Posts Tagged ‘ethnicity’

A question of genetics (race) or of parental engagement?

April 4, 2016

A new study from Centre Forum in the UK about educational achievements only confirms what has been obvious for the last 2 or 3 decades. It should be noted though that Centre Forum is a “liberal” think tank and does have an agenda to push. Nevertheless, it is more objective and data-driven than many other “left/liberal” groups. The difference between “Black African” and “Black Caribbean”, between “White British”and “White Irish” and between “Asian Pakistani” and “Asian Bangladeshi” convinces me that the difference in achievement is more due to parental engagement than genetics (race). But genetics is clearly also a factor.

The Telegraph: Pupils with English as a additional language (EAL) are outperforming white British students across subjects at GCSE, a new study has shown, as it was revealed students in England are further away from world class standards than previously thought. 

….. The new study shows white British pupils lagging behind ten other ethnic groups when judged against new benchmarks based on eight subjects to promote a broad and balanced curriculum at the end of secondary school.

UK education achievements 2016 age 5 (graphic via Daily Mail)

UK education achievements 2016 age 5 (graphic via Daily Mail)

 

UK education achievements 2016 age 16 (graphic via Daily Mail)

UK education achievements 2016 age 16 (graphic via Daily Mail)


 

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Sweden Democrats try to make nationality a matter of race

December 18, 2014

There is no “Swedish” race – though the Sweden Democrats (SD) would like to think there is.

I take “race” here to be an ethnic grouping based on ancestry. “Swedish” is not a recognised or recognisable ethnic grouping which has any historical basis. There is a loose ethnic grouping of common ancestry across Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden – mainly- and Denmark and to some extent across Finland). These are not the “Vikings” of old, descended directly from the Norse Gods, as the SD would like to think. The inhabitants of Iceland are closer to the SD vision than the Scandinavians. Even this loose Scandinavian ethnic grouping (based on ancestry) has been subject to large amounts of genetic admixing from all over Northern Europe (German, Dutch, Flemish, French, the British Isles) and even much further afield. De Geer and Hamilton and Bernadotte are not Viking in origin.

But the Sweden Democrats are taking advantage of the confusion that is so easy to generate when speaking about “race”, ethnic origins, religion and nationality. But this confusion is evident even in the official record. For example Sweden officially recognises 5 national minorities – mainly defined by language and ethnicity:

Sweden’s national minorities and minority languages

The five recognized national minorities in Sweden are Jews, Roma, the Sami people (which is also an indigenous people), Swedish Finns, and the Torne Valley Descendents (Tornedalians). The historical minority languages are Yiddish, Romani chib, Sami, Finnish and Meänkieli. What is common for the minority groups is that they have populated Sweden over a long period of time and that they constitute groups with a distinct affinity. They also have their own religious, linguistic or cultural affinity and a desire to retain their identity.

These are minorities based on ethnicity (which is a matter of ancestry and is loosely referred to as “race”). The Jews here represent both a religion and a recognised minority. The Samis once practised Shamanism but that has been wiped out by the ideological forefathers of the SD. So if an Ethiopian Jew were also a Swedish citizen, he would have the religion but he would not be part of this recognised minority. But all these minority cultures – while afforded some protection – are still subordinate to the overriding culture of the country. Samis, while maintaining their own sub-culture, are still compliant with the overriding Norwegian or Finnish or Swedish cultures (and laws, rules and regulations) when they happen to be in those countries. One of the failings of all those misguided “do-gooders” who have promoted “multiculturism”, is that they have forgotten to emphasise that sub-cultures in a multi-ethnic society must still – of necessity – be subordinate to an overriding culture (which itself must evolve to incorporate the sub-cultures). There has sometimes been a tendency in most of Europe to support sub-cultures at the expense of the dominant culture, and that has provided many of the right-wing, racist parties the environment in which to prosper.

The SD are now propagating the notion that while these minorities may be Swedish citizens they are not part of their imaginary “Swedish race”. They like to confuse the picture further by referring to their concept of the “Swedish race” as also being the “Swedish nation” and as being something different to “Swedish citizenship”. They are effectively trying to connect “nationality” to ethnicity and to hijack “nationalism” as being the exclusive characteristic of the imaginary “Swedish race”. (Of course all members of SD are naturally assumed to be of this, imaginary, superior “Swedish race” and burning nationalists!).

The Somalis or Syrians or other “new Swedes” who are Swedish citizens may not yet be “recognised minorities” – and may never be. Fundamentally the SD is built on a differentiation by race (ancestry and ethnicity). The unsaid, underlying sub-text of all they say and argue is for a differentiation based on skin colour. They want to promote the concept of the citizens of Sweden being either

  1. those of the “Swedish race” (obviously acceptable though imaginary and unidentifiable)
  2. recognised minorities who are “old Swedes” (and reluctantly acceptable), or
  3. “new Swedes” (who are the bad guys)

Among the SD supporters, the level of “Swedishness” follows this classification. For them, “new Swedes” is a derogatory term which carries the sub-text of skin colour. If they could they would prefer to split the third group on the basis of skin colour with the level of “Swedishness” decreasing with the darkness of skin color. But even they balk at such a blatant differentiation as that. It is quite clear that the SD would prefer to have these 3 groups as 3 classes of citizenship. “New Swedes” (especially those of the wrong skin colour) clearly – in their eyes – are lower class citizens – if at all. I note that the House of Bernadotte only goes back to 1818. (By the SD’s standards, the Royal family should be classified as “new Swedes” and third class citizens). It serves the SD’s cause to separate and isolate the “new Swedes” from the mainstream as much as possible. They would like, for example, ethnicity to be registered for all crimes to further the divide. But the fundamental flaws in the race politics that the SD is trying to promote is that first, there is no such thing as an identifiable “Swedish race” and second, nationality is not a matter of ethnicity. They forget that nationality and citizenship are a matter of residence and behaviour and not of distant ancestry. Immediate parentage can give citizenship but requires residence. And if behaviour is the arbiter, the SD is on shaky ground since it has had more than its fair share of junkies and hooligans.

It should be obvious by now that I am a “new Swede”. But I am a little surprised that so many are taken in by the SD’s view that nationality is a matter of ethnicity. Perhaps they are all supermen who chose their own parents and their ancestry.


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