When I was a kid and first started reading newspapers, so this will have been in the nineties or so, they often referred to the “race” or background of the person in the story.
As crime stories are more interesting from a news perspective than stories of who is teaching physics at the local college or who just spent one evening every week for five years volunteering at the homeless hostel; most of the newspaper was about crime (and politics of course).
Funnily enough, they never referred to the background of the person in any story if they were a “default” human being. You know, just a dude, just one of us folks, a normal person. That is, if they were white British, what was the POINT of revealing that they were? Of course they were. That’s what people are.
The upshot was, that when ever I read a crime story, the only time the journalists became masters of description was if someone non-white or non-british did the deed. This inevitably gave me skewed ideas of what being non-white or non-british meant for a person. And what criminals looked like. But, you know, I was a kid and I had a think and de-programmed myself patiently but it took a lot of time and heartache to get there. Thanks a LOT, Today newspaper!
At some point, the newspapers had to cut that shit out. They now have to reveal the information obliquely, and quite a few newspapers thrive on feeding the stereotype monster they created. There are lots of dog-whistle ways of doing it. The newspapers also have a problem with who they consider to be white-trash, so they get subtly revealed in stories. There is an art to it, I’ll give you that. You can include photos, if the deal is that they are not white. The name of the suspect/convicted goes a long way. Little details about background.
Denmark. Denmark’s not so big on subtlety. If they know the nationality of a foreign crim, it goes in the headline. If they are not sure but they sort of “look foreign”, they will say the police know the person was of “foreign appearance”. I have seen “Bosnian-Turkish” appearance in a newspaper and I have never really got over that. If the person was white but OBVIOUSLY foreign, they will say their Danish had an accent. If they spoke English, it will be described as “gebrokken engelsk” (coming from Danes from my town, that is an act of extreme chutzpah)
NOTE: None of this shit helps the police identify the criminal. Bosnian-Turkish, you say, why! I saw a gentleman fitting that description only last week! I will call the police forthwith.
“Spoke Danish with a foreign accent”, that’s a minority, sure, but it really has not narrowed the field enough for police work.
They are saying it just for the sake of saying it.
Cf, when it is a Danish-Dane-Dane from Denmark and they catch the dastardly deed do’er; he’s so-and-so from Kolding. If they are not sure who he is, he either did not speak Danish with a foreign accent (note to editors, it is simpler to write “He was a native speaker”) or was “30” or “tall”. You know, a default human being. A dude. They do not even write “white” or even “dirty blond hair”, for descriptive purposes. They leave it out because it’s obvious.
Roskilde local newspaper wrote the headline
“Negro stole car from 80 year old”
Only this week. HOLY CHRISTMAS.
NB: Some people translate “neger” as “nigger” and I think those people are probably correct but I don’t want to be derailed on the grounds that “neger” is softer than “nigger” because that is not the point.
This country is stuck in a state of arrested development. People learned lessons in the rest of the developed world that have not been learned here. It is commonplace to dehumanise groups of people for not belonging to the tribe and it has major knock-on effects in terms of the lives people from those groups have. For example, the people who read Roskilde local newspaper (and my local newspaper), might not intend to become racist. Indeed they might be black or from other minority communities. They read about crime in their town and all they are getting to see is a spotlight on certain groups, highlighting “criminality”.
Even people who would like to think of themselves as enlightened or thoughtful, are being poisoned by their media. They are being trained like those unfortunate puppies in the salivation experiment to hear the bell tinkle of “foreign” with the kibble consequence of “criminal”.
And thusly, foreigners cannot get jobs. Or they can but not jobs they are actually qualified for.
This means that an entire generation of “foreign” (they’re not foreign but that’s a whole other post), Danish kids are not getting jobs or if they are it is for jobs that are neither dream-jobs nor boring “they pay the rent” jobs. They can only expect to get so far in life here.
What is happening is on two levels. Firstly, on the sort of people who choose employees who see a foreign name and place the cv in “the round file” and secondly on the foreigners themselves who learn to know their place.
I do not suppose I need to state what happens when you create an underclass.
Danish journalists are not stupid, they are not evil. They have been exposed to the same brainwashing as everyone else in this country. But I think a little bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way. I dearly wish they would grow up, snap out of it and de-programme themselves. Then maybe we can progress from this frankly embarrassing “white-danes are the only real people” child-like assumption.