After my latest blog, I was hate trolled and told to ‘go home’ because I am ‘not Swedish’. This has happened numerous times before. Normally I don’t respond to haters. I don’t think it benefits to feed the troll. But this got me thinking about what makes somebody Swedish. And I realised the answer isn’t just about me, but about anybody who moves to this country.
Here’s my reply to my haters:
You are right, I wasn’t born here. I was raised in the UK. That makes me British.
I have lived in Sweden for 25 years. 9 years ago I became a Swedish citizen. That granted me the right to be Swedish.
I have a Swedish passport. That makes me a Swedish national.
Dear hater, how do you define who is Swedish? Is it citizenship, or is it birthright? Often when people discuss this subject, they mix up nationality and ethnicity. Nationality is the relationship between an individual and the nation(s) that he or she is affiliated with. Ethnicity is the identification between an individual and a particular racial, cultural or religious group.
So when you tell me to ‘go home’ because I am not ‘Swedish’, you are not referring to my nationality – because I am a Swedish citizen. You are referring to my ethnicity. And there is a word for wanting to remove people from a population based on their ethnicity – it’s called ethnic cleansing.
I can accept that I wasn’t born here. But I can’t accept being told to ‘go home’ based on the fact that I am ‘not Swedish’ and have a different opinion. I am a Swedish citizen and have as much right as you or any other Swede to voice my opinion in whatever channel I want.
In fact, not only am I a Swedish citizen, I am a model citizen. Let’s just take a look at my track record, shall we?
I am educated to Master’s degree level and all of my education was taken outside of Sweden. I haven’t cost the state a single krona for my schooling.
I have no children – so I have not taken any parental benefits in money or paid time off work. I haven’t cost the state a single krona.
In a quarter of a century, I have only received state sick benefit for two weeks.
I have never been unemployed but have always worked and paid my own way. I have never received any social benefits from the Swedish state.
I have worked for 25 years in Sweden and paid all the relevant income taxes.
I own a company and pay corporate tax. I provide a livelihood for others by employing them and paying employee tax on their salaries. And they, in turn, also pay income tax.
Should we compare my track record to yours?
So, you see dear hater, the state has earned a lot more on me than I have cost. I have contributed a great deal in financial terms to this country – just like so many new Swedes have.
I am not complaining; I am happy to contribute via my taxes. I believe in socialized healthcare, welfare and education. I strongly appreciate that the benefit system is a strong one, and that it exists to help people who need it when they need it. And maybe one day I will need it. Solidarity is one of the reasons I admire Sweden so much.
My moving here was a choice. Probably yours wasn’t. My contribution to society is positive. Probably yours isn’t. I haven’t cost Sweden a single krona. I’m guessing you are very expensive for society.
So as long as I am here, I will continue to voice my opinion. I have earned it. And if you want to keep trolling, then go ahead. But realise that your comments put fire in my belly – you are not my hater, you are my motivator.
Oh, and by the way, I will not be ‘going home’ – because I already am home.