” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/paradisecircus/2853140260/”]It’s a classic case of foot-in-mouth disease.A Swedish politician used his Facebook page to call for an “underclass safari”, even soliciting suggestions and listing his own requirements for it, The Local reports.
“Among other things there should be a high rate of people on social welfare, vicious screaming teenagers, only feature rented apartments in the ‘Miljonprogram’ suburbs [one million run-down homes built 50 years ago], closed down shops, destitute social services, [it should] be run down and overrun by graffiti,” Patric Rylander, second-in-command of the Christian Democrats, wrote on his Facebook page, according to Dagens Nyheter (DN).
Rylander claimed the post should be seen in the light of the recent ‘upper-class safari’ in Saltsjöbaden.
“To pit social groups against each other and the wish to nurture class hatred, like the organisers of the upper-class safari say that they do, is completely wrong. No one should be subjected to safari visits, not those who live on Solsidan, nor anywhere else. Everyone deserves respect,” Rylander told DN.
He did admit to Sveriges Radio (SR) that his post, which he had meant to be ironic, had been poorly worded, and that he had no idea it would go viral. His Facebook page has been deleted.
The incident has invited strong censure from his colleagues, despite a number of party officials taking part in the banter.
“It is not OK to speak this way about any place, anywhere. This is about people. People who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not made fun of,” Christian Democrat politician Stefan Gustafsson told SR.
“You do not write it, it is injudicious. If there is irony, it can easily be misinterpreted. I’ve talked to him and said he should not have done it,” Acko Ankarberg, the leader of the Christian Democrats, told DN.
Rylander will keep his job.
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