"I think it's inhuman. An Assyrian classmate of mine, she got an office job at customs. Goes through papers, checks them, and so on. She works two months and then a Swedish girl begins with the same job. Then one of them was to leave and it would bevome a permanent job. She had worked two months more than the Swede. They said that they were very satisfied with the Assyrian, that she was very productive. She managed to do more work than a Swede had worked there several years. But no no, the other one, the Swede, was taken on instead. She asks the supervisor: 'Why does she get the job when I can do it much better?' He says: 'It's like this, she speaks much better Swedish.' There was nothing wrong with the Assyrian's Swedish, she was born here. She felt so degraded she quit the job with two weeks left. Now perhaps she will work in a factory or a shop, where it's a little easier for blackheads to get something. But it's not her profession, she's trained in business economics."
- Selda, a young Göteborg woman of Turkish parentage (Berg )
"I answered [the gas station operator] that I was just as black in the daylight as in the night, and that I could manage things if an idiot came in. And that I wanted to have a chance to be judged as an individual, rather than by skin color."
- Ethiopian-born twenty-four-year-old adopted to Sweden as an infant, who was initially turned down for a night-shift job in Göteborg because the operator feared her skin color might provoke customers and neighbors to violence.
"An African woman seeking work in a government agency was told that she was 'a capable university graduate' but lacked work experience. She pointed to a certificate verifying her experience. The woman gave him a copy of the certificate, anad the personnel manager promised to contact her in a week. Upon recontact, the personnel manager indicated that the position she was seeking required Swedish citizenship. As 'luck' would have it, she also held Swedish citizenship. The personnel manager then said he would 'consult with his colleagues and get back as soon as possible.' He sent her a letter in which he asserted that the agency had found a suitable person who was qualified for the job. When she checked up on the 'better-qualified person' it turned out to be someone who was a man and Swedish, of course."
- Tirfe Mammo (1996)
"Joyce, a Tanzanian, is well educated and has held several qulified positions abroad - the lattest within the U.N. She speaks excellent Swedish, has studied law in Tanzania, and has supplemented her education in Swedish with a degree in personnel management and a number of sociology courses. All the samt, she can't get work in Sweden.
She has sought many jobs, among others as a social worker for prostitutes in Stockholm, and aid worker for the Swedish International Development Agency, and as a secretary with the Ministry for Social Affairs.
Over the telephone her potential employers have shown considerable interest for her 'experience and impressive background.' That interest has disappeared upon her showing up for an interview, as if blown away."
- Leif Stenberg (1996a)
... är det här vad vi har att se fram emot?