Friday, 3 January 2014

Outbreak of Racism in Sweden

A sports team in Sweden has defied the laws on racial discrimination and set up an all-black team to play the game of "bandy", a type of ice-hockey. The team members all come from Somalia and are training with a professional coach in Borlange, Sweden.  They intend to enter in the World Championship to be held later this month at Irkutsk in Siberia,  where most of the champion teams are from Sweden, Russia or Finland.

Somalia Bandy 2014

The team was founded by Ahmed Hussein Abdi, and all the members are refugees from the Somalian war. They say that they represent Somalia although all of them are living in Sweden. If any old-established Swede said that the newcomers were not Swedish for the purpose of employment, housing, education, healthcare or claiming benefits, they would be branded "racist". Most of us in England remember the long-drawn-out campaign against apartheid in South African sport. Their cricket and rugby teams were excluded and boycotted until they abandoned apartheid.
      But now it seems to be OK to practice apartheid if you are a Somalian living in Sweden.  It must be fine because the BBC said so.


  1. Hello there, Dr. Gasper! This is the only place I've found to contact you, so forgive me for publishing an irrelevant comment to your important article.

    I am an editor of "Impalement" at English Wikipedia, and my question concerns what you write at page 127 in your book about Theodor Von Neuhoff. In this, it seems that the Corsican rebels began impaling traitors in 1735 (started to hang them in 1734), but in a January 1735 a notice in the London Magazine mentions, by way of a Milan correspondent, the impalement of a leader who had had "clandestine correspondence" with the Genoese.
    My question to you is if I've simply misunderstood your writing about this, and that it certainly cannot be interpreted that impalement began in 1735?
    Yours sincerely, Arild Nordby
    I post the address to the 1735 London Magazine notice, you find it close to the bottom of page 50,column 1.

    1. Dear Mr Nordby,
      I am not really an expert on impalement. I do not know when the Corsican nationalists first started impaling people but I just followed two sources that asserted they did so during 1735. If you look at the footnote for this, my sources were firstly a text called The History of King Theodore I published 1743, page 59, and secondly a text entitled Histoire des Révolutions de l'Isle de Corse, published anonymously at the Hague in 1738 and sometimes attributed to von Wittlieb, page 175. The first text is now on the internet, but may need a licence - not sure. The latter text was not online last time I looked but that is a few years ago. It closely follows contemporary news reports. You often find multiple reports of the same incident, a bit garbled.
      I have followed your link to the London Magazine and it is very interesting. I would probably have included it if I had come across it when writing the book, although length was a problem and I had to reduce it 10% to make it economically viable.
      I hope this helps you. you can also contact me via
      Julia Gasper.

  2. Thank you for your swift response, Dr. Gasper! In case you feel this off-topic conversation mars your own important article on contemporary racism, feel free to delete it (I've kept your address if I have some other questions I might ask).
    I am glad I could offer you an additional piece of contemporary newspaper transmissions from the turbulent .18th century Corsica. After all, I think that impalement "per se" is less of an independently interesting topic for the professional research historian than, say, to study how reports (and hearsay and garblings of news) work out in the concrete cases.

    Arild Nordby

    1. Well, impalement is as valid a topic of enquiry as any other isn't it? In history there are often no concrete solutions but you have to apply a range of logical and intuitive ways of evaluating divergent testimonies.
      I hesitated to include this incident because I didn't want to give the impression that the rebels were just barbarians, but I had to mention it in the thread of another argument. Has the system given you my E-mail address? If so I may delete these messages as you suggest.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. In case you are interested, the February issue in the link I provided have two further notices on Corsica.
    From pages 55-58, taken from Fog's Journal, it seems, a presumably imaginary? conversation between Srs Pinelli and Giferi is contained.

    The notice on page 102 states that Genoese authorities had hired a Corsican chief in order to capture Giaferi, but that chief was discovered, and subsequently impaled. From the manner the notice is written, it seems as an official notice from Genoa.

    Ok, then I won't bother you any further! :-)

    1. Not at all, thank you for these fascinating references. I have no doubt that the dialogue between Pinelli and Giafferi is imaginary, but none the less interesting for that reason.