Thursday, October 20, 2016

Racism in a Can

If you think far-right white supremacists supporting Donald Trump is nuts, wait til ‘Anti-Migrant Spray’ hits U.S. Shores. Unfortunately, in Denmark, a new type of immigrant repellant has emerged. This is no wall nor is it socioeconomic barriers to making it for new immigrants. Instead, it is a physical, actual, real life ‘anti migrant spray’ not unlike raid or other sprays for society’s perceived nuisances. Though it sounds ridiculous, this is actually happening. In fact, this is Denmark’s far-right’s way of saying ‘fuck off’ to immigrants.

To provide some context, Denmark is very transparent in the way it perceives its immigrants. Barbie Latza Nadeau writes about the perceptions the Danes have of those seeking to establish a home in their country.

There has never been any question about how some Danes really feel when it comes to refugees and migrants. After all, Denmark is a country where the parliament actually voted to seize certain high-value items from them to help offset the costs of their housing and health care. It is also a country where it is legal to bounce migrants and refugees out of nightclubs just for being migrants and refugees.[1]

Though opposition to immigration in Denmark is loud and clear, certain far right groups have taken it upon themselves to turn the hatred up a notch.  However, recently, the Danskernes Parti, a far right political group in Denmark, has been handing out ‘Asyl’ [derived from asylum] spray to average joes walking around the port city of Haderslev. Though blatantly hateful and racist to begin with, the spray’s creator denies these claims in his justification for his party’s horrible creation.

“I cannot see how it is racist,” he told CNN. “Pepper spray is illegal here so we wanted to figure out a way for Danish people, in particular women, to protect themselves. It’s obviously not the ideal situation.” He said he knew that while the spray could not stop migrants and refugees from trying to reach Denmark, it might act as a deterrent for those that have arrived. “In the long run we want to repatriate the migrants, we want to repatriate non-Westerners in general, that is in the long run,” he said. “In the short run we want to provide solutions to make life better and safer for the Danish people.”

The spray is incredibly and obviously aimed towards a certain group of people and not only made to ‘protect women’ as its creator suggests. With that being said however, I can understand the party’s opposition to mass migration into Denmark and other European countries. I too would fear that my euro-centric world view would be compromised in addition to my quality of life among other things, if I were in their shoes.  However, this hateful rhetoric is not the way to get your point across about your views on immigration or people who are different from you in general. It’s fear-mongering at its worst. This kind of obvious bigotry serves to only create more hatred. That’s not something we as a global society need more of. We need to think of proper solutions to immigration and asylum issues as opposed to being outwardly fearful of those who are born outside our own countries.


  1. It's disgusting and abhorrent that a place would allow such a blatant representation of bigotry. I can understand if you feel threatened by a certain demographic but to go so far as to put anti-_____ spray on a can crosses the line. There's no if's and's or but's about it. It's just plain wrong, myopic, and narrow minded to do such a thing. If you disagree with laws or policies, have an educated conversation about it with political leaders. Don't make a product and capitalize off ignorance and xenophobia.

  2. Your piece is very informative and intriguing. I enjoyed how you opened with the comparison to Trump to show that this technique of ridding immigrants is unprecedented. Personally, I did not know this was occurring in Denmark and I agree with you that I understand the fear that triggered the "repellent," but a spray is not the correct response.

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