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<nettime> An Open Letter to Barack Obama: On Danish Racism
Carsten Agger on Thu, 27 Nov 2008 18:22:31 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> An Open Letter to Barack Obama: On Danish Racism

Danish writer Rune Engelbreth Larsen has teamed up with photographer Jacob
Holdt (of American Pictures fame,
http://www.american-pictures.com/english/intro/index.html) to produce an
open letter and YouTube video with an urgent appeal to president-elect
Barack Obama concerning the rampant racism and xenophobia in Denmark.

Racist sentiment may be common in many countries, but Denmark is one of
the only countries where actual demands to deport all Muslims proliferate
in a party which virtually dictates government policy.

Their parliamentarians say things like: "Muslims come with a beggar's
staff in their hand, but as soon as they're in from the cold it becomes a
stick to beat us with". Does this rhetoric remind us of something?

The Bush-appointed American Embassador has repeatedly stated his shock at
the level of racism in Danish politics.

This open letter and YouTube video is a desparate attempt to make people
see what's going on in a country that was once a champion of social
justice and human rights. Not any more, alas!

The appeal and YouTube video may be found here:



The two author's own statement about their appeal:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


> An Open Letter to Obama: On Racism in Denmark

The Danish author of 'American Pictures' Jacob Holdt, and Danish author
and columnist Rune Engelbreth, have published "An Open Letter to Barack
Obama on Racism in Denmark" as a video-message on Youtube and Facebook.

The authors are concerned about the rising influence of the anti-immigrant
Danish People's Party and hope to get the attention of the American
President Elect as well as the American public and media.

A new series of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed are about to be
published in Denmark where political discrimination and hate-filled
rhetoric directed against ethnic and religious minorities has become a
dominating part of mainstream politics.

A critical appraisal of the danger from our neighbors and friends abroad
may prove to be a helpful necessity, similar to the criticism directed at
the USA in the years when American politicians demonized their own black
minority to attract white voters. Many Americans today express gratitude
for the international support in those years and in line with the American
ambassador to Denmark James P. Cain, hope that Denmark can avoid repeating
America's past mistakes.


> http://www.panhumanism.com/letter_to_obama.php

Yours truly
Jacob Holdt & Rune Engelbreth Larsen

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