Sweden has excellent PR. At least that was my conclusion after moving there in 2006. The first thing you do is wonder where are all the beautiful people? I also concluded that they get sent out around the world so the world thinks that Sweden is full of beautiful people. It’s not just the image of the beautiful Swede but of the open and equal society, the high taxes, the Scandinavian design, and the work-life balance. There are lots of times I think, “Wow” about Sweden whether good or bad.
So, how did I miss #Swedengate? It didn’t register until today, I saw that Lola Akinmade Åkerström had written an article about the controversy 12 days ago for the NY Times of all publications. I’m thinking, why would the NY Times care about #Swedengate? What happened?
Thus, a moment of lighthearted cultural banter created an opening for a bitter, xenophobic backlash. I watched this unfold in real time with a feeling of inevitability. I had seen this squall coming from a mile away.Lola Akinmade Åkerström
In a nutshell, a social media post about a childhood experience in Sweden turned into a global discussion about everything that is wrong with Sweden. Start with reading Lola’s article above and dive in here for much, much, much, more, lol.