
If someone came to Denmark and doesn't like living here, they should know that there are trains, buses, flights and boats leaving the country on a daily base, they should just jump on it and go away.

Probably Political refugees could complaint that they cannot leave DK, but they should be grateful that DK gaves them the oppurtunity to live in a safe country, until there is peace in their land.

Nina Ø said...

Your post rocks. Way to go!

Mom said...

Kelli - this is a NO WIN situation for you. These people forget what you have said time and time again. This blog is written for your family & friends to help them understand your life in Denmark. I would not even give these idiots the time of day by posting their stupid remarks. They take everything you say and turn it around to mean something entirely different. Now they are calling you a racist....boy is that off the mark. But then again, THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU. You are the most generous kind and loving person toward all people and you have always embraced the differences of others and celebrated them. That is just part of who you are. They can read all day long on the blog....but I suggest you no longer give them a voice by posting their comments to you.

Nuno said...

I would take your Mom's advice, Kelli. You did ask for a response, though, by posting the remarks at the beginning of your blog, which stated you were a target for "hatefulness". Such a statement was bound to provoke people.

I'd delete the whole thing. Seriously. Remember as well, that your employers and students might be reading this. It compromises you.

And people who are acting as "friends" on this seem to be stoking the flames. But it is not them that will have to deal with the fallout. Let them write their own blogs if they are so intent on having their views aired.

Just my opinion.

'Babs' said...

But, Kelli, you invite the responses! You slag other people off for being 'negative' when they are NOT being negative. It's annoying that you will not consider a single word of critique, and label anything you don't like as negative. You shame people you feel don't make the grade and say everybody else has to be the way you are, "positive".

I think this blog SHOULD be just for your family and friends. But Kelli uses it to soapbox about politics and integration.

It would be deeply relieving to more than these so called 'idiots' (Mom so labels) if Kelli made this blog private and only for her family and friends, but Mom, she won't because like it or not, Kelli is political and wants to moan in public about what she wants to moan about. I doubt if she would get any satisfaction out of blogging if it was just family and friends. It strikes me the idea is to put out her opinions. It's an expression and like it or not, it's Kelli's right.

But for the genuine friends (instead of the faker friends)and family who come here to see that you are okay, I think it is time to make a choice. Either you want to have a blog for your family and friends or you want a blog that is open for question. If all you posted was stuff about how happy you are instead of how you feel others should live their life, then perhaps you wouldn't be such a huge topic of exasperated conversation among circles of people you consider to be your enemies and including people who pretend to be friendly but who are disloyal.

Protect yourself from any kind of doubt by making this blog private and doing us all a favor. I think it must be especially distressing for your family, who can only wonder at the hornets nest you have chosen to sit in.

The day this blog goes private is the day it is truly for family and friends and not about having a platform from which to be political. Denmark is hard and Kelli has found something to moan about. It just happens to be that Kelli likes to be negative about people who find Denmark hard...is all.

*sigh*

Lady Fi said...

This heartfelt piece brought a tear to my eye... You#re right / everything begins with us and our attitude. You are an amazing person Kelli and definitely one who makes the world a much better place.

Anonymous said...

But Babs most blogs are about one person's experience or interest in something and their opportunity to express this publicly. No one has to read it and if you do, you may not agree with that person's point of view and have the opportunity to say so, as you do.

I think most bloggers are open to constructive criticism but what has happened here is that people have become militant and venomous, which has turned into persecution, the very thing most of you are up in arms about in Denmark. So much so that anyone who doesn't agree 100% with you (plural) must be destroyed and publicly harassed. It's as bullyish, immovable and nasty as Pia herself and I'd go as far as to say scares me more than she does.

bridge builder said...

- quotations aside, your use of "crappy" did read, to many, as though you had specific people in mind - but were referencing people who were critical of Denmark (as THOUGH they were critical of everything but regardless of whether they were truly critical of everything). Maybe you intended it to refer to the Ridiculous Mr. Pind, but that is how it read.
- There are many different ways to express that you don't like Pinds' idea. For example, simply saying part of what you said was enough - but bringing in anyone who is critical of Denmark . . . it seems as though you are trying to accomplish more than one objective - so your point gets confusing (to me at least).
- There ARE people, not your age, not looking like you, not having young children to cheer them up and make them laugh, who have had job rejections in Denmark over and over, who have had uncompromising and unsupportive treatment by their "caseworkers" that has been painful, who have been mistreated by their husbands after arriving in Denmark (where both the laws and application of the laws is often not doled out fairly when between a Danish national and a non-Danish national), who have had their children abused by a system that is NOT transparent (there are no transcripts made during child custody hearings in Denmark - so as to prove this, and record requests are sometimes unanswered (versus declined - which could be traced)) . . . and others who have been angered by laws enacted in the last year that (despite that they came to Denmark relying on a more reasonable set of rules), in fact, prevent them - after 5 or more years of being in Denmark - from acquiring permanent residency (resulting in far fewer rights in Denmark and far less security financially) because they cannot meet the "work" test since they live in the "udkanten" or are discriminated against because of their age (you must trust that this happens, despite your own situation), or who lack the contacts to get a decent job (according to DJOEF, 70% of jobs in Denmark are distributed based on connections or "who you know"). There are many more situations that you would benefit from understand so long as you are going to use this blog as a stumping post. If you at any point decide or portend to speak for all of us, please be responsible and TRY to understand what others are experiencing - rather than just writing it off - recognize that your situation is yours, whereas others are having their own - different husbands, different families (or none) in DK, different homes, kommune, etc.

It seems to me that doing so might enable you to build a bridge that would have more impact on what Soeren Pind, and the parties that support discrimination, does - because there are some common concerns . . .versus antagonizing people with whom you may already agree on some important points to the expatriate community. As for me, my life here is neither perfect, nor horrible. But I would like to see this administration wake up and smell the coffee. They are driving Denmark into the dark ages - and yes, I am old enough to remember how it was in the 1960s in the U.S. It would be terrific if Danes (who have the right to vote and seem to use it) would realize they have the opportunity to return to the civilized culture they once offered to all resident . . .but I know that takes work. It also takes information. And the expatriate community, especially from countries where many of the issues now facing Denmark have been faced and largely overcome, has much to offer. I would hate to see that silenced.

Mads and Kelli said...

Bridge Builder-- You are so right. I should have been more careful in how the word "crappy" was perceived... My intention was completely to say to SP that countries he deems as Crappy have WONDERFUL immigrants here in dk and vice versa, but because of the history my blog has with a certain group here in DK, I should have been a bit more selective with my words...

And the disclaimers, I know, were a bit, umm...inciting, but I just get so fed up by people who 1) think I am a naive idiot who is superficial and lacks any substance because I do not choose to focus on the negativity...
and 2) who continue to read my blog even though they claim that I sicken them. That would be like my saying that Pia K sickens me, yet I go to her homepage daily to see what she is saying now. It makes ZERO sense...

And had there not continued to be so much discussion about my blog when I was NOT writing about politics, I might have left off the disclaimers (but I gave in to my petty emotions)...
because even when I write about things like "compliments I received from Danish parents", I am sent things like this:


"Well, I am sure she would write differently when she does not have the kind of passport she is holding. I agree with Babs, this site is so superficial…"

"We have a running bet on how long certain Evangelical Expats will last here (one way or the other) and you are welcome to put some money down if you think you could scoop the lot."

Which proves that no matter what I say, these folks will find a way to discount it all..

I write about happy experiences because "I am an evangelical honeymooner who hasn't got a clue". I write about political experiences because "I am an American passport holder who has no idea what it is like to experience resistance in DK".

Damned if I do...damned if I don't

So I choose TO DO.

And frankly, will not let a small minority of disgruntled expats dictate what I write about. Nor will I EVER make my blog private.
They need to take me out of their google reader and quit allowing my AWFULNESS to infiltrate their lives.

I work TIRELESSLY to promote DK to foreigners... and foreigners to DK... and I will not stop.

bridge builder said...

I do appreciate what you're saying. But I suppose you might be more effective in helping both those in DK (Danes and Non-Danes alike) and those who are outside of DK . . . if the two issues are somehow kept separate.

I am speaking from my own reading point-of-view, but it became difficult for me to hear the point about Pind, because it was co-mingled with your reaction to the people you are angry with.

I suppose also that promoting DK could be confusing to those who, if they come to think (from afar) that DK is "all that" and let it influence their decisions and do make a move, or give other support to DK, then they find out that the country is NOT, in fact, the country they expected it to be (for example, I was told before coming here that Denmark was the most civilized country in the world - and relied on that notion as part of my rationale for leaving a good job, my aging family, selling my house, and getting rid of many of my earthly possessions . . . only to find that there is rampant age discrimination (which might be rationalized by Danes in that a Dane will get a good pension, and can get financial help if one experiences financial problems - but which has a different impact on someone who cannot obtain permanent residency without working full-time for 2+ years before applying for it . . . and who, if he or she seeks support when bad financial reasons hit . . . is subject to deportation).

Whereas, I live among lovely, welcoming people - I also live outside the major cities and am subject to and at the mercy of a system that works for people in your circumstances . . . but not in mine. And I am intimately involved with helping others who have not been out in public "complaining" because of Dennmark but who have, instead, been hiding because they fear the power that the authorities here have over their families - which in several cases are being ripped apart.

The thing is, the people who speak out for change are not necessarily flat-out "against" Denmark, but rather, as I see it, in favor of making it a more fair and hospitable place for EVERYONE. I have to say I am glad they do it. Because Denmark can do better. And in doing better, will become a better place for everyone.

Politics is not a spectator activity. And the best results will be based on informed proposals (as you pointed out - Pinds being a poor example). So let the information flow.

Lindsay said...

Wow Kelli... I see this post caused some intense debate! I think the whole point of the post got entirely lost in the comments, and certainly was not understood at all by some. It is completely ridiculous that SP is trying to bend the rules for a few select countries. It is impossible, and incredibly naive, to categorize how easily a person immigrates to another country based on where they come from. The human experience can not be categorized. Everything that human beings experience and the way they handle the experiences life throws at them, is completely individual, and has nothing to do with nationality. It is quite baffling to read some of the incredibly immature, ignorant comments that this post generated. Of course, everyone has the right to their own opinions, and when you have a blog, everything becomes public and open to a wide variety of responses, but it seems to me that there are a lot more intelligent, adult ways to convey opinions than some of the commenters here have chosen to do. Keep up the good work with your blog, being true to your self, and stay positive! Oh, and I love the comment from mom (I assume it is your mom)...motherly support in any form, is a powerful and necessary thing. It was so sweet to see her standing up for you through blog comments :)

Expat mom said...

Well said, Bridge Builder.

:)

Anonymous said...

To those calling for the blog to go private to chalk up the lines because Kelli has an unfortunate tendency to mix family stuff and politics? Excuse me, family cultures vary from family to family, but there are families where political considerations are pack and parcel of any discussion of life. Or it could be that Kelli is waxing political because she has seen that not only family and friends read her blog.

If you don't like a blog, just stop reading it instead of moaning about it, trolling (directed at trolls, btw not one person in particular) or proposing changes. I have become fed up with Pioneer Woman, so I've stopped reading it, I don't comment and tell the blogger to change.

Kelli is a person, not a god. Kelli knows this. Since this is her blog, she does not need to hedge herself by opening every entry with "this is Kelli's personal view on stuff"! She chooses to be positive most of the time, comment on stuff that she sees as a problem (like politics) and express her opinion on crappy immigrants that moan and moan.

Yes, Denmark can be a difficult language to adjust to, things are done differently, and as an expat, it's very easy to regard "the way things are done in the homeland" as the "right way to do things, and consequently view Denmark as severely abberant. I follow a great deal of expat blogs in DK, and oh my god a good deal fall squarely into that trap. It's ok to moan about issues and problems and discrimination, as long as one remembers that issues and problems and discrimination are NOT unique to DK or due solely to the way things are done in DK. I think these are the people Kelli refers to as crappy immigrants.

And last but not least, even if Kelli is incensed by trolls and people who describe her as a honeymooner because they abhor her positive approach and if she chooses to call them out here on the blog, she's entitled to it, because it's _her_ blog, _her_ mouthpiece.

My job is to help people adjust to life in this country, as me and mine have had to adjust to it. I am a language teacher, yet my work extends far beyond the scope of language or the timespan of a language course because folks encounter life and problems beyond those two. Again, this is a condition of life, not solely DK. My folks left 'the olde countrie' because life as was offered by that system was too repressive. They came here, encountered issues, some different, some the same, and we moaned a bit. But we still moaned more back "home". If we ever find that ratio changing towards the negative, we'll move back home or somewhere else. We sure as h-e-double-toothpicks won't stay in a country and abuse it violently and eternally until we lay ourselves to rest. This is choice-making Kelli was referring to. Even though I don't read her blog every day, she has a point.

Oh, and Kelli: In my opinion (and I'll hedge real thorough and say me, my personal opinion based on my unique life experience and others may disagree) you don't view Denmark through rose-coloured glasses. I was born in this country to expat parents who simultaneously yearned for the motherland and despised it and moaned about DK yet appreciated the chances to build a life here. I attended international schools and then moved abroad before coming back. I daresay I'm well-equipped to view Denmark with glasses that are tinted neither rose nor black. Don't be discouraged and keep on trucking, blogging and making a decision to _choose_. I recommend your blog to students wishing to read balanced accounts of life in DK on a daily basis.