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Sweden Democrats disagree over use of racist terms

Published måndag 19 december 2016 kl 12.52
Björn Söder holding a speech in front of a backdrop with the party logo.
The Sweden Democrats' Björn Söder. Credit: Per Groth / TT

The newspaper Aftonbladet has uncovered emails where members of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrat party (SD) debate the use of derogatory names for blacks, Roma, Samis, and unaccompanied minors.

Publicly, the SD leadership has condemned and even removed members for the use of derogatory language. But email exchanges among top party members reveal a pattern of racist language and internal discussions about which words are appropriate and which are not.

Björn Söder, former party chair and a current deputy speaker in parliament, was one of the worst offenders. In one email, he wrote “We might as well put down the party and join the Liberal Party and Center Party if we are so afraid to call things by their correct names?”.

Söder said that he now avoids using certain racist terms but does not believe the words are offensive.

“They can call each other (these derogatory names) which is why I think it is strange that they could be offensive,” he told the newspaper.

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