Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hatred breeds hatred


Lars Von Trier is a Danish film director who has made quite a name for himself around the world.... Sadly he is often known more for sticking his foot in his mouth than for his very unique approach to filmmaking. Usually when I see his name in a headline in a Danish newspaper, I read the article just to see what he's up to now...


However yesterday I saw Von Trier in a different light.... a light of agreement. For once, something that he has been quoted as saying makes a lot of sense. My fear, however, is that when people hear that these words came from someone like him, they will not give them a second thought. 


But this is one time when I think Von Trier deserves to be heard...and listened to. I have attached the actual news story from yesterday, plus my simplified translation of what it said. And even though it IS Von Trier, give it a chance..... you might find, like I did, that his words have some value.   

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Von Trier: DF er grundlaget for Breivik

Von Trier: Dansk Folkeparti is the foundation for people like Breivik (the man responsible for the tragedy in Norway)
En belgisk journalist spurgte von Trier, hvordan han som dansker har det med, at den norske massemorder Breivik i sit manifest flere gange fremhæver Danmark som det eneste anstændige land på grund af den danske politik over for muslimer.
- Det gør mig virkelig ondt, men jeg forstår det godt, siger Lars von Trier ifølge Politiken.
- Jeg synes, at der går en direkte linje fra Pia Kjærsgaards menneskesyn og til Utøya. Man må kræve, at Pia Kjærsgaard træder frem og tager sin del af ansvaret for det, der er sket i Norge. For det er en holdningsændring, som hun og hendes parti med stor succes har repræsenteret, siger von Trier senere i interviewet med Politiken.
På spørgsmålet om, at Dansk Folkeparti altid udtrykkeligt har vendt sig imod vold, svarer han:
- Deres holdninger legitimerer måske ikke det, der er sket i Norge. For det er ekstremt, siger von Trier.
- Men når man dehumaniserer en hel befolkningsgruppe, er der en pris at betale. Vi har opbygget en gæld, som må betales, og som nu desværre blev betalt af nogle børn på Utøya. Og den gæld har Dansk Folkeparti været med til at stifte.
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Basically in a nutshell, he is saying that the kind of hatred that flows from the mouth of folks like Pia Kjærsgaard (leader of Dansk Folketparti....you know, the political party that is anti-foreigner) is exactly what feeds a monster like Breivik. In fact, he said you can trace a direct link from the things that spew from her mouth on a daily basis to the actions that he carried out last week in Norway and he believes that a demand should be made that she claim some responsibility for what happened. 


In Von Trier's opinion there will be a price to pay when you continually dehumanize an entire population of people the way that she and her party have; he believes that the words and actions of the Dansk Folkeparti have created a debt that must eventually be paid and sadly, it was paid by children on Utøya.


Von Trier's words are strong. And maybe they are not 100% on the mark, but they are definitely words to be heeded because when our mouths continually spew hatred and intolerance, we ARE responsible for how our words influence the actions of other people. If government officials encourage their constituents to hate, then it stands to reason that those constituents might act on what they believe is a behalf of the government. We don't put the guns in their hands, but we sure do put the venom in their hearts and minds. 


And for once I stand in agreement with Von Trier... it is time for the flow of venom to CEASE and for those responsible for spreading it to be held accountable and not allowed to continue feeding its monster. 

5 comments:

Kingkeld said...

I completely agree with you, Kelli. A well-written blog as always, and right on. :)

Gran Salt said...

Yeah, he's not far off but I would go further and say that the more socially acceptable things people say about Muslims and foreigners are part of what radicalised that Norwegian terrorist.

It is a continuum.

There are people like him, then people who say racist things but don't commit acts of violence (like in the DF), then there are people who don't say particularly racist things but make their country hostile to foreigners (like Venstre) and then people who let their privilege blind them to their racist thinking and ask "rhetorical" questions like

"How dare Muslim teens get a free education in Denmark and then go find a job in another country?"

It is all part of the same hatred problem. The solution, in all cases, is love. Love of the racist, love of the "other", love of humanity and its common values.

Without love, people like Pia K and Søren P and your less famous casual everyday racists, have not got a chance to see the error of their ways and reform.

A little love goes a long way.

ladyfi said...

Amen - terrorists like Breivik feed on racism.

Our world can only get richer with multi-culturalism, and poorer with racism.

Megan said...

i agree as well. while i have very strongly different views on how scandinavian countries should be run versus the US, one thing I LOVE about scandinavian countries is accepting and welcoming people of all races without little debate over it. HOWEVER, i have some friends from denmark (they are social democrats) and they did tell me they feel when it comes to muslims, denmark/norway are almost MORE racist than americans in their opinion. they felt many people discriminate even if on the outside they pretend to love and accept. i dont know what im getting at here, but i really have never understood the racism thing. i grew up in virginia from parents that were from pittsburgh. my parents were anything BUT racist, but all of my friends growing up had parents that were incredibly racist, so i heard so many things that instead of compelled me to turn racist, actually just disgusted me that much more. i guess i was the minority when it comes to things like that because many people feed and thrive off of this. aghhhh-i officially make no sense LOL!

Nina Ø said...

Well written by both Von Trier and you. This also goes for the violent words and images sent out by other politicians like Sarah Palim in the US. And I think Jens Stoltenberg is setting a great example for the rest of the world. Thanks for the link to stand with Norway in Peace.